Our Oldest Indian Mission, by A. Westcott (1897) (2024)

THE Vepery Mission is the oldest mission connected with the Church of England in India, and though in these times its fame has been somewhat eclipsed by that of younger and stronger missions, it has a memorable history and, we trust, a hopeful future also.

This mission which is now being carried on under the auspices of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, had been for a century previous to the year 1826, conducted by the Lutheran Missionaries of the Royal Danish Mission in connection with the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.

The first English Church erected in India is that dedicated to St. Mary in Fort St. George, the foundation of which was laid in 1680. This Church is the first symptom of the revival of the English settlers from that religious sloth which fell upon them in the remote land of their sojourn. [* The company had indeed previous to this date made most stringent regulations as to Sabbath observance and general moral behaviour; but the prevailing conduct of the early settlers seems to have afforded ample illustration of the truth that men cannot be made moral by Act of Parliament.] As they [1/2] were slow to realise their own religious needs, we cannot be surprised that they were also slow to compassionate the needs of those amongst whom they lived. But in this matter they were stimulated from without. The Danish Lutheran Missionaries pleaded in England the cause of those who were dependent on the English, and their petition was not wholly in vain.

Thus it was that in the year 1716 the Danish Missionary Ziegenbalg, who had recently arrived from London where he had been cordially received by the S. P. C. K., succeeded with the co-operation of Stevenson the Chaplain of Fort St. George, in opening two schools there, one for Portuguese and one for Tamil youths. [* May 27, 1718. For Governor's Regulations for these schools, see Madras in Old Time. p. 367.] These schools were not however long lived as there was no resident missionary in Madras, and both Ziegenbalg and his colleague Grundler were removed by death shortly after the new venture had been started. Yet Ziegenbalg deserves to be remembered, not only in Madras, but throughout the English Church, if only for this, that he recognised the clear call to Englishmen for missionary effort in India, to which Englishmen were still in his times so strangely deaf. Many Englishmen it is true from the sovereign [2/3] (Ex-Officio a Britisher) and the Archbishop of Canterbury downwards, from time to time furnished means to a certain extent for the furtherance of the work inaugurated by others, but no British subject was forthcoming as a labourer in the field.

[* King George received the Missionaries Ziegenbalg and Grundler in audience and wrote the former a letter. He also in 1727 wrote to Schultz as follows:--

"Beloved, Devoted, and Excellent, From your letters, dated Tranquebar, September 12, 1725, lately delivered to us, we have derived much satisfaction, in learning from them the delight you take in carrying on the Mission-work entrusted to you, and its increasing prosperity under the Divine Blessing. We thank you for the intelligence, and shall be glad to receive further accounts. Meanwhile, we wish you perfect health, both of body and mind, to establish the good work for a long time to come, to the glory of God, and the extension of Christianity among the heathen, that it may be perpetuated to future generations.

"Given at our Palace at St. James's,
February 24, 1727,
in the thirteenth
year of our Reign"

It is perhaps hardly necessary to add that King George's letter was written in German, and that the above is merely a translation.]

In mentioning to a home correspondent, the gift of a printing press from England, Ziegenbalg expresses his gratitude "to our great Patrons and Generous Benefactors in England whence we expect further Assistances, that being of all the Nations of Europe, the most capable of extending the Limits of Christ's Kingdom, by their frequent Navigations and many Settlements in both the Indies."

The opportunity constitutes the call. All honor to the self-denying Danes who pointed out to us by example as well as precept the path of Missionary duty.

That there were disadvantages connected with the employment of foreigners in the early mission work of the S.P.C.K. must be manifest to all, and we are not surprised to note that when the Governor Harrison and the Council of Fort St, George first heard of the proposed Mission Schools in Madras, they wrote in reply:--

[4] "We will not only be ready to assist them with the power you have given us, but also with our purses, and do not doubt but many of your inhabitants will do the same, if the persons they send out are of tempers and qualifications fit for the undertaking. But we hope they will be English and not foreigners."

But, alas, the Directors' answer to this was:--

"The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge have presented to us, that they have not as yet been able to prevail with any of the British Nation to undertake the service of the Protestant Mission to the East Indies," and so it was that from the commencement, and during a long series of years, the English Society continued to employ Danish and German Lutherans to conduct its Missionary work in the British Settlements of Fort St. George and Fort St. David.

The successful inaugurator of the work in Madras was Benjamin Schultz, who was at the time when he visited Madras, the head of the Danish Mission at Tranquebar. It appears that the Danish Missionaries, who had naturally been led to commence their labours in Danish territory, soon observed the advantages possessed by Madras in the matter of communication with the outer world, and felt that it was desirable to extend their work to that town. Accordingly in the year 1726 Schultz visited Madras, and finding the Governor of Fort St. George and his Council favourably disposed, determined to commence operations by opening a School in Black Town. With this end in view he posted a notice on the four gates of Black Town on September 5th 1726, stating that by order of the Governor he intended to open a school for 'Malabar children,' and nine days later he began his work with twelve pupils. The Governor, Mr. James Macrae, contributed [4/5] monthly towards the expenses of the school, and when in the following year Schultz was anxious to secure a permanent home for the mission, the president and various members of his council subscribed liberally for the purpose. Notwithstanding this, however, at the moment when a convenient house was offered for sale, the good missionary had only collected 300 pagodas, and his heart failed him when the bidding reached 500; but at this crisis one of his friends in high place stepped into the arena and commenced to bid for him, whereat his opponents were dismayed and suffered the property to fall to him for 600 pagodas. [* It was some time before Schultz was able to pay for this house. In August 1731 he had collected only Ps. 498, including a subscription from Governor Pitt of Ps. 82. The deficiency was made up by German friends.] A few days later Schultz erected a stone pulpit in the newly acquired mission house and began his regular preaching there.

The exact locality of this first mission house in Black Town is not quite certain. Two localities are known to have belonged to the early mission. Of these one is the present site of the Seven Wells, and the other, a considerable portion of John Pereira's Garden. The latter was more probably the home of Schultz as he described it as being not far from White Town and yet in the midst of the heathens.

In 1728 the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge acceding to a request from Schultz determined to undertake mission work in Madras, and appointed him as their first missionary. Before doing this, however they obtained the permission of the King of Denmark, and a promise of protection from the English East India Company. The company's officers in Madras though somewhat disappointed at the apparent ill success of Schultz's [5/6] efforts hitherto, for he had not during his two years' residence among them succeeded in making any converts, promised every possible assistance, but they would have preferred to receive English missionaries. They thus express their sentiments: "We should be glad to see some capable men of our own nation in Holy Orders, that are not above undertaking a work of this nature: Till that happens, we can see no great prospect of the success you propose in opening a glorious scene of the Christian Church in these parts." [* Letters from Protestant Missionaries in the East Indies, Part III. No. 33, p.194.]

On receipt of his appointment Schultz handed over the accounts of the mission to the newly formed local committee [* No further mention of this local committee occurs.] of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. Not content however with supporting one missionary only, the English society was now anxious to provide Schultz with a fellow-worker, but they found as yet no Englishman called to the work, and consequently applied to their German friends, who selected Mr. John Antony Sartorius for this honourable service.

Sartorius received a warm welcome in London, and when he embarked for the East Indies, which at the last moment, owing to lack of accommodation, he was only enabled to do through the intercession of Queen Caroline with the Directors of the Company, he was the bearer of a letter from Archbishop Wake.

Sartorius was the first missionary sent from England to India by an English Missionary Society and the Archbishop's letter is worthy of the occasion. The letter is written in Latin, but the following translations of selected parts of it may, we hope, convey some impression of the original. The [6/7] Archbishop writes: "The most welcome news which I have now received from you concerning the newly commenced conversion of the Indians at Madras, and the flourishing condition of that mission, and that nothing is lacking to the furtherance of the work save that a helper be sent to you by us from these shores, no longer permits me to neglect the duty of writing. What you have asked is done. We send to you Mr. Sartorius who has been trained at the College at Halle, which has been most fruitful in good and learned men, a man too as it were formed and fashioned by nature for mission work and long proved, tried and approved in action. Receive him as a most loving brother sent from heaven and treat him with all kindness.

* * * *

May God Almighty grant you both a long life and sound minds in sound bodies. May He support you in His work and protect you against all snares of the enemy, and may He grant you success in converting the heathen, if not beyond what you hope, yet such as we desire for you, and such as He in His infinite wisdom shall see to be for your good, that so in those uttermost parts of the Earth, the true knowledge of Him may be preached, and the light of the Gospel shed abroad, and many souls be converted, and by your work that prophecy concerning Christ be fulfilled, wherein God Himself has promised that He will give to His son the heathen for His heritage and the uttermost bounds for His possession. Grant this in our days Most Gracious Father, to whom with the Son our Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit be praise and glory for ever. Amen.

Sartorius was a most devoted man but though, as Archbishop Wake declares, a born missionary, he [7/8] took very gloomy views of the people amongst whom he laboured. His early impressions of the natives are as follows:--

"The complexion of the Malabars is mostly brown; some are quite black; while in others, the colour tends to white. In one respect, they are all alike--their heart is full of thick, black darkness and blindness, evil and hardness; whence proceed superstition, idolatry, whor*dom, theft, deceit and every sort of abomination. They are dull and unintelligent to good, and to learn good, but madly evil, and artful to lie and deceive, and especially to steal. To effect any good in such people, so as to bring them to the knowledge and service of the true God,--requires divine light and wisdom, grace and power, patience and gentleness withal, love and compassion. It is not enough to teach and instruct them; they must be guided and kept in order." [* Notices of Madras and Cuddalore in the last century, etc. p. 81.]

He was not more favourably impressed by the European Society of the day, for he enumerates besides the hindrances common to all missions, some hindrances "peculiar to Madras. Irreligion and contempt of religion--public whor*dom with papist harlots, yea with the public heathen dancing harlots, or pagoda dancers--adultery--execrable avarice and unlawful gain--and other impieties of most of the Europeans, who prostitute themselves before Armenian and Portuguese Christians, and even in the sight of decent heathens, as ungodly despisers of God and of all religion. And this has so got the upper hand, that one can perceive in almost no one even an appearance of religion. To describe it in detail would require many sheets. But be assured of this, it is much more abominable than can be imagined in Europe; though even there, there is great ungodliness in many places. Another hindrance peculiar to Madras, is the great power and [8/9] wealth of the Romish people; by means of which and their deceit, they draw, pervert, and ensnare all to their side; while on the other hand, they abuse, calumniate, and persecute us, so that we do not suffer the hundredth part of the opposition from the heathens, which we do from them." [* Notices of Madras and Cuddalore in the last century, etc. p. 94.]

The opposition of the Roman missionaries who had considerable congregations at this time both in Fort St. George and in the Portuguese Settlement of San Thome, and who consequently regarded with great disfavour, the advent of a Protestant mission, is a very frequent subject of complaint in the letters of these early missionaries. On one occasion Schultz relates how his catechist was beaten and imprisoned by the Romish party at San Thome, and about to be despatched to the Inquisition at Goa, when he was released by order of the Governor. As instances [* See Fenger's History of the Tranquebar Mission (English Translation, p. 141.)] of the 'Romish' deceit and calumniation of which the new missionaries complained we may cite the report that they spread abroad among the natives a rumour that all children who were sent to Schultz's school would be baptised, in consequence of which the Malabarians took fright so that the school was empty for three days. Again they reported that he had run away from Tranquebar with the money belonging to that mission; and finally that from want of funds he would soon be obliged to abandon his work and betake himself elsewhere. At the same time we must not forget in defence of the Romish party that the Lutheran Missionaries were very zealous in making proselytes from among the Portuguese Eurasians, and for a long series of years their reports and those of their English successors [9/10] record converts from Romanism side by side with converts from heathenism.

Sartorius on his arrival in 1730 laboured very hard at the Portuguese and Tamil Languages and showed a remarkable linguistic aptitude. He had already apparently acquired English on the voyage out, which occupied rather more than five months (Feb. 8--July 12), and it is reported that he was able to preach in Portuguese on October 1st of the same year and in Tamil on June 1st of the succeeding year.

The new arrival laments that the Tamil children are very unmusical. The record of his praiseworthy efforts to instil some idea of tune into them will no doubt awake a sympathetic echo in the heart of the missionary of to-day. He thus describes his method of musical instruction.

"Our fellow-helpers had taught them almost a year, and Mr. Schultz had himself attempted it; but all their care seemed to be in vain, for the children continued their monotony, and when they had to sing high, only screamed a little louder. Recently we made a new attempt; wrote the notes on a sheet of paper, and made them sing them with us. But they went on just the same. We then wrote the notes in a different way, disposing them like steps, to get them to understand what is meant by high. At last, we got a ladder, and when we sung a note higher, went up a step, and then down again. And other like wonderful methods have been obliged to try only to help them to distinguish high from low. Afterwards, I sung a tune, and made them sing it after me, ten, twenty, nay a hundred times. Then I did so with each separately; and so on. They have, at last, learned a little, and can sing about ten tunes moderately well." [ * Fenger's History of the Tranquebar Mission, p. 88.]

[11] Through the generosity of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who sent the mission a present of 420 pagodas, Schultz was enabled to open a second school for native children in 1731.

Two years later the two missionaries from Madras proceeded to Tranquebar to assist at the Ordination of the first native clergyman, named Aaron. They themselves found it hard indeed to find any among their Madras converts fit even to be entrusted with the duties of a catechist or schoolmaster so that, supposing them to have been incapable of envy, they must have been encouraged by the progress made by the older mission at Tranquebar. At this time Schultz had only three native Christian fellow-labourers. One of these, named Enoch, was a catechist who had been sent from Tranquebar. Of the other two, who were his own converts, one was employed as a schoolmaster, and the other as a copyist.

From the commencement of the work up to the year 1735 it is reported that more than 400 persons had been baptised in Madras, and there were at that time 45 school children being educated, fed and clothed at the expense of the mission. But the finances of the mission were not in a flourishing condition, for whereas the S. P. C. K. report in 1735 that £146 had been received for Madras, they record an expenditure exceeding £360.

But this deficit was made good by a certain Mr. Hollis, who, besides being during his life time a most generous supporter of the Tranquebar and Madras Missions, left each of them a considerable legacy at his death.

About this time mention is made concerning the building of a church, but whether it was erected or not is uncertain. Sartorius at least was very anxious [11/12] to have it built, as he complains that the Mission Room is so small and narrow that they can barely keep the sexes and castes apart. The traditional site assigned to this church is the neighbourhood of the Madras Light House. If this church was ever erected it could not at any rate have stood for long, for it must have been destroyed during the troubles of the French War.

The S. P. C. K. were now becoming anxious to open a branch of the Madras Mission at the other great English Settlement of Fort St. David and obtained the permission of the Governor for erecting mission buildings there.

After some delay, owing to his own ill-health and other difficulties, Sartorius with Geister, a German Missionary, who had joined the Madras Mission in 1732, went to Cuddalore to start the work: while Schultz, who found it hard to co-operate with others, remained alone at Madras.

Sartorius only survived the move to Cuddalore one year, and died there on May 27, 1738. Of the various vernacular works composed by Sartorius including a Tamil Lexicon which enshrined the previous labours of Ziegenbalg, a Geography, a Gospel Harmony and an Introduction to Holy Scripture, all of which were in Tamil, none appear to have survived to the present day. They seem indeed not to have been printed; but the memory of the man himself deserves a better fate.

When Sartorius was first invited to join the mission in India he only asked for a single night for deliberation and prayer, and on the morrow said he believed it was the will of God that he should go, and set out within twenty-four hours.


THE year 1742, which witnessed the declaration of war between England and France, was the year also of Schultz's departure from India. Authorities seem not to be agreed as to whether the departure of Schultz was an event to be deplored or not. During the years when he laboured alone at Madras, after the departure of his colleagues to Cuddalore, more progress was made than in the preceding years, but the mission authorities in Europe were not disposed to regard him favorably. It is not unreasonable however to conclude that he left the country of his own accord, on account of failing health. His place was filled by John Philip Fabricius a German Missionary who had come out to Tranquebar in 1740.

Fabricius was a man of quiet studious habits and not perhaps best fitted to superintend the mission during the troublous time of war and tumults. But it was not until 1746 that the war came to the gates of Madras, bringing in its train the destruction of the mission property. Fort St. George was not at the time in a position to stand a siege and capitulated after a very brief display of resistance.

It was during the French occupation of the Fort that steps were taken to strengthen the position, and with this object the adjacent portions of Black Town, including a Mission house and a probable Mission Church, were demolished, and the Fort glacis formed out of their ruins. Being thus rendered homeless, Fabricius retired with the children of his boarding school to the neighbouring Dutch Settlement of Pulicat, where he was hospitably received.

[14] Pulicat, which for a long time after these events maintained its connection with the Vepery Mission, continued to be the head quarters of the mission until the conclusion of peace in 1748, when, in accordance with the terms of the treaty of Aix la Chapelle, Madras was restored to the English. In the following year accordingly Fabricius ventured to return to Madras and to survey the desolation caused by the war. He appealed to Admiral Boscawen and the council of Fort St. George for some reparation for the losses sustained by the mission, and while awaiting a favourable reply, erected a hut to shelter his school and ministered to his flock beneath an arboreal roof.

