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Elihu Yale
President of Fort St George (Madras)
In office
August 8, 1684 – January 26, 1685
Preceded byWilliam LanghorneWilliam Gyfford
Succeeded byWilliam GyffordNathaniel Higginson
In office
July 25, 1687 – October 3, 1692
Personal details
BornApril 5, 1649
BostonColony of Massachusetts
DiedJuly 8, 1721 (aged 72)

Cuddalore Fort 

Tenure as President of Madras

As soon as Elihu Yale took over the administration of
Fort St George on July 26, 1687
 , he implemented an order dated January 14, 1685 which required the English at Fort St George to make all attempts at procurement of the town of St Thome on lease. To this effect, Chinna Venkatadri was sent to negotiate with the local Governor on August 4, 1687. The mission was successful and Chinna Venkatadri assumed sovereignty over St Thome for a period of three years. Notwithstanding the vehement protests of the Portuguese inhabitants of St Thome, the English gained absolute control over all lands up to
File:St Thomas Mount.jpg
                                                                              The shrine (right) atop the hillock
According to local belief, Thomas the Apostle was one of the first Christians to reach India and to preach Christianity. He is believed to have reached Kerala in 52 AD and spent the last years of his life in a cave on this hill spreading Christianity and baptizing the native people. Local belief adds that St. Thomas was killed with a spear in 72 AD by persons hostile to him. Thus, the hillock acquired the name St. Thomas Mount.
 St Thomas Mount for a period of three years.
According to local myth, Thomas the Apostle was one of the first Christians to reach India and to preach Christianity. He is believed to have reached Kerala in 52 AD and spent the last years of his life in a cave on this hill spreading Christianity and baptizing the native people. Local belief adds that St. Thomas was killed with a spear in 72 AD by persons hostile to him. Thus, the hillock acquired the name St. Thomas Mount.

When Raja Rama of Chingee sold Cuddalore to the English it was agreed that the boundary of the land acquired should be set at the distance reached by a cannon ball fired from a large cannon.

One can only wonder what the poor local inhabitants thought about the whole event. Especially those whose homes just happened to be near where the cannonballs landed.

Elihu Yale who eventually went on to found Yale University in America was the East India Company official who handled these negotiations.

The following extracts transcribed from original records in the British Library describe the events.

Rama Raja King of the Chingee Country Did sell and Alienate to the Right Honble English East India Company the Fort of Tegnapatam als: Fort St: David with all the Ground, Huses, Towns, Rivers, Woods etc. within the Circumference of the Random shot of a great Gun, from the said Fort, as May more plainly appear, by his Letters, Patents, or Royal Cowle granted to the said Right Hon’ble Company in conformation thereof whereby all Royal Authority & Kingly rights formerly in the s’d: Rama Raja is now devolv’d & center’d in the said English Company and therefore all Customs etc: Duties formerly paid Rama ------ or his officers ought now to be paid to the ------------ the company—

The said Cowle or Letters Patents Run in general terms without any exception, but It is said that Mr: Thomas Yale who negotiated This affair at Chingee did verbally agree that the Dutch Factory shou’d be excepted; by which pretence the Ministers of Rama Raja wou’d wrong fully wrest from the said English Company all Customs due from the Dutch; however the said Mr: Yale &a; those with him do affirm that they never intended by that verbal exception anymore than that the Dutch shou’d have the priviledge and use of their Factory as formerley when the Government of these parts was under Rama Raja which is Ended the most genuine sense; nor is there the least notice taken of it in our Cowle.

Translate of a Bill of Sale
under the Seal of Raja Ram
Rajah Chetterpetty Dated
4th Moharram in the 1st year
of the Mahratta Cycle answer
=ing to 1690 September 24

Extract from the Fort St David Diaries and Consultation of the 11th February 1690 relating to the Dutch Factory. (Notes from IOR G/18/1)

consent to the President Yale and Council for
the use of the said Honble Company and their
Successors for ever for the sum of forty thousand
(40,000) Cheokarems which has been fully
received by us through the hands of Rahoojee
Rendernada our servant according to our

A Certificate from Cheveda Balazee
Dated the 1st Rabee Laker in the 1st
year of the Mahratta Cycle answering
to 1690 dec. 19 of the particular
extent of the Right Hon. Company’s
Bounds in this place he being
authorized to measure the same
by King Ram Rajah.