Fortunately for Fabricius the English authorities were at the time exceedingly angry with the Roman Missionaries and disposed to be generous at their expense. Early in 1747 the Directors of the Company having heard of the loss of Fort St. George wrote out to their council at Fort St. David the following instructions.

"Having suffered greatly by the numbers of priests and Popish inhabitants at Madras, who have acted a very treacherous part to us continually in that place, especially when it was attacked; therefore we strictly forbid your suffering any Romish Church within our bounds, or any of their priests to dwell among you, or that religion to be openly professed; and in case any Papists have crept into places of trust in our service, they must be immediately dismissed." [* Madras in the Olden Time, p. 669.]

In the spirit doubtless of these instructions Admiral Boscawen presented to the mission over which Fabricius presided, as compensation for its losses, a Church together with a garden and some small houses in Vepery. These premises thus confiscated from the Roman mission on account of [14/15] their imputed treachery during the siege of Madras, became henceforth the headquarters of the Vepery Mission.

At the same time the English Government assumed possession of San Thome, the inhabitants of which had, on account of the influence of the Roman priests, furnished much valuable information to M. Dupleix. The suspected priests were banished thence. As to the Roman Church within the Fort, it was entirely demolished.

For some years after these events Fabricius continued his missionary labours in peace, being assisted by a fellow-labourer in the person of Breithaupt who joined him from Cuddalore in 1749. The missionaries suffered at the time from great poverty, their salaries being only £50 per annum, and the claims upon their charity on account of the prevailing destitution wrought by the war, very considerable. They had indeed, as they express it, 'little or nothing to subsist upon', and considering the manifold anxieties connected with the maintenance of their converts and proselytes, it is hardly matter for surprise, that their judgment in financial matters should have lost its balance, as seems to have been the case, with Fabricius at any rate a few years hence. But they faithfully continued their work and from year to year report accessions from heathenism and from Romanism. In 1754 they announce that the whole number received into their congregation, since the commencement of the Mission, was 1197, of whom 1091 were natives, and 106 Portuguese.

Towards the close of 1758 the cloud of war was again threatening, and in dread of the approach of a besieging French Army the members of the Vepery Mission appointed a day of penitence and [15/16] prayer. In December the French forces with their Mohammedan allies drew near to Madras, and after some skirmishing at the Mount and along the Mount Road, the English forces withdrew into the Fort. The missionaries who had been planning to retire again to Pulicat, found it now too late to move, and the mission premises were invaded by the disorderly Mohammedan troops. None of the Christians were injured, but their homes were looted and much valuable property, including clothes, (even those worn by Breithaupt's baby), books and manuscripts of all sorts, were stolen or destroyed. In these circ*mstances Fabricius sought an interview with the French Commander, Lally, who expressed his regret, but declared himself unable to restrain his impetuous allies. So the missionaries accompanied by many of the Native Christians, once more betook themselves to the friendly refuge of Pulicat; but the unexpected appearance of an English fleet, with numerous forces, compelled the French to desist from the siege of Fort St. George, and matters went so ill with them that after various reverses they finally in 1761 lost Pondicherry itself.

This event too has its interest for the history of the mission, for in the Government House at Pondicherry a printing press was found which the company handed over to the Vepery missionaries, who made constant use of it for many years to come, as, amongst other things, their annual demands for printing paper show.

It was probably at the time of this siege that the Madras Government became aware of the importance of a good water supply, in consequence of which they negotiated with the mission for the transfer to them of the site of the Seven Springs. In exchange for this property, a piece of land near [16/17] Korukapetta, about a mile north of the Seven Springs, was assigned to the Native Christians for a settlement. [* See Taylor's Memoir, p. 18.]

In 1762 the missionaries received from the S. P. C. K. an 'extraordinary benefaction of twenty pounds each' in addition to their salaries, to compensate them in a measure for the losses which they had sustained during the war. This was by no means an extravagant compensation, but was received with especial gratitude. The troubles from marauding excursions were however by no means over for these good men, although they had a few years' quiet (1762-1767) during which the number of their accessions grew to 1877. Then parties of roving Mahrattas began to appear upon the scene and occasion the missionaries to retire many times from Wepery (as they called it) to Madras.

From time to time, Fabricius was called to minister to Christians at Sadras, Pulicat, and Chingleput, but the second outstation of the Madras mission was located at Vellore. Thither in 1771 a Catechist was sent to minister to some Native Christian wives of some of the soldiers there, and also to certain pious soldiers, and other Christians from Trichinopoly. Through the exertions of the pious soldiers a sum was raised for the erection of a small School house in Vellore, upon a convenient site granted to the mission, and here services were held in Tamil twice a week by the Catechist.

The years of scarcity and Mahratta incursions were years during which the numbers of converts grew considerably. The missionaries made it their business to feed the poor converts and many were on this account drawn to them, 'rather moved,' to use [17/18] the words of Schwartz under similar circ*mstances, 'by the calamity of the famine, than by a desire of knowing the way to eternal salvation.' Besides feeding the poor it was customary to present converts with clothes and to assist them with presents and loans in their secular occupations. The mission expenditure consequently became very heavy, and though several European friends helped with liberal benefactions, the missionaries found it difficult to raise the required funds.

Fabricius, relying on the advice of his native accountant, resorted to most unsatisfactory financial expedients, and as a final consequence involved the mission in a loss of some thousands of pagodas. From an early date Fabricius had been in the habit of borrowing and lending money, and it is stated that he lost a very large sum of borrowed money at the time when Lally's troops plundered the mission premises at Vepery. This loss naturally added to his embarrassments, and things went from bad to worse until at last the unhappy man was imprisoned for debt, and on his release, broken down in health and with his faculties wrecked by age and trouble, surrendered charge of the mission to Gericke. Fabricius died in January 1791 and is buried in the Vepery Churchyard. It is very sad that a man who began so well and who by his hymns, [* In 1795 Gericke reports that they had begun at the Mission Press a new Edition of 1000 copies of 'the late Mr. Fabricius' excellent Book of Malabar Hymns.'] if by nothing else, has so well served the Tamil Church, should have ended so miserably through entangling himself in worldly affairs.

Though the famous Schwartz describes his weaker brother as:--"Mr. Fabricius who has brought disgrace upon himself and us" and uses similar harsh [18/19] expressions concerning him, it only makes the case sadder to reflect that Schwartz himself placed in Fabricius' hands a large sum of trust money which Fabricius lent to a native, on little or no security, and lost.

It was in fact this transaction that ruined Fabricius.

During the years wherein foreign missionaries presided over the mission there was no episcopal control, although the mission was supported by the S. P. C. K., and worked under the patronage of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The missionaries themselves used to confirm and meet together for Ordinations. The Catechists used to baptise. Each congregation was independent and ruled by its own missionary, although the missionaries would occasionally meet, as it were in Synod, and were in the habit of accepting the guidance of any more prominent man, as for example of Schwartz, whom his brother missionaries always regarded as their spiritual father and created into a quasi-bishop. Each missionary in local affairs was assisted by his catechists, who, under his presidency, formed a sort of disciplinary council, the decisions of which in various matters brought before them were usually confirmed by the civil power. The missionary was in fact regarded as the head of a community on the same principle as native head men were recognised, and was permitted to fine, flog and otherwise punish offenders belonging to his community. [* Gericke in one of his reports makes special mention of this disciplinary court. (S. P. C. K. Report for 1791.)]


CHRISTIAN WILLIAM GERICKE who in 1788 succeeded Fabricius as the head of the Vepery mission, was a man more fitted than his predecessor to fill a difficult position. He came to Madras with a reputation; for he had, while at Cuddalore, performed a considerable service at the capture of that fortress by the French in 1782, in saving the town from plunder and in sheltering English officers in his own house. In his apology for missionaries in reply to the foolish charges of Campbell, Schwartz does not forget to recall this incident; for the honoured veteran when discussing the assertion that a missionary is a disgrace to any country, remarks:

"That the Reverend Mr. Gericke has been of eminent service at Cuddalore, every gentleman, who was at Cuddalore at the time when the war broke out, knows. He was the instrument in the hands of Providence, by which Cuddalore was saved from plunder and bloodshed.

He saved many gentlemen from becoming prisoners to Hyder, which Lord Macartney kindly acknowledged.

When Negapatam, that rich and populous city fell into the deepest poverty, by the unavoidable consequences of war, Mr. Gericke behaved like a father to the distressed people of that city. He forgot that he had a family to provide for. Many impoverished families were supported by him; so that when I, a few months ago, preached and administered the Sacrament in that place, I saw many who owed their and their childrens's lives to his disinterested care. Surely this, my friend, could not be called a disgrace to that place. When the Honourable Society ordered him to attend the Congregation at Madras, all lamented his departure: and at Madras, he is esteemed by the Governor and many other gentlemen to this day."

Incidentally we learn from this same writing of Schwartz that more than two-thirds of the Vepery [20/21] congregation at this time were of the 'higher caste.' This fact could be observed by any visitor to the Church, because caste distinctions were then tolerated in the house of God.

In 1791 Gericke wrote home requesting that a fellow-labourer, might be sent out to assist him. In response to this appeal Paezold arrived in Madras in 1793, and found there Schwartz, who at the request of the brethren, was making a prolonged stay with Gericke, having originally come up to Madras as guardian of Servojee, the claimant of the Tanjore throne, whose interests he desired to plead with the Government. When Schwartz took this his last farewell of Madras, he left Servojee behind in Gericke's charge, with the approval of the Governor, and took with him Paezold for instruction in his missionary duties. Both Schwartz and Gericke, it must be noted had very considerable dealings with European society, to which they both regularly ministered and interested themselves to a great extent in secular and political affairs. They were both likewise in receipt of Government pay, and were far wealthier than their brother missionaries, though they generously employed their wealth in the service of the mission. Gericke was Chaplain to the Female Asylum at Madras founder either at his own suggestion or that of Schwartz in 1786. It is noticeable from the missionary point of view, that during Gericke's time the native congregation at Vepery declined in numbers, while the Eurasian increased slightly.

The outstations of the Vepery mission at this period included, besides Cuddalore and Vellore, congregations collected at Negapatam, Sadras, St. Thomas' Mount and Pulicat, and occasional visits were also paid by Gericke to Poonamallee, Walajabad [21/22] and other places, but for the most part to minister to the soldiers in the first instance. It is not easy to discover the strength of the mission staff throughout its history, but in the year 1794 the following catechists were working at Vepery:--Boas, Tasanaickan, Maduranaiagam, David, Nullappen and Canagarayen in addition to Gericke and Paezold. A few years previously Alexander, originally a Valluvan or Pariah priest who had 'been for many years the oracle of the whole Parriar Village of Madras', besides being a mission schoolmaster and catechist from the days of Schultz, had died at a great age. At Negapatam were Messrs. John, Domingo, deRosario and Njanapragasam 'a Man of Abilities, and heard with much pleasure, but rather whimsical'. At Cuddalore were Messrs. Horst, Habacec, and Manual, but Habacec's death was momentarily expected, and took place in January 1795. At Vellore was catechist Sawarimuttoo, whom Gericke proposed to transfer to Vepery. At Sadras "one Van Driel was appointed to read Mr. Gericke's Portugueze sermons on Sundays, and to instruct the children and others, by a Catechism prepared by Mr. Gericke, in the Portugueze dialect there understood; for which he received, from Government, three pagodas per month." All these congregations were under the superintendence of Gericke and he paid frequent visits to them. His record of ministrations for the year 1800 are as follows:--

"Mr. G.'s notitia of duty for the year 1800 detail that there had been, in the Madras Malabar Congregation,

Baptized--29 Children and 5 Adults.
Married--5 Couple.
Communicants--143 on Easter-Day.

[23] In the English and Portuguese congregations there had been--

Baptized--27 Children of European extraction. And 10 of Portuguese; besides 7 Adults, of divers nations.
Married--22 Couple.
Buried--12 besides 50 Sailors, who died in the Naval Hospital.
Communicants--63 on Easter-Day.

At Cuddalore, there had been--

Baptized--9 Children of European extraction. 4 of the Malabar Congregation, and 3 Adults.
Married--6 Couple.

At Negapatam there had been--

Baptized-- 9 Children of European extraction, 6 Portuguese, 8 Malabars, and 9 Adults of divers nations.
Married--5 Couple; and

At Vellore, he had baptized six children; and at Arnee, at Manaper, at Madura, at Dindigal, at Sadras, and at Pulicat, he had administered baptism to children, in all 28, some of European extraction, some Portuguese, and others Malabarians." Considering the extent of the work we cannot be surprised at Gericke's remarking that the Vepery Mission "is a very expensive Institution, and the support of it requires a great deal of care." [* Report for 1795.]

The burden of support rested almost entirely on his own shoulders, and his own donations were most liberal. The following entry in the Vepery Money Account is an illustration of the missionary's position. "To balance made good by Gericke, with gratitude to a kind Providence, that inclined the Heart of Government to relieve him of the charge [23/24] of the Negapatam Poor, when it began to grow too heavy for him, 88 Pag. 35 Fan. 72 Cash."

The last great event in Gericke's life was a visit to the Tinnevelly Missions in the year 1802. He is reported on this occasion to have baptised 1300 converts, while, as an immediate outcome of his labours many new congregations were formed and many more heathen baptised by native catechists. On his return from this tour he learnt of the death of his only surviving child, an officer in the Company's army. This news so deeply affected him that he never recovered from the shock. Shortly after his arrival at Vepery he fell ill, and died in October 1803 on the road to Vellore whither he was proceeding to seek a change for the benefit of his health. He was buried at Vepery, but a monument by Flaxman in St. Mary's Church in Fort St. George commemorates him as one 'destined to labour in a peculiar vineyard (that of the conversion of the natives of India.)'

The death of Gericke was a terrible blow to the Vepery Mission, though from the financial point of view the loss was mitigated by the consideration that Gericke left the bulk of his fortune amounting to over Ps. 15,000 in trust for the Vepery Mission.

The esteem in which Gericke was held by his colleagues will be manifest from the words used by the Danish missionaries in commenting on his death. They remark:

"Thus ended the laborious and pious life of this faithful servant of Christ, after he had served him in India 38 years, with a zeal and sincerity, which was exemplary to the public, and edifying to thousands, amongst Europeans and Natives, of all ranks and situations. The consternation and grief amongst all classes, at the death of so valuable a man, was beyond description. His soft, mild, meek, and humble character, had made him beloved by persons of distinguished stations, [24/25] and by every one. His conversation was everywhere agreeable and instructive, as his long experience and attentive observations furnished him with important materials to entertain the Company, wherever he happened to be visiting. He spake with so much circ*mspection and wisdom, on religious and moral matters, on literature, and political subjects, that all who heard him were pleased and even such as differed from him in matters of religion, had a respect for his exemplary character, and revered his Christian virtues; insomuch that many called him the primitive Christian. His public spirit was always active, and he took a great part in any institution for the common benefit. Though the propagation of the Christian Religion was his chief object, and occupied his mind in preference to all other objects, he approved and encouraged, as much as he could, the culture of Sciences, in those with whom he was connected; and he even paid a monthly salary to an honest and skilful Brahmin, for the benefit of Indian literature. His charity was boundless. Though the various concerns, which were entrusted to him, as a man, on whose conscientiousness and exactness all could rely, and some generous rewards for his good offices, might have made him rich, he observed the utmost frugality, that he might have to give to the needy. To go into a detail, or to mention only the various branches of his abounding charity, were impossible; many of which had come to their knowledge only by accident. Many widows, and orphans, helpless, afflicted and oppressed, bewail with flowing tears the loss of their benefactor, father, guardian, advocate, defender, and comforter. To his brethren, he was the most tender friend and brother, never assuming as a senior, but always the first and most ready to take upon himself the heaviest burdens, to alleviate, and comfort, and assist his Brethren. He was indeed a shining light, whose gentle rays enlightened, warmed, and enlivened. His counsels and advices were maturely premeditated and he never insisted upon his own opinions, nor was in the least offensive, in his paternal admonitions on errors, but rather indulgent, silent, and patient, when the common cause was not materially injured."

The London Committee of the Society also remark that "the departure of Mr. Gericke so soon after the loss the Missions experienced by the death [25/26] of the invaluable Mr. Schwartz, is an affecting dispensation; but the Society has confidence that God will still raise up labourers to work in his vineyard, among the Heathen, and spread abroad the knowledge of those sacred truths, which alone can make men "wise unto salvation."


ON the death of Gericke, the Vepery flock was left without a pastor, as Paezold was still in Calcutta, whither he had gone to take up the appointment of Tamil Professor in the recently established Fort William College, and they therefore petitioned the Tranquebar Mission for the services of Dr. Rottler, a missionary born and educated at Strasburg who had joined the mission in 1776. In answer to their prayer Rottler arrived and assumed charge of the Vepery mission in 1803; but on the return of Paezold from Calcutta in the following year, the new College at Calcutta having expired, he vacated the Mission house and was on the point of returning to Tranquebar, when he was offered the Chaplaincy of the Female Orphan Asylum, which offer induced him to remain at Madras, and to continue his services to the Vepery Mission.