Wheras that Mahraaza Saib (alias Raja Ram Rajah Chetterpetty) has been pleased to give up the Fort of Tevenepatam to the Honble East India English Company at Madras and ordered them to take possession of all such Lands and Villages within the distance of a Cannon shot which was fired in the presence of Davelet Ram and Gopall Dadazee the Subadar and fell near the Tank called Damara Gunta to the Southward of Cuddalore when it was also ordered that the ground should be measured from thence and that all the Villages that were within that distance should be taken possession of and therefore the said Subadar appointed Sevezee Puntoloo Bookkeeper and Semperety alias accountant who have measured the Ground, on this Govinda
Kishava Sankerazee Mahadav, myself and Sava Razoc Mandel have inspected it and the Places within it were as follows:-

Bar of Gardanedy
Rama Kishnaporam
Caravar Cuppem with its woods
Ganganaick Cuppem
Bar of Penna River
Half of Condanga River
and half of the mountains
Wochey Mada
Manja Cupam

These being all the Villages and Lands within the extent of the Cannon Shot the Company may enjoy them. The head subadar, Havildar, Mazomadar, Taraphear, Samperty, Dashey, and other officers have nothing to do with them. The said Company may therefore happily enjoy the premises (which
have been graciously by the said Maharaza Saib) with their sons & Grandsons
Etc. of their line as long as the Sun and Moon Endure.

The line traced by the cannon balls was planted with thorny shrubs and this formed the Bound Hedge. The outline of this boundary hedge can still be identified in property boundaries to this day

The area between Cuddalore and Fort Saint David in 2007 from Google Earth.

Tsunamis Relief Camps 2009

Google Earth Image showing the new developments encroaching into the ruins of Fort St. Davids. 2009.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

List of the names of the Fort St. David Garrison 1703

A list of all the Europeans Topasses and Lascars in the Rt. Hono.ble service in Fort St. David & Cuddalore.

Imprimis in the Military

James Hugonin Lieut
James Davis Do. 2

Ensigns 4

Robert Reay – married a White woman
Hendy Kerr
Samuell Williams – married a Black woman
Michaell Smith

Serjts. 13

Francis Carter married B. W.
Edward Brookes
Jacob De Poane married B. W.
John Houseden
Thomas Welch married B. W,
Richard Hobbs
Rowland Willson Gent of arms
William Hobey married B.W.
James Kean
Seth Ward
William Gilbert
John Craven
Robert Tandey

Corporalls 22

George Roow married B. W.
Alexander Pillow Do.
Daniell Jarmon Do.
Daniell Renno
Joseph Cox
William Smith Do.
George Hardick
William Compere
Richard Lec
William Knight Do.
Adam Dixon Do.
Peter Piccar Do.
Samwell Harris
Boenjarmin Hobbs
Boejamin Yardley
Robert Mason
John Brown Do.
Alexander Humber
Henry Watson
John Ros
John Jones
James Neeve

English Sentinells Living 30

Edward Hearnhead
Antony Ayres
Trustrum Fletewood
Edmund Toole married a Black woman
William Goodman
Thomas Corson do.
Benjamin Moreess
Edward Rickets
John Hox
Robert Glover
John Matthews do.
Peter Brown
Henry Colles
Alexandr Hamlet
John Deenecroft Died June 15th 1702.
John Edward
William Poaker
Edward Williams
William Lane
Jeremiah Kent
John Motrum Died Aug 25th 1702
Cornelius Adam
Bejarmin Gladwell
Edward Heiling
Thomas Joy
Thomas Houlding
Peter Belwill
John Wheler
William Thompson
Richard Parrottt
Henry Bready
Joseph Jackson Drumr.

European Portaquez 3

Anthony Veless do.
Franco De Pena
Psaitian Pementa De Saw

Dutch Sentinells 18

Hans Gosper
Hendrick Swart
Henry Peters
Hans Vancink do.
Augustine Powell
George Pyper do.
John Jurdin
Michaell Porockett do.
John Peterson do.
Peter Johnson
William Tunis
Hans Andreas
Joyce Storam
Peter Francisco
Peter Johnson Minor married BW
Sevarand Peterson
Alexander Magnus
John Johnson
George Johnson Run Jan 17th 1701/2
Adrian Johnson Do time
Hans Grocewall Died March 6th 1701/2

Europeans in the Military 92
Topasses in the Military 198
In all 290

Gunroome Crew

William Walker Gunner
Thomas Emmed Chief Mate married W woman
William Owen 2d Mate do.
John Gardiner 3d do.
James Walker Copper
John Williamson
Thomas Champion
Thomas Hubberd
Nathaniell Pane
Benjamin Poremfeild
William Walkers Died October 22d 1701
Vinter Owen Do Decembr 22d 1702
John Wiklefield Do July 28yh 1702

Dutch Men

Hendrick Harrison
Havmum Lambeck
Hendrick Johnson
Convaught Johnson
William Garratson married a Black woman
Jonathan Molt do.
Jacob Scriver
Isaac Martin
Garret Corneliven do.
Wm. Thornbury Run Novemb. 10th 1701
John Wood do.
John Frankland do.
Stephen Emmais do.
Barnet Cornelison
Gabriell Knope
Topasses 4
Lascars 26

English Europeans living 10
Dutch do 11
Topasses 4
Lascars 26

Ri Harmer Paym.

October 1702 Recd Loyall Cooke
20th May 1703

                                         Churches in Cuddalore, Part 1.

Ziegenbalg and the early history of Christianity in Cuddalore.

For most of Cuddalore's history, the nearby Hindu temples were clearly the most important religious sites, in terms of their influence on events in the area.

Experience gained from my research in Thalassery and elsewhere on the Malabar Coast, where I have found that the temples hold the most incredibly detailed written, and especially accurate oral traditions concerning the events of the past four or five hundred years, I would be very pleased to learn more about any of these traditions that survive to this day, especially where they involve the interactions with the European's.

In this first part of my article, I recount the events up to 1718.

From Earliest Days to 1718.

St. Thomas, one of the first apostle's arrived in Kerala in AD. 52, and travelled onto Chennai before dying at Little Mount in 72 AD.

Did he travel through Cuddalore?

I don't suppose any one can tell.

The first Christian churches on this part of the Coromandel Coast in the modern era date back to shortly after the arrival of the Portuguese.

Christianity had existed in India, between the end of the Roman period and the arrival of the Portuguese, through the medium of the Syrian Church which was first established on the Malabar Coast in the area around the port of Cochin. These early Christian’s had arrived amongst the travellers and merchants from the Roman Empire who traded to India during the first and second centuries after Christ.

It is not entirely clear if these early Syrian Christian’s who settled in India were refugees from Roman persecution, or traders, who happened to be Christians. They belonged to the Nestorian Sect, and preserved a particularly early and unchanged form of Christianity, uncorrupted by the later controversies and schisms that occurred within Christianity in Europe.

They had no knowledge of the Pope or Protestantism. This later led to their being studied with great interest by early 19th century Anglican clergy, seeking to strip away centuries of accumulated changes in church doctrine, by studying their liturgy that was thought to have developed and changed far less than European liturgies had over the centuries.

While it is not clear whether the Syrian christians ever travelled onto the Coromandel, it is quite possible that individual mechants and traders had visited the Coromandel Coast. However, with the growth of the Muslim World, the Syrian Christian’s became cut off from the support of their original community, and dwindled away in both power and influence. It was not until the arrival of the Portuguese on the coast in the 1500’s that Christianity returned in the area in strength.

Following the same routes as the Syrians and Romans, to India several thousand Armenian traders also arrived over the following centuries, however they seem to have kept within their own communities, and not to have attempted to convert Indian’s from Hinduism.