The Missionary College at Copenhagen however disapproved of Rottler's departure from Tranquebar; but as he preferred to retain his chaplaincy in Madras, he remained for some eleven years in Madras unconnected with any Missionary Society, as the S. P. C. K. on receipt of the Danish Mission's communication, ceased to pay him the salary of £100 per annum which he was then receiving from them. Rottler was naturally somewhat pained at the withdrawal of the Society's support, but he continued to co-operate more or less unanimously, chiefly less I fear, with Paezold, taking charge himself of the small Black Town congregation. The relations between Paezold and Rottler had a decided [27/28] tendency towards straining, as the Mission Agents received their orders from Paezold, who was the Society's Missionary, and their pay from Rottler, who was one of the trustees of Gericke's legacy.

At this period we have the first mention of internal strife in the Vepery congregation. The advent of new missions, as for example, those of the Baptists and the London Missionary Society, led to much criticism of the mission methods previously in vogue and to anxious questionings and controversies on caste observance in the Church, and so tended to 'produce disorder in the established missions.' The old Lutheran Missionaries were indeed very tolerant of caste, but the new doctrines of equality took hold in the Vepery flock and the non-caste Christians began to assert their rights, until the strife became so severe that Paezold was compelled to have recourse to the civil arm. This appeal to a certain extent checked the disorder and 'One hundred Tamulians, of the superior tribe having signed a bond of peace,' which they deposited in Paezold's care, the Missionary fortified by the support of the Society and the civil authority, determined to enforce the strict observance of 'the ancient regulations.' At a later date, as we should naturally expect, and as will be seen hereafter, the same strife was renewed with increased bitterness.

Times have fortunately changed since the days when Missionaries felt bound to champion the caste system, and deliver their minds after the following manner:

"To desire a man to renounce his caste signifies, to require (for example) a man of the high Seyva, or Wellaler caste, who is accustomed from his infancy to live only upon vegetables, to eat meat, to enter into a close connection, or to level himself with the lower classes and intermarry with one another (E. G.) with the Pariars, a [28/29] caste, who, from time immemorial, have made themselves disgustful to all other classes of the Natives, by their inattention to, and disregard of cleanliness, and particularly by feeding upon carrion. And although our Protestant Pariars are not allowed to use such detestable food: yet as their Heathen and Romish relations are not debarred the use of it in like manner, the aversion of well-bred persons to enter into the closest connections with such a class of people, (at least until every vestige of such filthy propensities shall have been effaced) is founded upon reason and decency; and we do not feel ourselves warranted to require of the higher ranks such an unscriptural surrender of their birthright, to which no nobleman or gentleman in our own country would ever submit.

[* "The Society, of course, does not countenance the adherence of the Christian converts to any former religious restrictions, which are not consistent with their Christian liberty; yet it cannot be in the power or wish of the Society, to abolish all distinctions of ranks and degrees in India; nor do they feel themselves entitled to do more, than to remind the Christian converts, that, with respect to spiritual privileges, there is in Christ Jesus neither bond nor free, neither high nor low; yet that such privileges are no way incompatible with the various distinctions of rank and degrees in Society, which are recognized in the Gospel itself, where persons of several ranks and conditions receive, respectively, admonitions and counsel, adapted to their State."]

"As we presume that the equity of such a demand cannot be proved by any precept in the sacred Oracles nor from the practice of the Apostles and primitive Christians, and as besides such a demand might be productive of fatal consequences, we have taken care to follow the same mode of acting as our predecessors have done."

The fatal consequences herein mentioned have reference to the case of a certain Vellala convert who was required by a missionary to eat a small piece of meat to prove that he was superior to his former prejudices; but unfortunately this demonstration 'instead of doing good' nearly resulted in fatal consequences, for the meat operated as a powerful [29/30] emetic, and brought the poor man's life into imminent danger. [* S. P. C. K. Abstract, p. 580.]

About this time reports concerning the Syrian Christians on the Malabar Coast received from the Missionaries, seem to have attracted much notice in Europe, and as great difficulty was still experienced in obtaining European Missionaries for the Indian Missions, which failure the Society attributes to the defection from orthodox principles in the matter of faith, and the spread in Germany of a kind, of philosophical infidelity, the society wrote out to their Missionaries inquiring as to the advisability of employing Syrian Christians in the Tamil Missions. In their reply dated March l0th 1810, the Missionaries emphatically negative this suggestion, and plead the heresy, the ignorance, and the caste of the Syrian Priests as reasons justifying a hope that they "may be excused from admitting those Christians to a union of faith with ourselves and to the office of teachers in our orthodox congregations, in violation of our ordination oath." [* Considerable correspondence on this subject will be found in Abstract of S. P. C. K, Reports 1814, pp. 597-610.]

Disappointed of European reinforcements the three remaining European Missionaries, viz. Messrs. Pohle, Kohlhoff and Paezold resolved that four of the most deserving native catechists should be ordained according to the Lutheran rite. In accordance with this decision four catechists named Gnanapragasam, Adeikalam, Vedanayagam and Abraham, were ordained for the benefit of the congregations in Tanjore, Ramnad and Palamcotta. The Society entirely approved of this measure and agreed to pay a salary of £25 as well as a gratuity £10 to each of the native clergymen.

[31] But, to return to the more immediate affairs of the Vepery Mission; the Company's New Charter (1813-14) had very important effects on Missionary work. One of its earliest effects was the arrival in the Madras Presidency of Missionaries of various denominations, and in Black Town itself of Missionaries belonging to the Church Missionary Society. These new labourers settled down in the centre of Rottler's work in Black Town, and Rottler, who, it must be remembered, was at this time an independent Missionary, welcomed the new comers and describes them as his assistants. [* Paezold however does not seem to have been so complaisant for he sent a Vepery catechist to attend the C. M. S. service and note whether any members of the old Vepery congregation were present. (See Memoir of Rhenius).] When a few years later Rottler accepted the charge of the Vepery Mission, the old S. P. C. K. Black Town congregation, being by that time a rather feeble remnant, for the major portion had reverted to Romanism, were required to attend the services at Vepery, Rottler continuing to receive £25 per annum from Government for ministering to them. So it came to pass that the younger Missionary Society were in the position to become the successors of Schultz in the Black Town Mission.

The most important ecclesiastical effect of the Company's new charter was the creation of the See of Calcutta and the Archdeaconries of Madras and Bombay in 1814. This advance again led to the formation of a Calcutta Diocesan Committee of the S. P. C. K., in May 1815, and of a Madras District Committee of the same Society in August 1815. At its formation the Madras District Committee had no connection with the Society's missions in the [31/32] Archdeaconry but occupied itself with great energy in the dissemination of Christian literature.

Bishop Middleton visited Madras in January 1816. This visitation is interesting as being the first direct contact of the hitherto Lutheran Vepery Mission with an Anglican Bishop. The Bishop reports that he found the Vepery Mission in but a very moderate condition, and proceeds to remark that under Paezold, its operations had been languid and its resources misapplied. In the latter years of his Ministry Paezold undoubtedly was far from energetic, though there is evidence of his having done good work and visited the various out stations in the earlier years of his ministry. He closed the Mission Press alleging want of funds, [* On the mission premises after Paezold's death were found great stores of books and tracts unpacked, and ravaged by white ants, and a very large stock of type, ink and paper. Such of the books as were in decent order were promptly distributed by the S. P. C. K. Committee on its assumption of the care of the Mission, and the press itself resuscitated.] and ceased the English services, having taken offence at some remarks made by members of the English congregation. [* For an account of the services at Vepery Church in Paezold's time see Taylor's Memoir, p 132.] Harassed by domestic embarrassments, [* Paezold was constantly in financial difficulties and from time to time was assisted with additional gratuities from England as he pleaded that he had 'no other means of subsistence, but that furnished by the Society's allowance.' Rottler on the other hand had various allowances from Government, which made him comparatively rich.] distressed by Bishop Middleton's censure, and otherwise disorganised, Paezold died in November 1817, in his 54th year, and was interred in the Vepery Church burial ground. On the death of Paezold, the Secretary of the District Committee of the S. P. C. K. received the following letter from Messrs. Pohle and Kohlhoff the only surviving missionaries of the Society:

[33] Sir,

"On the 12th instant, we received a letter from the Clerk and Catechist at Madras acquainting us with the death of the Rev. Mr. Paezold, the Honorable Society's Missionary at Madras, which happened on the 4th instant; in consequence of which the Mission being deprived of a fit person to take care of the properties belonging to the same, and to minister to the spiritual concerns of the Native Christians, we humbly beg that the Madras District Committee would be kindly pleased to take charge of the Honorable Society's Mission at Madras, till a representation be made to His Lordship the Bishop of Calcutta and till his pleasure be made known.

"Trusting that the benevolence of the Committee will relieve us of our concerns for the welfare of the Mission, by their kind compliance with our request, we remain with due respect, &c."

CHR. POHLE, Senior Missionary
J. KOHLHOFF, English Missionary.
TANJORE, November 1817

Whereupon it was unanimously resolved:--

"That the Madras District Committee should accept the trust delegated to them by the two surviving Missionaries of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge the Rev. C. Pohle and the Rev. J. Kohlhoff."

The first step taken by the District Committee was to invite Dr. Rottler to accept the superintendence of the Vepery Mission to which he willingly assented. Their next step was to select a Special Committee to inquire into the temporal affairs of the mission, which were found to be in a state of great confusion and disorder. Eventually however the Committee accepted the trust of the legacies left by Gericke and Schwartz to the Vepery and Tanjore missions respectively from the former trustees. They also after careful inquiry as to the landed property of the Vepery Mission, in the course of which investigation [33/34] they received an interesting [* See Taylor's Memoir, p. 164-5.] list of the various mission properties furnished by the Collector of Madras, assumed the responsible charge of the buildings and land belonging to the mission. The buildings were at once placed in repair at a cost of Pagodas 915-22-32.

At this time the Vepery Mission possessed two schools, one an English school with 16 pupils, and the other a Tamil school attended by 33 children. Rottler also on receiving charge of the mission opened a Portuguese school with an attendance of 22 children. The Committee from the first took the greatest interest in these schools, considering that this branch of mission work was peculiarly appropriate to the Society's objects, and in the course of the year 1819 they opened a new school building to accommodate 200 children. In this building, divided into two parts by an open Verandah, the Tamil school with 92 pupils, and the amalgamated English and Portuguese schools with 58 pupils were both accommodated. [* "The new school room was a sort of superior out-house; running from the Eastern gate way behind the Southern side of the old Church; ground now covered by a Peon's lodge, the entrance court, and Superintendent's room of the present printing office."--TAYLOR, (1817).]

In the year 1818, the District Committee addressed an earnest application to the Home Society for at least two more missionaries, at the same time urging the Society to approve of the provisional appointment of Rottler as the Society's missionary in Vepery. The death of Pohle which occurred almost immediately after the despatch of this letter rendered the need of reinforcements even more imperative.

[35] In response to this appeal Messrs. Sperschneider, Haubroe and Rosen, the two latter of whom had been ordained by the Bishop of Zealand, were sent out to South India, and of these Haubroe was stationed in Vepery to assist Rottler.

In 1819, Bishop Middleton made a second visitation of Madras, and succeeded with Rottler's co-operation in suppressing certain 'objectionable practices' which prevailed in the Vepery native congregation, chiefly, it seems, in connection with tumultuous wedding processions. On the same occasion the Bishop expressed his approval of the translation of the Book of Common Prayer into Tamil, upon which work Rottler was engaged, and it is said desired to ordain Rottler, to which however the latter objected. Bishop Middleton also applied to the Madras Government for a new church at Vepery, but the application did not bear fruit until some considerable time later.


LAWRENCE PETER HAUBROE, born and educated at Copenhagen, and episcopally ordained, was, as has been already mentioned, stationed at Vepery in 1819 as assistant to Rottler. Haubroe seems to have been from the first deeply impressed with the evils of caste, and immediately proceeded to 'extinguish caste difference' in the Tamil School. This action led to a number of parents removing their children from the school; but as the more intelligent members of the congregation declined to sacrifice the education of their children upon the altar of caste, the less intelligent members presently followed their example.

Encouraged by this success Haubroe next attempted a slight move in the direction of extinguishing caste differences in Church also. Some reform in this matter was undoubtedly required, for at this time there were even separate celebrations of the Holy Communion for Tamil and Pariar communicants. Still Haubroe does not seem to have attempted to interfere with this arrangement, but merely placed a clever Pariar boy among the caste boys in a front seat. This modest effort however met with most decided opposition. A large number of the caste Christians made a covenant undertaking not to attend Church, nor send their children to school, unless Haubroe undertook that Pariah children should not sit alongside Tamil children in Church. If any covenanter transgressed this agreement he was to pay the heavy penalty of 12 Pagodas. In consequence of this covenant the attendance at the school again fell off; but little [36/37] effect was noticeable in the congregations in church, as most of the covenanters had hitherto apparently not been very regular churchgoers, while those of them who did value church privileges soon repented of their self-excommunication, and returned to join in the services. Hereupon the extreme party endeavoured to enforce the penalty in the Police Court, but the Police judge merely reproved the complainants and declined to deal with the case. Thus order was again restored in the church, though a considerable amount of ill-feeling against Haubroe remained smouldering in the congregation, and from time to time hereafter burst into flame. In these his troubles it is noticeable that Haubroe met with much sympathy and encouragement from the C. M. S. Missionary Rhenius, and it was the Vepery tradition that the friendly relations of Haubroe with the C. M. S. missionaries led to the surrender by easy stages of neglect of the old Vepery adherents in Black Town to the care of the C. M. S. At this time Haubroe seems to have been more active, not to say more masterful, than Rottler, and it became expedient to make a division of the mission work. So the Mission Conference which was a body composed of the clergy, catechists and lay elders, arranged that Rottler should have the superintendence of the Press, and Haubroe of the schools, while they should each take the ecclesiastical duties in alternate weeks. This same Mission Conference which was intended to meet weekly was theoretically an excellent institution: but in actual working it often proved a source of annoyance both to the missionaries and to the congregation. Haubroe no doubt anticipated that such trouble would arise if the powers of the Conference were not strictly limited, and had intended the Conference to be merely consultative, for in his sixth rule he provides: 'The [37/38] elders will always act in conformity with the Ministers.' But unfortunately the lay-members of the Conference too frequently placed themselves in opposition to the missionaries, so that we find the clergy inclined towards nominating others to counteract the influence of the elected elders. The rules both for Catechists and Lay Elders drawn up by Haubroe are in themselves admirable; but experience teaches us that the best of rules are of little service if the human agents are of inferior morale. According to qualifications the lay elders should have been paragons of virtue, but in fact, they were frequently bigoted caste partisans: for the Pariar portion of the Vepery congregation was a decided minority. The lay elders were forbidden by these rules to inflict corporal punishment, but were permitted to levy fines. This permission led to the members of the congregation complaining of the oppressive rule of the elders.

In 1822 a new missionary, Falcke, who had been ordained Deacon and Priest by the Bishop of London, and who was consequently the first regular Anglican Missionary of the S. P. C. K. arrived in Madras. It was intended that on his arrival Haubroe should be sent to Palamcotta, but on account of Rottler's increasing infirmity the District Committee acquiesced in Haubroe's determination not to move, and Falcke was added temporarily to the Vepery staff and took charge of the English School. Both Haubroe and Falcke visited the Mission at Vellore and the latter was for a time settled there as resident Missionary. Falcke's missionary career was however a short one, for he died of cholera in December 1824.

The project of a new Church at Vepery was meanwhile not forgotten. The Government had been for a year or two methodically pondering over [38/39] Bishop Middleton's application, and occasionally corresponding on the subject. Matters were however brought to a more definite point, by a letter addressed to Government by the District Committee in August 1823, stating that the Home Society were prepared to grant £2,000 for the building, which they calculated would realise 6000 Pagodas, and requesting the Government to help them in providing the estimated deficit of 3400 Pagodas. This estimate of the cost was considerably less than the amount as estimated previously by Major De Havilland, [* It was Major De Havilland who insisted on the extensive and expensive repairs of the mission buildings when the S. P. C. K. Committee first took charge of the Vepery Mission.] who had been an energetic member of the District Committee in its first undertakings. De Havilland's estimate in 1821 had amounted to Rs. 87,500 and had caused some dismay to the projectors. The response to this new application was remarkably prompt, being indeed received in the course of the same month, and the material parts of it are well worth quotation. It runs as follows:--

"Under your engagement, on the part of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, that the Church proposed to be built shall be appropriated to the performance of Divine worship, according to the practice of the Church of England, and served by regularly ordained clergymen of that Church, and that the whole shall be maintained without expense to the Honorable Company, the Honorable the Governor in Council agrees to supply, to an extent not exceeding 3,400 Pagodas (or Rupees 11,900) the funds which will be required for the construction of it; in addition to what will be obtained by your drawing upon the Society to the extent of the credit which they have given you for the purpose.

* * * *

[40] "With reference to a proposal, formerly under consideration, of building a Church at Vepery, at the expense of the Government, you will understand it to be the expectation of the Government, that the Church now to be erected will be sufficiently capacious to answer fully the demand of the neighbourhood; so that the Government may not be liable to be called upon hereafter for any further disbursem*nts upon that account."

The Committee in reply assured Government that Falcke had received Anglican Orders, and that the Society had ruled that henceforth all their missionaries should be ordained according to the rites of the Church of England.

One of the circ*mstances which contributed to the renewal of zeal in the matter of the New Church was the success which attended the holding of English services in the London Mission's Chapel at Pursewalkum. When Paezold for reasons already indicated, ceased holding English Services, a missionary of the L. M. S. named Loveless undertook to conduct public worship in English and to use the Prayer Book, and on this understanding succeeded in gathering together at once a considerable congregation and obtaining funds for building a Chapel. In this Pursewalkum Chapel which was opened in July 1819, the English Prayer Book Services continued to be held on Sundays, both morning and evening, until 1823, when Loveless left Madras. During this same period Rottler held Sunday afternoon service only for the English congregation, and that at an inconvenient hour. But after Loveless' departure the use of the Prayer Book in the Pursewalkum Chapel became irregular; and so the promoters of the new Church seized the opportunity of reclaiming the English congregation, in which they mainly succeeded; so [40/41] that henceforth dissenting modes of worship were adopted in the Pursewalkum Chapel. [* The Rev. W. Taylor, to whose Memoir of the Vepery Mission I am indebted for much interesting information, was sent in 1823 as successor to Loveless in the charge of the Pursewalkum Chapel.]

The contributions of the English Congregation were a valuable consideration at this time, and the London Mission had been reaping much advantage and the Vepery Mission a corresponding loss by the cultivation and neglect of the English flock respectively.

The building of the new Church was entrusted to John Law, a former pupil of the Male Orphan Asylum, and the laying of the foundation stone took place on December 8th, 1823. The Church was completed early in 1826, and Rottler writing in January of that year to the Society's Secretary in London remarks 'we have now a fine Church, admired by all who see it; and Government have been pleased to sanction an additional sum of Rs. 4,000, for fitting it up, and to promise hereafter to grant the sum for a bell.' What Rottler calls 'a fine church' would certainly have better deserved his admiration, had its appearance not been ruined by the present ridiculous little tower. But this diminutive tower is a memorial of Major De Havilland's petty spite: for it is difficult to call it anything else.

De Havilland had been deeply offended by the rejection of his excessive estimate for the new Church, and he nursed his vexation in silence, until the Church with its fine tower had been completed by his rival Law. Then in his official capacity of Superintending Engineer he wrote to Government reporting that the tower of Vepery Church was, [41/42] from proximity and altitude, adapted to command the interior of the Fort. This objection would have applied with equal force to the steeple of S. Andrew's Kirk, recently built by himself; so he remarked that the Kirk steeple yielded no facility for mounting mortars or howitzers as the tower of Vepery Church might have done. By whatever motives actuated in his report, and he may have been moved solely by a sense of public duty, De Havilland prevailed on Government to order the Church tower to be taken down. Consequently at great expense the dignified and appropriate tower was demolished, and the present insignificant turret erected in its stead.

In the latter part of 1824, and in 1825, Rottler obtained some temporary assistance in his ministerial duties from the Rev. Christian David, who had been recently ordained in Calcutta for the ministry in Ceylon, and was passing through Madras on his way thither. As Christian David was the first native of India who received Holy Orders in the Church of England, considerable interest attaches to his Ordination.

It was in the year 1821, when Bishop Middleton was at Colombo, that David, who was then a preacher 'acting under the authority of the Government,' approached the Bishop on the subject of Ordination. The Bishop however felt unable to ordain him, as he was not satisfied that a native of India or Ceylon was one of the 'King's loving subjects', in the sense of the letters patent. The question thus raised was eventually settled by a special Act of Parliament, [* 4 Geo. iv. c. 71. § 6. See Le Las' Life of Bishop Middleton ii. 277.] but meanwhile Bishop Middleton had died. Thus [42/43] the ordination of a native, temporarily deferred was accomplished by Bishop Heber on Ascension Day, May 27th, 1824, at his primary visitation.

The Bishop says of this interesting event:--

"We had the first fruits of the Gentile Church in India, in the person of Christian David, a native of Malabar, who has for many years been a Catechist in Ceylon, whom I admitted to Deacons' orders. He came to me recommended by Archdeacon Twisleton, and qualified with a colonial chaplaincy by Sir Edward Barnes, the Governor of the island. David passed an exceedingly good, though a very Indian and Characteristic Examination, and has given satisfaction to every body by his modesty, good sense, and good manners. He knows no Latin, but speaks English, Tamil, Singalese, and Portuguese fluently." [* Life of Bishop Heber, S. P. C. K. pp. 173-4.]

David, who was himself a caste man, proved a staunch champion of the caste party in the Vepery Congregation, and, while in Madras, took a leading part in the controversies which raged at the time, and more particularly set himself in opposition to Haubroe, [See Taylor's Memoir, pp. 300-4.] whose attitude in this matter has been already mentioned.

Bishop Heber visited Madras in February 1826. Preparations had been made by the Governor, Sir Thomas Munro, for giving him a fitting reception on his landing; but the good Bishop rather surprised the dignified officials who were waiting to receive him by alighting from a masoolah boat in a white jacket and straw hat. He moreover wittily remarked of the said masoolah boat, that it would have served admirably as the gig to Noah's Ark.

The Bishop visited the Vepery Mission and expressed himself as much pleased with the schools, which were in his opinion the best establishment of native schools, both male and female, which he had [43/44] seen in India. The Bishop also admired the new Church and promised to consecrate it on his return to Madras, the interior at this time not being quite completed. Bishop Heber held a confirmation service in St. George's Church at which he confirmed 479 candidates, Europeans and natives. It is noteworthy that the Bishop's monument in the Cathedral specially commemorates a native Confirmation, for the Bishop "is represented as laying his hands on two kneeling young females with hair dressed in the European fashion and half naked: in a way never exhibited by any native female: still less by native Christian females." Certain members of the Vepery congregation took the opportunity of the Diocesan's presence to state their grievances about caste repression with special reference to Haubroe's action in the matter. The Bishop seems to have been impressed by their assertions as to the purely social character of caste, but declined to make any decision, and appointed a Committee to inquire about caste, and to determine whether it was a religious or social institution. Bishop Heber visited Cuddalore which for some time past had been without a resident Missionary though visited by Haubroe. He was much distressed to find this old mission fallen into such a neglected condition. After a careful investigation into its affairs he prepared a scheme for its rehabilitation, which his sad death prevented from being carried into immediate effect. From Cuddalore the Bishop went to Tanjore, and it is probable that the unfavourable impressions he there formed [* Sperschneider was at this time resident missionary at Tanjore. He had taken upon himself to rebuild Schwartz's residence at a cost of nearly Rs. 12,000. He also otherwise proved himself unsatisfactory in money matters, and after transference to Vepery, where again he proved himself untrustworthy, he was dismissed from the Society's service. He is subsequently said to have taken service in the Native State of Travancore, as Superintendent of the Printing Press at Trevandrum.] of the mission work, as well as his [44/45] uncertainty as to the wisdom of Haubroe's attitude in regard to caste that led to Haubroe's transference to Tanjore in 1827. From Tanjore the Bishop went to Trichinopoly, where again he found the Mission in a feeble condition, for here also there had been no resident Missionary since the death of Pohle in 1818, though the congregation still numbered 500 souls. At Trichinopoly, as is well known, the Bishop died. He was found dead in his bath on the morning of April 3rd. His death was attributed to apoplexy brought on by the sudden plunge into the cold water when exhausted by heat and general fatigue. The Bishop's last public act was the confirmation of eleven members of the native congregation, at 6 A.M., after which he carefully inspected the Mission buildings, and again addressed the members of the native congregation who had gathered in large numbers round the Mission house. After this the Bishop came in-doors and having spoken for some half hour to his chaplain about the affairs of the mission went to take his bath.

The new Church at Vepery which was to have been consecrated by Bishop Heber was opened for Divine service in June 1826.

The year 1826 was on other accounts a memorable year in the history of the mission, for in this year, two years before the completion of its centenary, the management of the Vepery Mission passed from the S. P. C. K. to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts.


IN the year 1824 the S. P. C. K. resolved at a General Meeting held on March 1st, "that the management and superintendence of the Society's Missions in Southern India be transferred to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts." The Society were led to this determination, because they felt unable to extend their present labours to the whole of India, and because the S. P. G. had already founded and endowed a Mission College at Calcutta which was intended to train Missionaries and Catechists, and generally to serve as a centre for the diffusion of the Christian Faith and of Western learning throughout the whole of the East Indies.

This resolution of the Home Society did not take effect in Madras until two years later, when a District Committee of the S. P. G. for the Archdeaconry of Madras was formed. The immediate occasion of the formation of this Committee was an eloquent appeal addressed by Robinson, Domestic Chaplain of the late Bishop Heber, from the pulpit of S. George's Church. This sermon made so profound an impression that a public meeting was held in S. George's Church on May 15th 1826, when the following resolutions were passed unanimously.

I. That the Incorporated Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, having for more than a century been zealously and successfully engaged in promoting the diffusion and maintenance of Christianity in the colonies of Great Britain and having now extended its pious labours to the [46/47] British possessions in the East Indies, under the Superintendence of the Bishop of the Diocese, and with the sanction of all the public authorities both in England and India deservedly claims the cordial support of all sincere Christians. [* By the term Sanction of Government as applied to the Government of British India it is by no means intended to imply any influence of Government, as such, in the promotion of their objects, but that sanction which they are ready to bestow on every benevolent Institution, displayed in various instances, particularly in a grant of ground for the College . . . . and also by the active co-operation of many distinguished Members of Government, in their private and individual capacity.]

II. That this Meeting being impressed with a high sense of the principles and proceedings of the Society, is further persuaded that Bishop's Mission College founded by the Society near Calcutta, presents a safe and practicable method of propagating the Gospel among the Natives of this country, by the gradual diffusion of knowledge, the superintendence and publication of religious tracts, the Liturgy and Versions of Scripture, and the education of persons qualified to act as Preachers of the Gospel and Schoolmasters.

III. That a Committee be now formed for the furtherance of these important and benevolent objects within this Archdeaconry agreeably to the well-known and expressed intention of the late lamented Lord Bishop of Calcutta to be called "the Madras District Committee of the Incorporated Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts."

In the course of two months, local donations and subscriptions to the amount of Rs. 7,668 were received, including the offertory at S. George's [47/48] Church, which amounted to Rs. 811. Dr. Roy, one of the Government Chaplains in Madras was appointed as the Committee's first Secretary. [* The following were the members of the first S. P. G. Committee in Madras: The Archdeacon (Vaughan), Rev. T. Lewis, Rev. R. A. Denton, G. I. Hadow, Esq., R. O. Bridgman, Esq., Rev. R. W. Moorsom, W. Oliver, Esq., J. Gwatkin, Esq., P. Cator, Esq., W. Bannister, Esq.] The transference of the Madras Missions to S. P. G. is thus recorded in the Society's Report for 1826:

"This Society has recently been enabled to make an important addition to its establishment in the East. In order to extend its operations in that quarter, and give union and strength to the Missionaries, it has undertaken the superintendence and management of the Missions in Southern India, which have been hitherto maintained by the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge, and which that society consented to resign in consideration of the benefits the Missionaries must derive from an intimate connexion with Bishop's College, Calcutta.

Five European Missionaries, and six native Teachers, devoted to the instruction of the native Congregations in the neighbourhood of Madras, have thus been added to the Society's Establishment, and there is an urgent demand for more labourers in the same field."

When the S. P. C. K. transferred their missions in South India to S. P. G. they determined to heartily support their special work of printing and circulating the Bible, Prayer Book, and other religious works through the agency of their Madras Committee, as heretofore, and undertook also to maintain their present missionaries so long as they should live.

It is noteworthy however that the Vepery Mission Press also in 1826 passed into the management of the S. P. G. This was more than the S. P. C. K. had [48/49] intended, and representation having been made to the M. D. C. it was resolved that the Secretaries of the two Committees should be associated in the management of the Press. While under the care of the missionaries the Press had never been able to show a favourable balance: but from the moment it passed into the Committee's hands, it proved itself to be a profitable concern. By consent of the Joint Secretaries its profits were devoted to the cause of Native Education, and in January 1826, a sum of Rs. 400 out of the profits of the previous year was voted for this object.

The newly formed S. P. G. Committee at first made it their chief object to support Bishop's College, Calcutta, which they were taught to regard as the home of all mission to work in India, and to which they immediately remitted Rs. 5,000 of their first receipts. They further made an earnest request to the College authorities to send a missionary to Ramnad as specially desired by the late Bishop Heber. This request however was not complied with, and the M. D. C. resolved that 'no further remittance be made to the College at Calcutta for the present,' the more so, as they perceived that the local demands on their resources would be numerous. The Committee were obviously much disappointed at this refusal, and began thus early to realise that Madras could not after all entertain great expectations from the Calcutta College. The attitude of the College authorities moreover was unfortunately far from conciliatory, and three years later a decided rupture between the M. D. C. and Bishop's College was brought about by the College authorities forcing upon the Vepery Mission, without any explanation [49/50] or letter of introduction, the services of a sick and incapable Catechist.

[* The letter addressed on this occasion by the Ag. Principal of Bishop's College to the Archdeacon of Madras is such an extraordinary specimen of the Epistolary art that I venture to annex it, suppressing the writer's name:--

Existing Chief Ecclesiastical Authority, Madras.


Nothing would have induced me to write to you but the danger resulting to Catechist Godfrey's health and life from your unworthy treatment of him, and from the unkindness, and contumely he encounters from others (formerly, before you lived at Madras, his favouring friends) believed to act under your fear and influence which acting upon a mind exceedingly sensitive and conscious of not meriting such ill usage, and his mind upon a frame and constitution not naturally of the strongest, appear to be hurrying him fast into a consumption.

You know perfectly the unaffectedly pious and excellent disposition of this youth:--you know perfectly how admirably suited to, and how fully qualified to undertake the duties of an S. P. G. Catechist, to which the Coll. statutes call him:--and yet I hear that instead of favouring his domiciliation with one of the S. P. G. Missionaries, as it was your bounden duty as a Christian Minister and a Church official to do, you have thwarted and prevented his being thus domiciled under various pretences: One--the falsity of which you well know being, that my character as sole administrator of this Institution during the Principal's absence is unknown to you.

Be informed, therefore, that I became so at the moment of his departure by Act of the College Council, under the Statutes; and that I am formally so recognised and authorised by the Venerable S. P. G. as communicated by their Secretary January 15th, 1829:--and that your friend Mr. Corrie declining the duty, has left me, also sole Attorney of the S. P. G. in India. In both which capacities I request [50/51] and require of you as a Clergyman and as the Existing Chief Ecclesiastical authority at Madras to facilitate the domiciliation of Catechist Godfrey in such manner as may render his services the most useful to the S. P. G. Missions in Southern India.

From the moment of his first personal application to you he was "de jure" an S. P. G. Catechist and entitled to his allowance of 100 Sicca Rupees per mensem: that he has not been so "de facto" as well as the paying of that allowance during the months you have obstructed the performance of his duties, form a responsibility that belongs to you.

I heard that another of your pretences was that you required other Certificates or documents than the minute on behalf of the College Council. To this I replied:

"If Mr. Robinson do not intend to obstruct and thwart the known orders of the Society, he will consider that minute as ample credentials for you; and if he do desire to interpose vexatious and unnecessary delay, no documents that I could send would satisfy him." Further, "and if thro' any pretences on the part of Mr. Robinson the Society's missions are deprived of your services, on him will rest the responsibility; and the Lord Bishop shall be apprized thereof immediately upon his arrival."

A third pretence, I hear, is that of your insisting upon an examination of Catechist Godfrey, although fully qualified: yet since the College statutes do not prescribe this, I shall desire him not to submit to it. His being a favorite pupil of the learned and excellent Dr. Mill (to which circ*mstances he probably owes your ill offices) might be sufficient for you.

The health of Catechist Godfrey may (it is to be hoped) yet be restored, and his life saved by a cessation of your vexatious usage, and by a more worthy treatment from you and your dependents.

But if the former course be persevered in, and the consequence be, as it is but too probable, that consumption and death to the unfortunate young man ensue, upon your head be that fatal result.

Yours Obediently,
October 26th, 1829.
Ag. Principal of Bishop's College.

The M. D. C. also felt that it was inexpedient that the salaries of Mission Agents in the Archdeaconry [51/52] of Madras should be paid from Calcutta, as it tended to produce insubordination. In fact there were various practical considerations which induced them to regard the connection with Bishop's College with growing disfavour; and the high-handed proceedings of the latter body served to considerably increase the inconveniences of the situation.

Fortunately however the representations made at this time by the M. D. C. led to a reconsideration of the relations of Bishop's College to the Madras Missions and a better understanding for the future.