The most active of the Middle Eastern religions to arrive in India, were of course the Muslim’s who following centuries of contacts as traders, and then as invaders, had carved out huge new states in India. In many ways, it was the damage done to the existing Indian Hindu states by these conflicts, that had occurred over many centuries of internicine warfare, that had weakened India to the point where the newly arriving European’s could overwhelm both the Hindu’s and Muslim’s by exploiting the balance of power to their own ends.

Whilst Cuddalore does not appear to have had a Portuguese settlement, the area was still a significant port, and one which was almost certainly visited by Portuguese merchants and shipping in search of trading opportunities. However the Portuguese do not appear to have been allowed by the local rulers to base themselves at Cuddalore. The nearest permanent settlement where the Portuguese were allowed to be established was nearby in Porto Novo, which was their regional base.

                                                     The arrival of the Danes at Tranquebar.

Over the following century the Portuguese had only the local rulers to contend with.

However shortly after 1600 other European’s began to feel their way along the coast. Amongst the most significant of these new arrivals from the point of view of the establishment of Christianity in Cuddalore were the Danish who established a settlement in 1621 at the port of Tranquebar.

Tranquebar had previously been used by the Portuguese as a port, and the Jesuits had established a church there after 1540. This was a Roman Catholic church. The newly arriving Danes however were Protestant’s.

At this time in Europe the Thirty Years War was at its height. Relations between the northern European nations like England, Denmark, and Holland, who were predominantly Protestant, were extremely strained by these wars, that they were fighting against the southern Catholic nations including the Spanish, who were the most powerful, and who ruled the Spanish Netherlands (modern Belgium) and to a lesser extent the Portugese.

For many years during the 17th century, the existence of these European settlements along the Coromandel coast was very precarious, with their presence barely tolerated by the local Indian rulers. The existing India and Arab traders greatly resented the European's presence, as they damaged the existing trading system, by their competition and often with raw piracy undertaken against Arab and Indian shipping.

The Rajah’s, whilst appreciating the benefits of the revenues accruing from trade, also feared that the European's settlements might be the thin edge of a wedge that would develop into colonies just like those already established by the Portuguese at Goa, Cochin and Daman.

It was therefore absolutely vital for the survival of these settlements, that the rulers were placated along with the other local communities, like the merchants, and religious leaders who were often deeply offended by the European religious practises.

The European's were predominantly there as traders, and they did not individually intend to stay beyond a few years, before hopefully retiring to Europe with their pagodas. They had little or no interest in converting locals to Christianity.

In most cases, they lacked the language skills or indeed the desire to convert local peoples. So the Christian religious services that took place were generally undertaken in private, and inside rooms of buildings normally used for other purposes for the rest of the week.

“Such was the state of things when at the commencement of the eighteenth century, Frederick IV King of Denmark on the suggestion of the Rev. Dr. Lutkens, one of his majesty's chaplains, who had proposed the subject to him when only prince regent, determined notwithstanding the advice of some who thought the design premature and ill timed to establish a mission for the conversion of the heathen at Tranquebar. With this view the king directed an application to be made to the celebrated Dr. Francke, professor of divinity in the University of Halle, in Saxony ,whose well-known devotion to the cause of religion, and recent establishment of the Oriental College of Divinity in that place, peculiarly qualified him for such a task; requesting him to recommend from among his pupils those whom he might deem best calculated, by their learning and piety, to lay the foundation of this important work. Dr Francke made choice of Bartholomew Ziegenbalg, a young man of eminent talents and religious excellence, who had been educated at Halle under his own immediate superintendence, and who happening to be at Berlin when Dr. Lutkens was inquiring for suitable persons to be employed as missionaries, joyfully accepted the proposal. He was soon afterwards joined by his friend and fellow student, Henry Plutscho, who was actuated by a similar desire of engaging in the first Protestant mission to India. These pious men, having received holy orders from the bishop of Zealand, embarked at Copenhagen on the 29th of November, 1705, and after a pleasant voyage, arrived at Tranquebar on the 9th of July, 1706. Here notwithstanding their commission from the king of Denmark the missionaries instead of being kindly received, were discouraged and opposed by the Danish authorities.” [1]

The attitude of the locally based Danish authorities at Tranquebar is also reflected by that of the nearby English officials, and indeed also of the Dutch ones at Cuddalore and Tegnapatnam at this time. The purpose of these settlements was trade, not converting Indian’s. The risk of upsetting the Hindu and or Muslim authorities, was very great, and this could easily result in their being attacked and over-run.