The progress made by the Vepery Mission from the beginning of the period when it came under the management of the S. P. G. was most remarkable, and can be most readily gauged by a comparison of the Mission statistics for the years 1826 and 1836. The Mission staff was however most inadequate. The venerable Rottler was not at this time, on account of his age, capable of great effort; and it soon became necessary to sever the connection of his colleague, Sperschneider, with the Society. The Committee succeeded in 1828 in obtaining the services of the Rev. Peter Wessing, a Dane, from Bishop's College; but unfortunately Wessing declined to accept the Bishop's license, so that he could not perform Clerical duties, and the M. D. C. found it expedient to remove him to Vellore, where he seems to have been able to overcome his scruples; for he there officiated as Government Chaplain in addition to his Missionary duties. Meanwhile the services of a Lutheran minister named Irion were secured for the Vepery Mission. In 1829 the Rev. John Heavyside, who had the honor of being the first English Missionary employed by the Society in India, was added to the Vepery staff; but he resigned in 1831 on account of ill health.

[53] At this time the need of a local Seminary for the training of Mission Catechists was being sorely felt, and endeavours were being made to remedy the defect. At first it was thought that Schwartz's house rebuilt regardless of cost at Tanjore, might serve as a home for the Seminarists; but eventually it was decided that Vepery was a more convenient locality. While arrangements were as yet incomplete, a few Seminarists were supported in the C. M. S. Seminary at Perambore. But in 1830, an institution known as 'Bishop Heber's Seminary' with Library, Lecture Room and accommodation for 8 Seminarists was opened at Vepery, the S. P. C. K. cordially co-operating in its establishment.

The policy of the M. D. C. in the matter of Education was a very forward one. In the year 1829 a circle of schools in 11 different localities in the vicinity of Vepery was formed. These Schools were moreover attended by 409 boys and 282 girls. The localities named in the M. D. C. records are:--Lang's Garden, Sembuncherry, Ottencherry, Periamettoo, Nariankadoo, Chintadripetta, Vepery-Cherry, Pachycherry, Pursavakum, Carigattoo Covil, and Royapuram.

New buildings were also erected for the Vepery School, with accommodation for European boys and girls upstairs, and for Native boys and girls below, four schools in all.

In December 1833 the Bishop of Calcutta visited Madras, and made strenuous efforts to understand and combat the caste difficulty ever present in Southern India, which he describes as 'the nucleus of the whole system of idolatry' and as 'eating, as doth a cancer into the vitals of our infant Churches.' He prevailed on a number of the Christians to come [53/54] to the Holy Table without distinction of caste, though he admits that except in Vepery and Cuddalore only a small proportion of the caste Christians attended.

The description of caste as observed at this epoch in the Christian Congregations of South India as depicted in Bishop Wilson's own words is sufficiently appalling:

"Heathen marks were retained on the countenance; heathen processions and ceremonies were observed at marriages and funerals; the degradation of the mass of the congregations was as debasing as before their Christian profession,--exclusion from the same division of the Church,--approach to the table of the Lord forbidden in common,--reception for religious teaching into the houses of those of superior caste denied,--the sponsors, except of equal caste declined,--separate spots and divisions in the burial ground imposed,--in short, the impassable barrier of Brahminical caste erected again, which condemns the one class of mankind to perpetual debasem*nt, and elevates the other to a disproportionate pride,--and by which all the intercommunity of the body of Christ is violated and destroyed."

The Bishop at this time posted the Rev. C. Calthrop at Vepery, and conferred Holy Orders on Irion who was to proceed to Nazareth shortly, as he had by the faithful discharge of his duty, especially in the repression of caste, caused great irritation to his 'rebellious' flock at Vepery. The Bishop preached some fifty sermons in the Archdeaconry of Madras, and received several collections for the S. P. G. including one of Rs. 450 at Vepery, and, one of Rs. 900 at S. George's Church. Bishop Wilson in the account he forwarded to the Society of this visit remarks:--

"I think I have gone through all the matters of business. I never had so much delight in any work in my life as in this Missionary Visitation, so far as the object was concerned. The difficulties, the embarrassments, the distrust of myself, occasioned, indeed, other feelings of the most painful nature [54/55] but, upon the whole, a sense of the vast importance of my going down as I did,--the joy at leaving ten missionaries, or rather preparing for them, where only one or two were found a year or two since,--the delight that Tinnevelly had not been relinquished by the Society,--the sacred pleasure of tracing the steps were Bishop Middleton had been before me, and where Bishop Heber fell,--the reflection that I was on the spot where the great Missionary for fifty years had laboured, (I have brought to Calcutta one of his chairs and his Greek Testament,) and built his Churches and mission-houses,--the relief unexpectedly poured in by the letters of the Most Reverend the Archbishop,--the cordial reception I experienced from the Missionaries, and all the gentlemen of the several districts,--the measure of incipient success I witnessed in the settlement of the Caste question, and the prospect of a revived Christianity throughout the south, as new Missionaries should come out,--outweighed all depressing topics, and filled me, I trust, with gratitude to the Author of all good."

This was the last occasion on which the Vepery Mission was visited by a Bishop of Calcutta as its Diocesan. Even while Bishop Wilson was in Madras, Archdeacon Corrie was in England, whither he had gone to receive consecration to the newly created See of Madras.

When the Bishop of Madras arrived a few changes were effected in the Mission Staff. Calthrop was sent to Tanjore, and Thompson from Tanjore succeeded him in the charge of the Vepery Seminary, while Caemmerer was ordained and appointed to the Vepery Mission. In 1836 the veteran Missionary Rottler died. Speaking of this aged servant of God in the sermon preached at his funeral Calthrop says:--

"He had far exceeded the limits of life usually allotted to Missionaries here. He had attained the age of eighty-six years and seven months. About sixty years, he has sustained the high character of a devoted and holy Missionary in India. In this period, what burden and heat must he have [55/56] often borne--what weariness and faintness must he have experienced--how many seasons of sickness and afflictions must he have endured,--with how much pestilence walking in darkness and disease wasting by noonday must he have come in contact--how many harassing Missionary trials must he have gone through! In reference to all his early companions and fellow-labourers, Swartz, and Gericke, and Kohlhoff, and other bright and burning Missionary-lights how often must he have inwardly sighed, 'I am left alone!"

Up to the commencement of his last few days' sickness, he was engaged in his Master's work. For some time indeed, he had not been able to preach or take any public service in our Church; but he could pray for us, and he did pray for us. By his experience, his paternal advice, his mild and affectionate counsel, his holy and lively example, he could strengthen the hands, and encourage and comfort the hearts of us, his young and inexperienced brethren in the Mission; and by these he did strengthen our hands and comfort our hearts. Like the aged John, he could show us by his conversation in life, (an important lesson at all times, but especially in our own) how to 'love one another'--how we ought to walk with all the simplicity, and affection of little children. He could weep, I have seen him weep, over the low and wretched condition of many of our native Christians, and long for them to be raised to the standard of pure and primitive Christianity. Last Monday evening, according to his usual custom, he was present at my house to hear the weekly report of our Catechists, and appeared remarkably cheerful and well. And on the Tuesday, the day immediately preceding that on which he was seized with paralysis, he was employed in the work in which he has long been engaged, his Tamil and English Dictionary."

Here we may well pause, and think with gratitude of what the Church in South India owes to these old Vepery Missionaries. Some of them died young: but of the others we may say that their lives were full of troubles and clouds gathered thickly round them at the close of their eventful pilgrimages. Schultz was compelled to leave the country before he died. Fabricius died broken-hearted at his [56/57] post. Rottler died in extreme old age, after long years of trial during which he was too feeble to take any active part in Missionary work. But to Schultz and Fabricius the Tamil Church owes its Bible, to Fabricius its Hymns, and to Rottler its Prayer Book.

All these men were Lutherans, and though their errors were manifold, we cannot but honor and revere them, and reflect with shame that for more than a century no Englishman was found "who was not above a work of this nature"--the work of an apostle and ambassador of the King of kings and Lord of lords.


IN 1836 when Thompson assisted by C. S. Kohlhoff was in charge of the Vepery Mission Seminary, and Caemmerer assisted by Hickey as Catechist, in charge of the congregational and missionary work, the needs of S. Thome, where there were a number of nominal Christians of the English Church, were attracting attention, and measures were in progress for building a church there. Bishop Turner had several years ere this purchased a site for this purpose. [* "The Secretary then read an interesting letter from the Bishop of Madras. Amongst other things, he stated that Bishop Turner has supplied money to purchase a piece of ground at S. Thome, on which it was his intention that a place of worship should be built amongst a population greatly needing the same. The building however has never been erected, and the ground still lies waste. The Romanists in the vicinity are numerous and active. The Bishop solicited from the Society a grant of £200 towards erecting the place of worship on this piece of ground. By means of subscriptions chiefly raised by the exertions of the Bishop's daughter, and some of her female friends, a catechist has been engaged, whose business would be to seek out and collect together the Christians scattered around this place, and read the scriptures amongst them. £200 was accordingly granted for the above object." (Extract from Proceedings of S. P. C. K. of November 1836 as given in the Record Newspaper).--SouthIndian Christian Repository 1837, p. 220.] But the operations in Madras were sadly interrupted by the .death of the first Bishop of Madras, Bishop Daniel Corrie, who was seized with sudden sickness on taking the chair at the M. D. C. [58/59] Meeting on January 31st 1837, and died on the following Sunday. In 1838 however the project of the erection of a Church for both the European and native congregations at San Thome was again taken up and various subscriptions in addition to £200 voted by the S.P.C.K. and Rs. 2,000 given by the Bishop of Calcutta were received for this object. The Rev. W. Taylor originally of the L. M. S. was now placed in charge of San. Thome with the additional care of S. Thomas' Mount where the congregation averaged 50. In the same year the Church Missionary Society transferred to the S.P.G. their out stations of Poonamallee and Trippasore, and European Missionaries were sent to Pulicat and Vellore. Yet none of these out stations seem to have been very efficiently worked, and little or no progress was made in them during the following years. The new Bishop of Madras, Bishop Spencer, arrived in November 1838, and was soon impressed with the urgent need for more workers in the mission field. After Caemmerer had been transferred to Tinnevelly, Taylor was left single handed to manage the affairs of the Vepery Mission, so that the Bishop remarks; 'at Vepery, our zealous and able missionary is literally sinking under the weight of his charge.'

In 1838 a European in the person of the Rev. G. Trevor, the Government Chaplain, took charge of the Mission at Bangalore. Owing to Trevor's exertions a sum of money was collected for building a Church there, of which the foundation stone was laid by the Bishop in August 1839. The cost of this Church was Rs. 1,250 and it was consecrated in March 1840, with the name of 'the Mission Church of St. Paul.' It is particularly stated in the act of consecration that the Church is dedicated for Divine [59/60] Service in the native languages only. There were at this time 132 Christian families attached to the Bangalore Mission.

In February 1842 'the beautiful Church in Vepery, now the Church of St. Matthias' was consecrated by Bishop Spencer. He was assisted on the occasion by fourteen Clergymen.

During the decade which terminated in 1847 with the infusion of new vigour through the instrumentality of the Rev. A. R. Symonds, the annals of the Vepery Mission offer little, at least of an agreeable character, that calls for notice. The chief interest at this period centres round the Vepery Grammar School, and the Mission Seminary; the importance of which latter demands a separate chapter for its history. The Grammar School had for its Head Masters the Rev. Edward Whitehead appointed in 1838, [* Concerning Whitehead's appointment I find the following Statement in the South Indian Christian Repository, 1838, p. 687. VEPERY GRAMMAR SCHOOL. This Institution, to which there are already many Scholarships attached, has been endowed by a donation of more than a lack of rupees from a friend in England. A head master is expected from England by the Duke of Argyle, the Rev. Mr. Whitehead, formerly fellow of Wadham College, Oxford. As that appointment was previous to the endowment, we trust that we may before long expect a second master, for it is impossible in the circ*mstances of this country that any institution can be efficient which depends upon the health and strength of one individual. We trust also that it will be possible to consolidate some of the Scholarships belonging to the Institution, in order that they may be better worth competition than they are at present.] to whom succeeded the Rev. George Eddison Morris in 1840.

During Morris' eight years tenure of this office which he, after a considerable period of strained relations [60/61] with the M. D. C., resigned in 1848 to accept a Government chaplaincy. Continual efforts were being made by the M. D. C. to obtain greater advantages for the native Christian community from the school. The opportunity of the Head Master's resignation was seized for a considerable curtailment of expenditure on account of the school, and for the abolition of the boarding establishment which had been attached to it. The sentiments of the M. D. C. with regard to the Vepery Grammar School are clearly seen in the following extract from their Proceedings of March 30, 1846:

"The M. D. Committee had hoped that the report would have clearly shown the hopelessness of this school being made under present circ*mstances a self-supporting Establishment."

The M. D. Committee have indeed little expectation that the Income of the School will be materially increased.

The only means by which this could be accomplished appear to be:--

1st, by the increase of pupils or
2nd, by a higher rate of payment by the boarders.

With respect to the latter, though the present rate is only Rs. 24 (or 11 Rs. per mensem less than the rate of Bishop Corrie's Grammar School,) the Rev. the Head Master is decidedly opposed to any increase, considering the number of boarders would thereby be decreased.

The present number of boarders at this reduced rate is only 15 and the boarding Establishment instead of yielding a profit involved last year a loss of Rs. 314-3-3.

The Committee have equal reason to fear, judging from past experience and present appearances that no material increase in the number of pupils in the School can be reasonably expected. On the 31st December there were 63 pupils, including those who do not pay school fees while the number of pupils in Bishop Corrie's Grammar School is more than double.

[62] The M. D. Committee would call the attention of the Standing Committee to the salaries allowed to the Masters of the Vepery Grammar School as being far too high to justify the hope that this establishment can be supported on its present footing, and they cannot but think the commission of forty per cent to the Headmaster on the amount realised as school fees a most unnecessary and unusual expense. [* The average of this payment in 1845 was Rupees 97 p.m.]

Vepery Grammar School
Head Master's Salary . . . . 450 Rs. 0A. 0P.
Head Master's Commission . . . . 90 Rs. 0A. 0P.
House Rent discontinued from 1st March. . . . 70-0-0
2nd Head Master . . . . 350 Rs. 0A. 0P.
Rupees. . . . 890-0-0

Bp. Corrie's Grammar School
Head Master with a house . . . . 375 Rs. 0A. 0P.
2nd Master do. . . . 291 Rs. 0A. 0P.
Rupees . . . . 660-0-0

The Committee regret to be obliged to repeat that the Vepery Grammar School [* The No. of native Christians in the Grammar School by the last return was 5.] which swallows up one-tenth £960 of the Society's grant for Southern India is useless as a Missionary Establishment while the Missions of the Incorporated Society are in some cases reduced to the lowest ebb (there being only 4 Missionaries in Tinnevelly including the Principal of the Sawyerpuram Seminary) and the Madras Missions have not a single school for the education of their native Christians comparable to those of the other Missionary Societies at the Presidency."

A layman named Wright was appointed in place of Morris as Head Master of the Grammar School, and the M. D. C. in 1850 express themselves as much pleased with the improvement of the Grammar School in numbers, general discipline and proficiency of pupils under the new regime.

The Vepery congregation during this rather gloomy period was again being violently convulsed by the conflict of caste. During Taylor's time the [62/63] caste people appear to have been kept more or less under control, but in 1845 Taylor's connection with the Society was dissolved, the Bishop re-calling his license, and the Rev. I. C. Jeremiah, was summoned to the charge of the unruly Vepery flock. Jeremiah proved unequal to the burden, and was soon succeeded by Kohlhoff who had to bear the severance of some 600 Sudras from his congregation. The M. D. C. took up very strong ground in the matter of caste. In December 1845, the Committee declare that they "cannot but deeply feel that the distinction attempted to be drawn between religious and civil caste is utterly futile and inadmissible. The laws of heathen and Mahomedan princes can be no rule for a Christian Church on such a subject, and with regard to the British Government, A. Nulla Moothoo Pillay should be aware that the act of Parliament expressly provides against this heartless, cruel and perpetual degradation of a large proportion of the inhabitants of this country and even of the people of Christ, by declaring that no person shall be disqualified from holding any office on account of his colour, country, or religion, or in short, from any cause but his own ignorance or crime.

The Committee deeply feel that caste under any circ*mstances or modifications cannot be admitted into the Church without the expulsion of the spirit of Christ, and they never can be parties to the degradation and insult which it imposes upon those who, if true Christians, are equally with themselves members of the mystical body of Christ, children of the living God, and Inheritors of the Kingdom of Heaven. At the same time they do not wish for a moment to be understood as desiring to confound those distinctions which in the Providence of God exist, and are recognised in the holy scriptures [63/64] nor do they either require or expect that Catechists or persons in any situation of life, should mix indiscriminately in common intercourse with those who from a variety of circ*mstances are unsuitable companions for them, as from a difference of worldly station, of education, disposition, and moral character; though when occasion arises they deem it indispensable that every office of love should be exhibited by all Christians one toward another, and the refusal of this on the plea of caste, (a distinction unknown in any other part of the world) appears to them utterly opposed to, and incompatible with, a profession of Christianity."

The secession of the disaffected Sudras was reported to the M. D. C. by Kohlhoff in October 1846, and the Committee while expressing their sympathy with the missionary, remark that "they are inclined to regard the separation of the party of Sudras from the Church as likely to prove beneficial to the Mission, though very painful as regards themselves." The seceding party carried off with them the mission bier, but the M. D. C. advised Kohlhoff that he need take no measures for its recovery, "as not being in their opinion worth raising a question upon."

In 1844 a controversy as to the respective rights of the native and English congregations in the Vepery Church, which had been agitating Vepery for some years past, entered upon an acute phase.

This precipitation of a crisis was caused by the peculiar attitude adopted by a Government Chaplain who was at the time ministering to the needs of the English congregation [* For some further details as to this dispute, Vide Article by Rev. J. T. Lawrence in Madras Diocesan Record, July 1890, p 99.] which met in S. Matthias' [64/65] Church, and which had been in former years served by the Society's missionaries. This Chaplain not only declined to make any collections for the S. P. G. in their own Church, [*] but apparently encouraged his flock to claim the Church as their own property.

[* The following extract from M.D.C. proceedings which furnishes a copy of the Bishop's circular letter to all the Government Chaplain's and the Vepery Chaplain's reply thereto illustrates the latter's unbecoming conduct:


From the deep interest which all His ministers must feel in the progress of the Gospel of Christ, in this heathen land, I hesitate not to commend to your affectionate consideration the present pecuniary difficulties of one of the missionary Societies in connection with the Church of England which have laboured so devotedly for its dissemination in Southern India.

Permit me then to request you to use your best endeavours among those members of your congregation on whom God has bestowed the means, and all have the means, and may the Holy Spirit grant them the inclination, gladly to give something for His service, to Whose bounty they owe every blessing they enjoy--on behalf of the funds of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, in this Diocese, either by preaching a sermon, or by the adoption of such other measures as may seem to you most likely to attain the end proposed. In proof of what has been done here through this Society's instrumentality, under the Divine blessing, and as a faithful handmaid of the Church, and as an earnest of what may be done or I should rather say confidently, what must be done by it (for the Lord our God is with us) in winning souls to Christ. I would especially refer you and your congregation to the present state, and daily enlarging prospects of the Christian cause in the Society's Missions in Tinnevelly.

Any contributions which you will have the kindness to collect for this object may be remitted, through me to the Reverend the Secretary M. D. C. S. P. G. F. P. by whom they will be thankfully acknowledged.

Believe me, Revd and Dear Sir,
Your faithful and affectionate Brother,

[66] [* Deeply to the regret of the Select Committee, the following reply was received from the Reverend Chaplain of Vepery, who is indebted to the Society which he thus repudiates, for the Church, in which he ministers to his people.

&c, &c., &c.

My Lord,

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your Lordship's Circular letter dated August 1844, in which you request that I will use my best endeavours among the members of my congregation in behalf of the funds of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts in this diocese, either by preaching a sermon, or by the adoption of such other measures, as may seem to be most likely to attain the end proposed.

Whilst it is my earnest desire, frequently to impress upon the minds of those committed to my charge, the duty of aiding in the progress of the Gospel of Christ in this heathen land, and of reminding them that all have the means of ministering to this cause, if they have but the willing mind, I deeply regret that I am prevented from complying with your Lordship's request, as I am unable to solicit contributions to the funds of that Society from the members of my congregation.]

To this extravagant claim the M. D. C. replied:--

"What the claims of the community at Vepery to the Church can be the Select Committee are wholly at a loss to discover. They search in vain for the slightest trace of their having the shadow even of a right to it in any shape or in any way, whether by contributions towards the erection of the edifice, or by any grant or assignment to them by any parties whatsoever of the building or the ground upon which it stands. The utmost that can be urged upon their behalf is that they have been in the habit of attending it; a very gratifying circ*mstance to the Select Committee but which they cannot recognise as conveying to them a title to the edifice."

[67] The claim of Government however to the possession of the Church was now urged with a greater show of reason. But the Society did not experience any considerable difficulty in disposing of this contention. The Committee very properly pointed out that the fact that the H. E. I. Company had generously contributed to a Church built by the S. P. C. K. on ground belonging to that Society, did not constitute the contributors owners of the property. The Government had moreover in 1836 proposed that the Church should be transferred to them, which proposal the Society had declined; but it would hardly have been made, had the Government believed the Church to be their own already. Further the Church which through some misunderstanding had been placed on the list of public buildings in 1843, was on the Society's representation removed from that list in 1844.

The members of the English congregation in Vepery perceiving that the Society had every intention of upholding their rights, hereupon endeavoured to force their unreasonable claims by paying in subscriptions to a private individual who was a member of a Madras firm who were at the time the Society's treasurers. Having so paid their subscriptions they attended the General Quarterly meeting as members with a view to out-voting their opponents. Undismayed by this manoeuvre the existing members of the Society declined to recognise the membership of those who had become subscribers under such unusual circ*mstances, and after penning a vigorous protest, to which, amongst others, the Bishop of Madras himself subscribed, they referred the matter in dispute to the decision of the Archbishop of Canterbury, President of the Society, and the London Committee of the S. P. G. [67/68] This unfortunate dispute was finally settled in 1852 by the Government consenting to purchase the Church from the Society, and to present a site for a new Church to be erected for the sole use of the native congregation. The sale was effected in 1855 for the sum of Rs. 34,313-3-6. [* For further particulars as to this sale, see Appendix.]

The year 1852, being the third Jubilee year of the Society's operations, great efforts were made in all parts of the world to worthily commemorate the joyful occasion. "With regard to Madras itself," writes the Rev. A. R. Symonds, "the celebration has been such as to fill our hearts with gratitude to that God who has moved the hearts of so many towards us. On Sunday the 4th instant two sermons were preached in every Church, and Collections made, with only one exception. In the Church Mission Chapel itself the Jubilee was so observed. The Bishop preached for the Society, in the morning at the Cathedral, and in the evening at the Fort. On Tuesday evening, following the Epiphany, a public meeting was held in the Banqueting-room, which the Governor, Sir H. Pottinger, kindly lent for the occasion, and lighted up at his own expense. The room is a noble and spacious one, and holds a thousand people. It was completely full. The raised floor at one end of it served as a platform for the speakers, and for the accommodation of the more distinguished visitors. The Governor and his staff attended, and, indeed, all Madras nearly, high and low, may have been said to be present. The general effect was very striking; and, as I looked upon the whole, and saw such a vast assemblage of high and low, rich and poor, met together for such a purpose, I felt that [68/69] years of past anxiety and effort were only too richly rewarded, while the 'Non nobis Domine' of the Psalmist rose to my lips.

The Resolutions moved on the occasion were heartily and unanimously carried. The Bishop, of course, was in the chair, and gave an animated address, referring to his late Visitation of the Missions.

The speakers were--the Hon. J. F. Thomas, Member of Council, Rev. Dr. Powell, Sir W. W. Burton, the Rev. R. K. Hamilton, the Rev. John Richards, and myself. The whole affair went off with great spirit. About a thousand rupees were collected at the doors after the meeting, which, considering that two collections had been made at the several Churches on the previous Sunday, was very good. All are unanimous in declaring that such a demonstration in favour of the Missionary cause has never been witnessed in India; and we have, indeed, great cause to be thankful not merely on account of the Society, but for the cause, sake."


THE foundation stone of the new church for the Vepery native congregation was laid on the 9th of February 1855 by Lord Harris, Governor of Madras, in the presence of a large and representative gathering.

The following inscription was deposited in the foundation stone of S. Paul's Church:

The first stone of this Church
Hereafter to be designated
St. Paul's Church
and to be dedicated to the worship of Almighty God,
according to the Doctrine and Discipline of the United
Church of England and Ireland,
for the use of the Vepery Mission of the Incorporated Society
for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts,
was laid in the presence of several of the Gentry, Clergy,
and other native Christians and European inhabitants,
of Madras, on Friday the 9th day of February A.D. 1855,
by the Right Honorable Lord Harris, Governor of Madras.
In the Eighteenth year of the Reign of Her Gracious Majesty
Queen Victoria.
The Most Noble James Andrew, Marquis of Dalhousie, K. T.
being Governor-General,
The Right Honorable George Francis Robert Lord Harris,
Governor of Madras,
The Right Rev. Daniel Wilson, D. D., Metropolitan of India,
The Right Rev. Thomas Dealtry, D. D., Lord Bishop of
The Venerable Vincent Shortland, B. D., Archdeacon of
Officiating Minister, assisted by,
The Rev. A R. Symonds. M.A., Secretary, M.D.C.S.P.G.
The Rev. J. Guest, Missionary of Vepery.

[71] The site of the new Church was the property formerly known as Hunter's House, Vepery, and was purchased by the Society for Rs. 8,500. The Church was built by John Law, who contracted to build the same for Rs. 22,457-7-3.

The progress of the building was retarded by a great storm in 1856, which threw down part of the incompleted tower, but the handsome Gothic edifice known as S. Paul's Church was finished by the middle of the year 1858, and consecrated by Bishop Dealtry, on November 18th. The Bishop himself preached on the occasion, taking for his text: 'Lord, I have loved the habitation of Thy house, and the place where Thine honor dwelleth' (Ps. xxvi. 8). At the close of the ceremony a presentation was made by the congregation to the Rev. J. Guest, the missionary in charge of Vepery. The Bishop on behalf of the members of the congregation then placed in Guest's hands an elegantly bound Bible suitably inscribed.

The following inscription was placed on the Bible presented to Guest:

To the Rev. John Guest
by the members of the
Vepery Mission Congregation
as a token of their gratitude
for the new Church,
and as a mark of the regard
and affection they entertain for him
as their beloved Pastor
18th November, 1858.

An interesting feature in connection with the Vepery Mission was the establishment of the Mission Auxiliary Association which originated in 1846. [71/72] The objects of the Association as stated at a later date were 'the relief of the indigent members of the congregation: the defraying incidental expenses connected with the Church, and the maintenance of scripture readers.' All the native contributions were for many years devoted to this fund. By the year 1862, the Association had collected a capital sum of Rs. 1500 [* In the Report for 1857 this sum is called 'The Deacon's Fund.'] and the annual income amounted to about Rs. 700. The original aim of the Association was to encourage self-support and to quicken missionary zeal among the members of the congregation. At the present time the work of the association survives in the Lectures and discussions for educated Hindus which are held from time to time in the Vepery School.

The M. D. C. closed the year 1856 with a debt of Rs. 53,871-6-2, which was naturally a source of great embarrassment to them. This financial distress was partly relieved by a loan of £2,000 repayable in five years, from the Standing Committee, who at the same time increased their annual grant to the Diocese. [* In 1855 the Committee's financial distress led them to sell to the 'American Dutch Reformed Protestant Church' for Rs. 2,500 the mission buildings at Vellore and Chittoor. Subsequently they sold the Church at Chittoor to Government for Rs. 1,142. This action in later times led to much comment and it was even contended by some that the Society had sold the souls of Church people to the Protestant Dissenters. This was not strictly speaking the case: but the whole incident throughout its history is most melancholy, and it will ever remain a matter for regret that one of the oldest branches of the Vepery Mission was surrendered under such remarkable circ*mstances. The S. P. G. did not altogether withdraw from Vellore until 1885. See S. P. G. Digest pp. 526-7 and the last Report of S. P. G. Vellore Mission in M. D. C. Quarterly Report No. 8/2 of 1885.]

[73] But the Vepery Mission being close at the Committee's doors its possessions are ever liable to be treated as common property; so at this crisis the committee formed the plan of selling S. Thome Church, which they offered H. E. I. C. at a price of Rs. 20,068, hoping thereby to 'have the great satisfaction of clearing off a large portion of the Society's debt without in the least impairing the efficiency of the San Thome Mission.' The local Government entered heartily into the scheme, being minded to make S. Thome into a Chaplain's station. However for the present, as the Supreme Government hesitated to sanction the purchase, the local Government rented the Church from the M. D. C. for Rs. 100 per. men. In 1863, the Government made a definite offer to purchase the Church and Mission premises at S. Thome for the price already named by the M. D. C. This offer the M. D. C., being now relieved of the burden of their debt, declined.

[* The Committee's refusal of this offer is thus worded: "The Committee observe that by the letter addressed by their Secretary to the Government under date the 1st November 1859, the Committee expressly stated "that as the Supreme Government has not availed itself of the opportunity to purchase upon the valuation named, the society holds itself released from the offer of sale."

They further observe that the proposals which have been recently submitted to the Government regarding the purchase of the property were not made in communication with the Committee.

"The Committee have now taken the order of Government under date the 20th instant into consideration, and looking at the circ*mstances under which the Church was erected, and considering that the financial difficulties of the Society under which the Committee originally offered to sell the property, have been removed, they resolve to inform His Excellency the Governor in Council that they are not disposed to sell it."

M. D. C. Proceedings of May 26, 1863. Res. I.]

[74] But through the kind offices of the Bishop, they obtained from Government a monthly grant of Rs. 100 for ministerial services to the English Congregation at San Thome.

In the report for 1856 it is stated that:--"An Endowment Fund for a Native Clergyman has been commenced, and there is but little doubt from the oft tried liberality of the English part of the congregation, that the small sum of Rs. 8,000 the interest of which will we calculate produce at least Rupees 30 per mensem, will soon and easily be raised, especially since several of our friends in England have promised assistance also."

This hope however was not realised, and though during Symonds' Incumbency, S. Thome Church became the fashionable Church of Madras, being attended by the Governor and elite of Madras Society, and contributed liberally to S. P. G. Funds, there was no Endowment Fund for the San Thome Mission until quite recently when a start was made with Rs. 3,000.

While Symonds was on furlough in 1857 the Rev. Thomas Brotherton was in charge of the Mission Seminary and the S. Thome Mission, and this zealous missionary made a brief tour through the district lying between S. Thome and Sadras with a view to the extension of the Mission in that direction. He reports of this tour:--"I found a country thickly studded with villages, thirty-eight miles by twenty, without a single Mission Station, and apparently unvisited by any Protestant Missionary. Were the Missionary at S. Thome relieved from English and scholastic duties, this would be a convenient district for him to itinerate and preach the Gospel in, and if it be God's will, to form new congregations. No increased expenditure will be required beyond that [74/75] of a catechist to assist the Missionary, and the usual allowance for travelling expenses. The experience of twenty years in Mission work has convinced me that no Mission, if it sit down content with what it has, can possibly prosper. It will not even keep what it has, but will decline; while the Mission that incessantly strives to lengthen its cords and strengthen its stakes will have a most abundant blessing poured out upon it."

Still, sad to say, the San Thome Mission has never advanced in that direction, and even the S. Thomas' Mount, Pallavaram, and Poonamallee missions have now been surrendered. A private school under the management of the Pastor of San Thome is the only work south of the river Adyar now in any way connected with the mission.

In 1860 St. John's Church, Egmore, came into the Society's possession. This Church, which had been built in 1842 by private subscription, was intended as a Chapel of Ease for the native congregation attending S. Matthias, Vepery. For sixteen years this Church, being private property, remained in the charge of the Rev. C. Arulappan, and on his death in 1858 passed into the hands of his son. For two years the son, who was a layman, with the Bishop's License conducted service in the Church; but he expressed his willingness to surrender the buildings to any suitable successor. The claims of the S. P. G. to succeed to this work were strong, and found acceptance; and consequently on payment to Arulappan of Rs. 1,200, [* This sum was intended as compensation for money expended by the Arulappans, father and son, upon the property.] the Mission took possession of S. John's Church on June 29th 1860. The new Church being situated in the Vepery district had no [75/76] particular district of its own, and the mission work in S. Thomas' Mount and Pallavaram, as well as a new venture at the Red Hills which was soon abandoned, became part of the charge of the S. John's Pastor. Bishop Dealtry assigned to the S. John's Mission as an endowment fund Rs. 12,000 out of a sum placed at his disposal from a bequest by Mr. Mackenzie of Bengal. This endowment was conferred before the Church became connected with S. P. G.; but was transferred to the Society at the same time.