Self preservation, if nothing else, meant not upsetting the Indian's who massively outnumbered the traders.

Disputes would cause the settlements to have to spend fortunes on fortification and soldiers for self defence. These costs went onto the overhead and damaged the bottom line.

Unlike the Portuguese and French settlements, which were largely controlled by state run organisations, organised by centralised Catholic governments in Europe, who were engaged actively pushing forward the re-vitalised Catholic church in the Counter Reformation, and who were prepared to devote considerable importance to promoting their form of Christianity,even at the expense of profits.

The Danish, Dutch and English East India companies on the other hand were run by privately owned joint stock companies run by merchants for profit.

These northern European merchants knew that they had to keep the overheads down, and that avoiding disrupting trade by conflict was key to acheiving this aim. This was indeed a lesson the French and Portuguese ultimately learned, when their companies failed. The same fate visited the English company in the years leading up to 1833, as it too moved away from pure trading, and when as a consequence of this change, it became no longer profitable.

These early Danish missionaries although based in Tranquebar, however soon came to greatly influence events in Cuddalore, as I shall shortly demonstrate. They also left some of the best early accounts of the state of both the churches and settlements at Cuddalore.

Following their arrival at Tranquebar, the missionaries realised that first they must learn Portuguese, which was the common language for all communications between the traders and their Indian business partners. Once they had mastered sufficient Portuguese, they could commence learning Tamil. In acheiving these aims these two men seem to have been very effective. One of their tutors was a young man called Modaliapa, who went on to become their first Protestant convert. Shortly afterwards a “female of high rank” was also converted.

These conversions drew the attention of the local Rajah of Tanjore, who tried to lure the converts away into the interior, presumably to rescue them from the influence of the missionaries.

Leaving one's Hindu, or for that matter Muslim faith for Christianity was an extremely serious event, because it immediately damaged ones caste.

The European Christian’s were seen as being pariahs by most Indian's, polluted by their habits including the drinking alcohol, their meat eating diet, and strange beliefs. By becoming a convert to Christianity, you too would also become a sort of odd untouchable, by association. By implication you also damaged your families reputation. It was not something to be undertaken lightly, and this is why so many of the later converts to Christianity came from the poorest sections of society, who had little more to lose by converting.

A mass conversion of Indian converts followed in May 1707, however it is not clear how many individuals were converted. On the 14th of June 1707 the first stone Protestant church was commenced at Tranquebar. It is very probable that this was the first permanent Protestant church on this part of the coast.

The Dutch had become established in Cuddalore by the 1670’s, before the English. It is very likely that this was initially done by renting a house on a seasonal and then annual basis. The English then adopted the same method of establishing a base in turn in the 1680’s. The exact location of these properties is unknown, but it was probably at the northern end of the old town of Cuddalore.

Indian merchants from other regions and states in India like Gujerat already occupied residences in this area, conveniently adjacent to the quays along the shoreline. One of the largest of these houses was a distinctive white building described in sailing directions, as being a landmark to be looked out for when approaching the Penny River.

Both the Dutch and English East India Company had strict instructions in their standing orders that daily prayers should be said and services held on Sundays. These instructions were often honoured more in their breaching, than in their observance, however services must have been a regular event, probably taking place initially in the mess hall or courtyards of these buildings.

Both the Dutch and the English had pressed for the construction of their own settlements. The Dutch were the first in the 1670’s to get permission for one these settlements were granted, but only to the north of the town. In 1686 the English led by Yale were able to buy the town of Cuddalore and an area bounded by a fence several miles in circumference.