With S. John's is connected a special missionary attempt to reach the educated classes. On the suggestions of Caldwell and Symonds that some effort should be made to directly influence the English-speaking natives, the Society enlisted the services of the Rev. W. A. Plumptre, M. A., (University College, Oxon.), and sent him to Madras to commence operations in 1858. Plumptre suffered at first from ill-health, but in 1860 was able to settle down to work at S. John's. The following account of his work is contained in a Report dated January 1861:--

"For three months before I took charge of the district of S. John's, Poodoopett, Mr. Probationer Solomon had been placed in it by the Madras Diocesan Committee to take care of the congregation in my absence, and afterwards to act as my catechist. He had succeeded in gathering a portion of the old congregation around him, and had commenced a boys' school in the Church compound. My first step on arriving was to arrange with the neighbouring clergy to leave me a certain area, about a mile square, containing four villages, to be my district or parish; an arrangement which can be fully appreciated by any clergyman who has known the satisfactory [76/77] feeling of local boundaries, and that he was not responsible for anything beyond them. I then proceeded to add an Evening Service in English to the two other services in Tamil, morning and afternoon, at S. John's Church. The evening service is usually attended by about thirty Christians, most of them native, but it is specially meant for the young Hindoos (I mean heathen), that the sight of our public worship, and the spirit of the prayers and the sermon may combine with other causes in winning some over; only one, however, has been as yet. There is a school for boys in the Church compound, which I hope in another year will be a good one; I have sent a master for six months' training in the Government Normal School, before he takes charge of the school at S. John's. There will shortly, I hope, be also a school for girls in the compound; for the daughters, for instance, of horsekeepers, cooks, maties, and other of the lower orders, whether Christian or heathen. Mrs. Plumptre has a school in our own house for the children of the Hindoo ladies, though those at present in it are all Christian. There is a system on foot, also, in my district, of Scripture-reading to household servants which I hope to make self-supporting. Opportunities are afforded thus also for preaching to the horsekeepers at the Mounted Police Depot, and also to passers-by, by the roadside. It happens that the Government High School, or Presidency College, is just opposite S. John's; I have taken advantage of the situation to give two Divinity Lectures a week during term time to such students as would come, an hour before the College opens, to S. John's Church, where we commence with the Litany, the days being Wednesday and Friday. The response to the invitation, of the Christian young men, East [77/78] Indian and native, was very warm and gratifying, and the attendance has been, on the whole, very regular. The Government Normal School is not far off, in Vepery, [* The Government Normal School was at this time located in the S. P. G. Vepery School building.] and consists of two departments; that for the training of masters, and that for the training of lads. Some boys in the latter department asked me to give them a Bible lesson, as I gave the students at the Presidency College, and I go down to the English Church near the school, and give a lesson every Tuesday and Thursday, at 9 o'clock. The great point gained by these classes is, that what the state prohibits in school, viz. religious instruction, is now, to a certain extent, supplied by the Church out of school, and the classes being open to Hindoos as well, a few have availed themselves of them.

"At Peralore, things are progressing but slowly. We have started a school for native boys, close to the railway; a school which we hope to make very efficient. It is conducted by a very superior native Christian master, who does his work as well when left alone as when looked after. I would mention one circ*mstance connected with Peralore with much satisfaction. There is preaching in the streets of the villages every Saturday, conducted by volunteers from the district of S. John's, in Madras. They usually go four in number, the leader being a zealous and ardent man. Mr. Solomon also accompanies them. Properly ordained Missionaries are so comparatively few in number in this country, that we want all the help we can get. Every native Christian should be, like Aquila of old, a preacher of the Gospel to his heathen countrymen, and this [78/79] is what I shall ever keep in view of my native congregation." Towards the close of the year 1861 Plumptre was compelled by sickness to abandon work in India, and with his departure the special mission to the educated classes expired. The learned Kennet however who was in charge of S. John's for about sixteen years until his death in 1884, held a special class for educated Hindus. 'Mr. Probationer Solomon' was ordained in 1862, and became Plumptre's successor; but under his charge the mission became purely Tamil.

In 1852 it was decided to close the Vepery Grammar School, both on account of its costliness, and because it was felt that it was of little or no service to the Mission. Hitherto its chief advantage to the Mission had been that it educated East Indian boys who might afterwards join the Seminary; but at this time there was a feeling that it was no longer expedient to trust so much to East Indian catechists, and an endeavour was rather being made to supply a superior class of native catechists. For some ten years the school premises were let to Government for the accommodation of their Normal School; but in 1862, it was resolved to open a superior Anglo-Vernacular School. This school was inaugurated by the Acting Governor of Madras (Mr. Edward Maltby) on April 11, 1864, and excited much enthusiasm. More than 500 boys immediately sought admission. The Rev. J. Stephenson was the first Head; but on his acceptance of a Government Chaplaincy in 1866, Mr. C. W. Pearce succeeded. In 1888 the Vepery School under the Headmastership of Mr. J. Howard Bullivant, M. A., (Hertford College, Oxon.), attained to the rank of a Second Grade College; but latterly it was reduced, mainly for financial reasons, and now continues its useful work as a High School, [79/80] educating some 300 boys up to the University Matriculation standard.

For a long period, beginning in 1858, the Rev. H. Bower, D. D. was in Madras, and for some time had charge of the Vepery District. Almost contemporaneously the Egmore District was in the care of the Rev. C. E. Kennet, D. D. Both these distinguished members of the East Indian community received the Lambeth degree of D. D. in recognition of their eminent learning. Bower did signal service in the revision of the Tamil Bible and Prayer Book and as a ripe Tamil scholar conferred many benefits upon the Church. The talents of Kennet 'the Indian Pusey' were specially devoted to the work of the Theological College.


THE origins of the Mission Seminary, or, as it is now called, the S. P. G. Theological College, are wrapped in considerable obscurity, but for sixty-six years at least it has been the pride of the Vepery Mission, and the home whence trained catechists and clergy have been sent throughout the whole diocese of Madras. We may not be much mistaken if we trace its inception as a definite undertaking to that infusion of new zeal and energy, which resulted from Bishop Heber's visit to Madras and his untimely death. Such a project must surely have been dear to the good bishop's heart, and it was an appropriate use to make of the balance of the sum raised to erect a monument to Bishop Heber's memory, to devote it to the endowment of the institution which was thence known as Bishop Heber's Seminary. This institution, as has already been mentioned, was provided with a suitable home at Vepery in 1830. The Seminary was at that time intended to train Europeans, East Indians, and natives for the service of the Missions in the diocese. In 1835 the Rev. A. C. Thompson, who was also Secretary to the M. D. C., assisted by the Rev. C. S. Kohlhoff, was in charge of the Seminary, and of their work Bishop Corrie writing in January 1837 remarks:--

"The Seminary at Vepery is a subject of much interest. There are now six students. Two of these were brought up in the School, and four have been admitted into the Institution, between the ages of 19 and 21. Mr. Thompson's report of these, both for diligence and promise of piety, is thus far satisfactory; and I hope they may become, in about two years [81/82] efficient catechists under our Missionaries, as a probation for Missionary service. There are several applications from promising youths for admission."

The Vepery Grammar School it will be noted, was at this time regarded as a feeder to the Seminary. Indeed the connection was so close that Thompson writing in 1838 reports:--

"All the Seminarists have been appointed to employment in the Missions, and the boys in the Grammar School are all under the proper age for the Seminary. During the year 1838, therefore, there will be no Seminarists; the boys preparing for it will be instructed in the Grammar School, and enter the Seminary in January 1839, with a much better foundation, in all respects, it is hoped, than they could have by any other arrangement. Two great advantages will result from this: the whole strength will be thrown into the school for 1838, instead of being divided, and consequently weakened in the present deficiency of the requisite number of Masters expressly and permanently appointed for the Schools; and the boys who enter the Seminary next January will be all equally prepared, instead of being each in a different stage of progress, as formerly."

There are several indications that there was a growing feeling at this period that the interests of the natives were being rather neglected, both in the Grammar School and the Seminary, and that both these institutions were being utilised almost exclusively for the benefit of East Indians. To say nothing of the Grammar School, it is obvious that the difficulty of conducting such a mixed Seminary as was the Vepery Mission Seminary at this date must have been very great, and it can be no matter for surprise that under these circ*mstances a desire [82/83] was expressed in 1839 for 'a plain Seminary for approved natives as distinguished from East Indians and Indo-Britons.' [* Letter from Rev. W. Taylor to Secretary M. D. C., March 27, 1839.] How far this suggestion met with acceptance is uncertain; but the Seminary migrated that year from Vepery to San Thome, and the Rev. C. Calthrop, who was now placed in charge of it, was authorised 'to engage the house at present used for divine worship for the residence of the Seminarists.' Though no longer sharing its home with the Grammar School, the connection between the school and the Seminary was by no means severed. The Rev. F. Spring, Secretary M. D. C., in November 1840, writes:--

"It is gratifying to learn from Mr. Calthrop, the Principal of the Seminary, that the young men from the Grammar School, admitted into that institution, have shown respectable attainments and good conduct. A fair prospect is thus opening to us of a supply of superior catechists, and subsequently of ordained Missionaries, to fill up vacancies, or to occupy the new fields that are calling for labourers." Calthrop's death was deeply felt, and called forth a very interesting letter from Bishop Spencer, which besides bearing testimony to Calthrop's worth describes the qualifications requisite in the Principal of the Seminary. The Bishop says: "Of the Seminary I can speak more certainly, but most sadly. It was flourishing, and full of the promise of still better things; it is, for a season, dead, by the deeply lamented death of its Principal. It has pleased God to take unto Himself the Rev. C. Calthrop, just as the Seminary was beginning to gather in the first fruits of his faithful and valuable labours; and although I will not say that his loss is [83/84] irreparable, for that is an ungrateful word, and ill becoming us, who have received so many blessings and mercies, it will doubtless be very difficult to supply the place of one, of whom I am bound to add, that, although I have had the happiness of knowing very many good clergymen, I have never known a better. Most earnestly, then, would I entreat the Society to seek out forthwith for this office a properly qualified person from one of our Universities. Our Seminary requires to have placed at its head--a faithful Christian, a sound theologian, an adequate scholar, a man of good sense and good temper, a clergyman, and a gentleman. Under such a Principal I am convinced that we may look for much good from the Madras Seminary. Give us, then, a good "Masterbuilder" from England, and I doubt not that in due season we shall have plenty of good journeymen; in plain English, a good Principal, one worthy of succeeding Mr. Calthrop, will aid us most materially in training up good native catechists, to become hereafter good native clergymen. The Society will forgive me for dwelling so long and writing so strongly on the subject of the Madras Seminary. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh; and my heart is devoted to the fulfilment of the Mission of the Church of England to Southern India."

Meanwhile a new scheme, that for the foundation of the Madras Diocesan Institution was inaugurated. This new establishment was intended to afford a general semi-collegiate education for young men, as well as a special training for some as catechists and ministers. With this institution the Bishop Heber foundation became temporarily confounded. The Rev. A. Leighton Irwin arrived at Madras in 1842 to be the first Principal of the Madras Diocesan [84/85] Institution, and was brought on to the Society's list of clergy as such. This new scheme, which appears to have met with little favour, was started by Archdeacon Harper, and only survived for three years, though during its brief existence it involved its originator and others in much unseemly wrangling. Sullivan's Garden was purchased to be the home of the new venture for the sum of Rs. 17,000; [* This purchase money was provided by the following grants: S. P. C. K. Rs. 5,000, S. P. G. Rs. 5,000., S. P. G. (Monkton Fund) Rs 7,000.] but with the collapse of the institution in 1845, the property not without strenuous opposition on the part of the recalcitrant Archdeacon, was transferred to the Society, and utilised for the revived Vepery Mission Seminary which was opened there in June 1848. [* The Archdeacon was a trustee for the Sullivan's Garden property and for some time turning a deaf ear to threats and entreaties declined to execute a legal deed transferring the property to S. P. G. He yielded at length. He was entirely unsupported in his obstinacy, the Bishop of Madras and the M. D. C. being strongly opposed to his extraordinary line of action. When the Archdeacon complained to the M. D. C. of language used by the Secretary in describing his conduct to the Society's Committee in London, the M. D. C. gravely remarked that the Secretary's statements "were calculated to produce an unfavourable, but not a wrongful impression respecting the Vice-President," and that the Secretary had only done his duty in so writing. The Committee further declined to act with the Vice-President.]

During the stormy life of the Diocesan Institution the Seminary also suffered; but new Seminaries for the training of natives were at the same time opened at Sawyerpuram in Tinnevelly, and at Vediarpuram near Tanjore. To the former of these Mr. J. J. Seymer, M.A., the acting head of the Vepery Mission [85/86] Seminary, and to the latter the four remaining native students were transferred in 1846. Of these Seminaries the Society's report for the year 1846, says:--

"Effectual measures have been taken to obtain, for the future, a competent number of well-trained catechists, by the establishment of Seminaries for their instruction at Vediarpuram in Tanjore, and at Sawyerpuram in Tinnevelly. That which has recently been opened at Sawyerpuram promises to be of inestimable benefit to the Church in South India. It is under the general superintendence of the excellent missionary, Mr. Pope, aided by the experience and ability of Professor Seymer, and already numbers eighty pupils."

For three years the Vepery Mission Seminary was in abeyance; but in 1848, under the able guidance of the Rev. A. R. Symonds, it started on a new career of useful service in the home where without a break it has continued to this day. [* Symonds says in a Report of the Vepery Mission Seminary:--"The Seminary under my Charge in its present form was opened on the 1st of June 1848 at Sullivan's Gardens. It is in part a continuation of the Diocesan Institution which had previously existed at Sullivan's Gardens and in part of the Seminary which was connected with the Vepery Mission, prior to the establishment of the Diocesan Institution. This was commenced under the name of the Diocesan Institution in 1842, at Sullivan's Gardens, which had been bought for the purpose, and into this Institution the Vepery Mission Seminary was merged."]

Symonds in his report for 1850, writes:--

"I have now eight young men under training for future employment in the Mission, living with me, sitting at my table, and in all respects forming [86/87] part of my family. I could not undertake to have more than twelve; so that I have now within four of my number, and these vacancies, I think, will before long be filled up. Those now with me afford me much comfort and satisfaction. I believe them every one to be of the right sort, and with God's blessing, likely to prove valuable agents. But the Committee and myself exercise great caution in admitting any applicants.

"It may not be uninteresting to the Parent Society, to know the course of instruction given in the Seminary. Besides a course of private reading, which I lay out at the commencement of each half year, and in which I examine them, I give them about three hours lectures each day, except Saturday, on which day they are engaged in writing essays or sermons. My lectures at present embrace the Septuagint, Greswell's Harmony, the Epistle to the Colossians in Greek, Butler's Analogy, Pearson on the Creed, Marsh's Lectures on the Criticism and Interpretation of the Bible, Heenen's Manual of Ancient History, Tacitus, Latin Composition, Logic and Rhetoric."

In Symonds' time the Seminary not only imparted a systematic Theological training but also prepared students for the Madras University Examinations.

The success of the students in these secular examinations was very marked and the Principal largely attributed it to the intelligent tuition of his assistant Areevanandam. [* In one of his Reports Symonds remarks: "Twenty-five" students have passed the Matriculation Examination, seven in the First class, and six have passed the First Arts Examination, five in the First class. One student, has "recently passed the B. A. Examination."]

[88] In the report for 1878 it is remarked that 132 students had passed through the Seminary since it was re-opened in 1848, of whom thirty-two had been ordained. Symonds retired in 1874, and the Rev. J. M. Strachan, M.D. was appointed to succeed him in the following year, the college still remaining for a time affiliated to the University.

In the duties of the college, Strachan, who, as well as his predecessor Symonds, was also Secretary to the M. D. C., was assisted by the Rev. C. E. Kennet, who was subsequently appointed Principal in 1878. In Kennet's time the connection with the University was advisedly brought to an end, and undivided attention bestowed on imparting a thorough theological training. With this end in view Kennet obtained permission to present candidates for the Theological examination then popularly known as the Cambridge Preliminary, and the studies of the College were so arranged as to conform to the requirements of that examination, which as Kennet remarks, 'has been in itself a great advantage, independently of any results of examinations, as furnishing a solitary teacher out here with a choice of subjects made by the most experienced teachers of Divinity in England.' The first candidate for the Examination was presented in 1878 and passed in the Second Class. In 1883 the Principal was cheered, by the following words from Professor Westcott, the Chairman of the Board; in connection with the candidates presented by him in the previous year: "All have done intelligently and well, and their work shows careful and successful teaching. The papers of Pakkyanadan are excellent, and he comes among the first few in the whole examination of 123 men, and wins a First class, easily. The other men come very near to the minimum for a First [88/89] Class, and so stand at the head of the Second Class. We have now three classes."

The same examination has continued up to the present time to present the requisite standard of Theological attainments to the college. Since 1878, sixty-three of the college students have passed the Preliminary Examination of Candidates for Holy Orders, of whom, twenty-one have been placed in the First Class, twenty-nine in the Second Class, and thirteen in the Third Class. No less than seven of the candidates presented by Principal Reichardt, in 1886, obtained places in the First Class. [* Doctor Westcott the Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge, in a letter to Mr. Tucker, the London Secretary of the Society, writes as follows:--"It is a great pleasure to me to report that the work of the candidates was highly satisfactory. The success of the candidates was beyond that of any corresponding body of men from any Institution as far as my experience reaches. The Examiner in History wished particularly to mark the excellent results which had been obtained and desired that some expression of his appreciation of the work should be conveyed to the Principal of the College. The other Examiners spoke scarcely less warmly. This thoughtful diligence of the students is a happy omen for the future of the Indian Church."] In 1890, the Bishop of Madras sanctioned the wearing of a special hood by those students who have passed this examination. During Reichardt's brief tenure of the Principalship he received also a few students who were reading for the University degree. In his report he says:--

"It has been my great desire to foster this secular branch of the college, for there is nothing so detrimental to sound theology, and so difficult to escape from, in a purely theological training, as a [89/90] certain narrowness of grasp, and there is nothing so beneficial to a secular education as a leavening, however slight of theological attainment. From the Christian community of Tinnevelly young men are continually coming to Madras to study for University honours, and there is a real danger, lest they should be led away by the young men of different faith and different training with whom they necessarily come into contact in Madras. By bringing them more or less into connection with this college a double purpose has been secured: to the secular students, a restraining influence of the best kind has been supplied, while the theological men have attained a breadth of view and an enlargement of ideas which I could have assured to them in no other way, and which will be of infinite value to them when they go forth hence to their work in the Mofussil."

A hostel for Christian students reading in the various colleges in Madras is a scheme which we may hope will yet be realised.

At the present time the College course extends over three years, but students who have either graduated or passed the First Examination in Arts of the Madras University are received for two years only. The number of students is now limited to twelve, which a careful computation has shown to be the number requisite, under existing circ*mstances, to supply the needs of the Missions in the Diocese in the matter of superior catechists and native clergy. In recent years past students of the college have gone out as missionaries to other lands, and have been ordained in Natal, Madagascar and Singapore.

In 1896 a separate building containing Lecture room, Library, and Chapel, was erected at a cost of [90/91] about Rs. 8,000. [* This amount was made up of grants of £250 from S.P.G. and £50 from S. P. C. K., private subscriptions, and a sum of Rs. 1,067 contributed to perpetuate the memory of the Rev. A. R. Symonds.] The other buildings in Sullivan's Garden comprise the Principal's and the Assistant Tutor's residences, [* Now used as S. P. G. Office.] and two lines of buildings for the accommodation of students.


THE old Vepery Mission is at the present day fairly accurately represented by the Mission in Madras, and the various detached Missions, which with it, form the Third or Madras Division of the S. P. G. Missions in the Diocese of Madras. In the place of the old Vellore Mission now unhappily lost to us, but not we trust irrevocably, a new mission at Coimbatore has been recently adopted. The other detached missions are situated at Cuddalore, Bangalore, Bellary, Secunderabad, and Negapatam. In the whole of this extended field, excluding Negapatam, which is not now included in the Madras Division, there is not at the present time a single European Missionary, though the number of native Christians amounts to close on five thousand. European guidance is not however entirely wanting for in the various important Civil and Military stations named above, where the Mission is at work, Government Chaplains are stationed, and they for the most part gladly co-operate and render valuable service to the Mission cause. In Madras itself the Diocesan Secretary and Principal of the Theological College resides, and though his duties concern the whole diocese, and not the Madras Mission in any special sense, his presence there prevents the total withdrawal of European Missionaries from this old Mission from being too apparent.

The work of the Mission in Madras must ever be attended with peculiar difficulties. The [92/93] stirring life of a great city with its many occupations and distractions, added to the contaminating influences of abounding heathen idolatry and licentiousness, is not perhaps the best training ground for simple and primitive piety, and the presence of a large European and Eurasian population nominally Christian, but to a very considerable extent only nominally so, has in some ways a depressing effect. In the native Christian community itself too there are special causes of unrest. Madras being the Capital of a Presidency containing a population of some thirty-five million souls is continually drawing to itself persons from every corner of the Presidency and from beyond its limits. Thus the native Christian community is composed of various, and in truth it may be added, conflicting elements: for in addition to the persistent caste feeling, there is that intensely strong local feeling which causes the average Indian to regard the dweller in the next village as a foreigner, to be reckoned with; and this is a perpetual source of disquiet. A large proportion of the indigenous Madras Christians are Pariahs, many of whom are well educated, but of whom the greater part are employed as domestic servants, while the 'foreign' element in Madras is largely composed of Shanars from Tinnevelly, who are employed in subordinate positions in public offices, or in similar duties. What may be called the official element is moreover in a continual state of flux, on account of the exigencies of the public service. To preserve harmony and fraternal concord in the Madras congregations wherein so many castes and localities are represented, requires the constant exercise of tactful and sympathetic guidance. To preserve discipline in view of the fact that so many other Christian bodies [93/94] both Catholic and Protestant have congregations in Madras whither the disaffected are ever ready to betake themselves is no less difficult.

[* Besides the Church of England (S. P. G. and C. M. S.) the following Christian bodies are at work in Madras City: the Church of Rome (Archdiocese of Madras, and Portuguese Diocese of San Thome), the Armenian Church, the Church of Scotland, the Free Church of Scotland, the Wesleyan Mission, the London Missionary Society, the American Baptist Missionary Union, the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Leipzig Evangelical Lutheran Mission, the Danish Mission, and a few local organisations.

Native Christians of the Church of England not uncommonly join other bodies for matrimonial reasons: especially on account of the prohibition to marry Deceased Wife's Sister, which is a restriction quite opposed to Indian feeling and practice.]

Each of the three Madras pastorates has its own Church Committee, and sends representatives to a combined Madras District Church Council. For some time past these Committees and the Council have been in existence with more or less vitality; but from time to time they have needed some reorganisation, and their utility under present circ*mstances has scarcely been demonstrated by results. The spirit of sober self-government and public spirit, has yet to be developed as opposed to the spirit of partisanship and decided self-assertion. Progress in the right direction is being gradually made, and we may well anticipate that the local committees and councils of the native Church, whether in Madras or the mofussil, will in due time be a source of strength and promote the spread of the Gospel.

The work at the present time being carried on in Madras, excluding that of the Theological College, embraces that of the three pastorates and the Vepery [94/95] High School. Connected with the High School is a Boarding establishment called the Gericke Hostel in which from thirty to forty boys drawn from various parts of the Vepery Mission are admitted on full or part payment, and receive a free education in the school. In connection with the S. Paul's pastorate there is a small Boarding School for girls in the Church compound, while the Pursewalkum Charity School, which is carried on without expense to the Society's funds receives a few boys as boarders. In all there are seven schools in the S. Paul's district, including one Night School which is attended by some of the workers in the Madras Railway Workshops of Perambore. In the S. John's, Egmore, Pastorate, there is one Lower Secondary School for boys and one mixed Primary School. In connection with the Lower Secondary School there is a technical class. In the S. Thomas', San Thome, Pastorate, there are five mixed Primary Schools. In each of these pastorates evangelistic work is carried on by street-preaching, distribution of hand-bills, hospital visiting and private discussion, and the services of members of the several congregations are freely given to assist in this work. Voluntary evangelistic work is especially valuable, as there is a somewhat widely prevalent impression among our non-Christian neighbours, that Mission agents only preach because they are paid to do so.

A word has already been said about the self-government of the native church, so a word is due about the kindred matter of self-support. In such an old mission as the Vepery Mission it might reasonably be expected that European money would be even less required than European missionaries. The latter are however now dispensed with, but not the former. Accepting the figures [95/96] for the year 1895 as fairly accurately representing the present situation, as regards the pecuniary dependence of the Madras city Mission, we find that the Vepery High School receives an annual grant of about Rs. 1,300, being 18 per cent. of its total cost; the S. Paul's Pastorate a grant of about Rs. 4,270, being 46 per cent. of its total cost; the S. Thome Pastorate Rs. 2,400, or 56 per cent. of its total cost; and the S. John's Pastorate Rs. 1,300, being 50 per cent. of its total cost. The S. P. G. however possesses Trust Endowment Funds on behalf of the Vepery Mission which produce an annual income of Rs. 4,361 and relieve the Society's General Fund to that extent. Beginnings have also been made with Pastor's Endowment Funds both for S. Paul's and San Thome; so that, as far as Madras is concerned, the Vepery Mission is quite within measurable distance of what may be called self-support. [* The expenditure of the Madras Mission, excluding the Theological College, amounted in the year 1895 to Rs. 23,134 of which amount only Rs. 4,909 was borne by the S. P. G. General Fund.]

Foremost among the present needs of the mission in Madras are a Church for the San Thome district, and a high class Boarding School for girls. As regards the latter need, it is to be remarked that in the whole of the present [* i.e. Excluding the Tinnevelly and Madura Districts which are now under their own Bishop and possess two first rate S. P. G. Girls' Schools.] diocese of Madras the S. P. G. has no High School for girls, and those of our people who desire to give their daughters a good education are in many cases compelled to send them to the schools maintained by non-conformist missionary bodies.

[97] Amongst other needs are a Hostel for Christian students attending the various Government Arts and Professional Colleges in Madras, [* E. G.--The Presidency College, the Law College, the Medical College, the Engineering College, the Teachers' College and other institutions.] and another Hostel for younger boys who might avail themselves of the opportunities afforded by the School of Arts and other institutions for learning useful handicrafts.

The educational advantages of Madras are exceptionally great and much benefit would accrue to the native Christian community, if it were found practicable to establish Hostels in the city, where Church of England students might be under some discipline and supervision, and receive all the advantages of secular teaching offered by Government, without any risk of forfeiting religious guidance, and while continuing to dwell amid distinctly Christian surroundings, and in receipt of every Church privilege.


Benjamin Schultz 1728-1742
John Anthony Sartorius 1728-1737
John Philip Fabricius 1743-1788
Christian William Gericke 1788-1803
Charles William Paezold 1804-1817
John Peter Rottler, D. D. 1818-1836
Lawrence Peter Haubroe 1819-1827
* John Heavyside 1829-1831
Charles Calthrop, B.A. 1833-1835
Augustus Frederick Caemmerer 1836-1839
William Taylor 1841-1845
Christian Samuel Kohlhoff 1846-1849
James P. Fletcher 1847-1848
Thomas Brotherton, B.A. 1850-1854
John Guest 1852-1862
** David Savarimuthu 1864-1873
Henry Bower, D. D. 1874-1883
** Sither Gnanakan Yesudian 1883-1891
*** Daniel Samuel, B.D. 1891-1893
Joseph Gnanaolivu 1893

[*The first English Missionary.]
[** Under the superintendence of the Secretary M. D. C.]

[The following Secretaries to M. D.C. have been for longer or shorter periods in charge of the Vepery Mission:--Alfred Radford Symonds, M.A., John Miller Strachan, M.D., George Billing, M.A., William Relton, M.A., Arthur Westcott, M.A.]

[*** The first native clergyman in independent charge of S. Paul's, Vepery.]



Charles Calthrop, B. A. (S. John's, Cambridge) 1833
Adam Compton Thompson 1836
Arthur Leighton Irwin, M.A. (Caius, Camb.) 1841
Alfred Radford Symonds, M.A. ( Wadham, Oxford) 1848
John Miller Strachan, M.D. 1875
Charles Egbert Kennet, D. D. 1877
Frederick Henry Reichardt, M.A. (C.C.C. Camb.) 1885
Arthur Westcott, M.A. (Pembroke, Cambridge) 1887

Assistant Tutors and Acting Principals.

The following list is by no means complete; but is entered to commemorate the names of some Missionaries, to whom the College is specially indebted for valuable services.

C. S. Kohlhoff 1836
J. G. Seymer, M.A. 1843
T. Brotherton, B.A. 1856
D. W. Kidd, B.A. 1869
S. Gnanamuthu, M.A. 1880
W. Relton, M.A. 1882
S. Y. Abraham, B.A. 1887

Head Masters.

Edward Whitehead 1838
George Eddison Morris 1840
W. S. Wright, B.A. 1848
John Stephenson, M.A. 1862
C. W. Pearce 1863
J. T. Margoschis 1875
J. H. Bullivant, M.A. 1881
Joseph Satya, M.A., M.L. 1891
G. Arumainayagam, B.A. 1894

Our Oldest Indian Mission, by A. Westcott (1897) (1)
Our Oldest Indian Mission, by A. Westcott (1897) (2)
Our Oldest Indian Mission, by A. Westcott (1897) (3)
Our Oldest Indian Mission, by A. Westcott (1897) (4)
Our Oldest Indian Mission, by A. Westcott (1897) (5)

The following extracts illustrate the conclusion of the great controversy over the possession of S. Matthias' Church:

THIS INDENTURE made the twenty-first day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty-five Between the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts incorporated by Royal Charter of the one part, and the Honorable the East India Company of the other part.

WHEREAS the said Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts are now seized of in fee simple or otherwise well entitled to the piece or parcel of Ground and the Church known as the Church of Saint Matthias standing and being thereon hereafter particularly mentioned. As also to certain other hereditaments and premises partly adjoining to the said piece or parcel of ground on the East side thereof. And WHEREAS the said East India Company have consented and agreed with the said Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts for the absolute purchase of the said piece or parcel of ground and the said Church standing and being thereon hereinafter particularly mentioned and described and intended to be hereby released together with the furniture and fittings up of the said church which are used therewith except the Communion Service belonging to the said Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts and used by them for the Native congregation at or for the price or sum of thirty-four thousand, three hundred and thirteen Company's Rupees, three annas and six pice.

* * * * *

NOW THIS INDENTURE witnesseth that in pursuance of the said contract and agreement and in consideration of the sum of thirty-four thousand, three hundred and thirteen Company's Rupees three annas and six pice of lawful money of British India by the said East India Company to the said Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts paid at or immediately before the execution [105/106] of these Presents. The receipt of which said sum of thirty-four thousand and three hundred and thirteen Company's Rupees, three annas and six pice and that the same is in full for the absolute purchase of the said hereditaments and premises hereinafter conveyed and assured the said Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts do hereby admit and acknowledge and of and from the same and every part thereof do hereby acquit release and for ever discharge the said East India Company their successors and assigns. They the said Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts by these presents (made in pursuance of the act or statute passed by the Honorable the President of the Council of India in Council with the assent of the Right Honorable the Governor-General of India for rendering a release as effectual for the Conveyance of Freeholds Estates as a Lease and Release by the same parties). Do grant bargain, sell alien release and confirm unto the said East India Company their successors and assigns. All that piece or parcel of ground situate lying and being in the village of Vepery within the local limits of Madras in the East Indies bounded on the North by Hunter's Street, on the South in part by Hereditaments and premises now or lately belonging to Mrs. Brookes in other part by Heriditaments and premises belonging to the said Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts and known as the "South West Mission House" in other part by Church street aforesaid and in other part by the Hereditaments and premises belonging to the said Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge herein before mentioned or referred to on the East in part by Hereditaments and Premises belonging to the said Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge and in other part by the Hereditaments and Premises herein before mentioned or referred to as retained by the said Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, and on the west by Hereditaments and Premises now or lately belonging to Mr. Heal, which said piece or parcel of ground hereby released or intended so to be contains by admeasurements one cawny seven grounds and one hundred and eighty-eight square feet and one half of a square foot and with the several dimensions abuttals and boundaries is more particularly delineated and described in the Map or Plan drawn in the margin of these Presents.


The following Rules drawn up at the time when the Mission Seminary was revived in 1848, and when European and Eurasian students were there trained, illustrate the character of the Seminary some half century ago:--

I. That this Institution shall be purely of a Missionary character and object, its sole design being to prepare for employment in the Missions of Society such young men as may be admitted into it.

II. That accordingly those young men only shall be admitted into the seminary, who request it in writing for the specific purpose of qualifying themselves for Missionary work, and furnish satisfactory evidence of personal piety and due mental fitness.

III. That with a view to provide the means of bringing forward suitable young men, not able otherwise to procure the requisite preparation, eight exhibitions shall be attached to the Seminary, four for Europeans or East Indians, and four for Natives, which exhibitions shall entitle the holders to residence in the Seminary, to maintenance, and to an allowance respectively of ten rupees and five rupees per mensem.

IV. That in addition to the exhibitioners, other students shall be admissible on terms of payment, (the amount to be determined in each case by the Committee) subject however in all respects to the same rules as the exhibitioners.

V. That the seminary shall be under the charge of a Clergyman as Principal, whose duty it shall be not merely to devote a portion of each day to the direct instruction of the students in the way of lectures, but to maintain a supervision over their entire studies and conduct, and to aim at influencing and forming their whole character by intimate and constant association with them.

VI. That with this view all the students shall reside with the Principal, the European and East Indian students [107-108] sitting at the same table, and being as much as possible identified with himself and his family.

VII. That as a general rule the Native students shall be permitted to take their meals by themselves, it not being expedient to oblige them to conform to European habits, but at least once a week they shall be invited to join the other students at the Principal's table, in order to show that no improper difference is intended or allowed.

VIII. That as a general rule no student shall be admissible under 17 years of age.

IX. That the order of admission shall be as follows. A young man wishing to enter the Seminary shall first apply to the Principal, producing at the same time testimonials of character signed by competent parties. Upon being personally satisfied of his fitness, the Principal shall then recommend him to the Committee, forwarding also the testimonials received. The Committee shall then appoint examiners, upon whose report, and upon the whole circ*mstances of the case, they shall determine respecting his admission.

X. That the course of preparation shall in the first place extend to a period of about three years' residence in the Seminary, at the end of which time, a student being reported qualified by the Principal, and approved as such by the Committee, shall go out and serve in the capacity of a Catechist under one of the Society's Missionaries for two years. At the end of this period, if well reported on by the Reverend Missionary, and otherwise deemed eligible by the Committee for higher employment, he shall return to the Seminary for further instruction.

XI. That an annual oral and written examination of the students shall be held, for the purpose of ascertaining the progress made by the students in knowledge and mental development.

XII. That two vacations in the year, each of one month, shall be allowed.

Our Oldest Indian Mission, by A. Westcott (1897) (2024)


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Name: Corie Satterfield

Birthday: 1992-08-19

Address: 850 Benjamin Bridge, Dickinsonchester, CO 68572-0542

Phone: +26813599986666

Job: Sales Manager

Hobby: Table tennis, Soapmaking, Flower arranging, amateur radio, Rock climbing, scrapbook, Horseback riding

Introduction: My name is Corie Satterfield, I am a fancy, perfect, spotless, quaint, fantastic, funny, lucky person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.