They also secured the use of an existing fortified tower facing the river bar, located at a spot that later formed the south east corner of a much larger Fort St David.

In Britain private individuals based mainly in the City of London merchant community, were becoming aware of the potential for missionary work in India. Close connections existed between the City and Denmark, due to the crucial importance of the Baltic trade to England. At this time, this trade far outstripped that with India in its importance to Britain's economy. Most of the timber required for developing our naval and merchant fleet, especially for masts, tar, rope and other crucial materials came from the Baltic states. Several hundred English ships travelled through Danish waters every year.

These merchants were often deeply religious and had considerable sums of money they could devote to what they saw as good works. At this time several Baltic States had East India Companies. Those of Sweden and Denmark were often financed and staffed by merchants origining from Britain, who were excluded from the English East India Company that had a restricted shareholding, made up of men, unhappy to see their control of the shares diluted by more shareholders.

“It was in this year [1709] that the Danish mission became first known in England, by the translation of some letters from the missionaries addressed to one of their friends in London. The attention of religious persons was powerfully excited by this interesting publication, particularly that of the Rev Mr Boehm, chaplain to Prince George of Denmark, one of the earliest members of the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, which had been then a few years established. A present both of money and books was immediately sent by the Society to Tranquebar, and a brief but cordial notice of the mission was inserted in the report of its proceedings for that year. Such was the commencement of the disinterested and important patronage afforded to the Danish mission by that venerable Society; which, while it reflected the highest honour on its members contributed so effectually to the extension and support of Christianity in India.” [2]

Prince George of Denmark [1653-1708] had been the late husband of Queen Anne, and as such had considerable influence in the English Court. With powerful sponsors like the Prince, the East India Company had to adapt its attitude for missionaries.

Being established in Tranquebar, with close links with the British, one of the Danish missionaries set out for Madras, passing through Cuddalore on the way.

“In 1710 Ziegenbalg undertook a journey to Madras, to ascertain what prospect there might be of gaining access to the heathen, either by the way and in the neighbouring country, or in the town itself, with a view to their conversion to Christianity. The congregation at Tranquebar entreated him with tears not to quit them, or to return as soon as possible. At Chillumbrum, quitting the territory of Tanjore, he entered what were then the dominions of the Great Mogul, and proceeded to Porto Novo and Cuddalore, and from thence to Fort St David's; and on the tenth day, having touched at St Thomas's Mount, arrived at Madras in the evening. There he was kindly received by the Rev. Mr. Lewis, chaplain to the factory, with whom the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge were in correspondence on the subject of the Danish mission. During his stay at this place, Ziegenbalg made many inquiries respecting the religious wants of its inhabitants. “Madras,” he writes,” is advantageously situated for spreading Christianity if the English who command there would but second our endeavours, or join with us in propagating the gospel in the East."[3]

It is quite possible that Ziegenbalg’s Indian converts realised just how much more dangerous it was likely to be for somebody to be preaching Christianity in the Islamic parts of India ruled over by the Great Mogul, than it had been under the less powerful rulers further south. These Indian's in the regions ruled over by the Rajah of Tanjore, seem at this time to have exercised great tolerance towards religious deifferences as seems to be traditional amongst most Hindu's.

Also illustrated by the extract, is how the missionaries were operating in the face of considerable official English EIC discouragement. This missionary campaign was clearly at first a privately run effort, organised by, and financed by dedicated and committed individuals.

Using monies largely raised by the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, an edition of the New Testament was produced in Europe in Portuguese, which was sent out to India together with a printing press equipped with Roman and Italic fonts. Large quantities of blank paper were also sent.

This printing press was unfortunately seized at sea by French ships and sent onto Brazil. Somehow the society was able to buy it back, and then to despatch it once more on to India. In Germany a separate set of Tamil fonts was made, which was sent separately to Tranquebar, which enabled Tamil editions of the bible to be printed by 1714, along with many other pamphlets and texts. These imported Tamil fonts were found to be faulty, but it proved possible to make better versions at Tranquebar.

By 1714 the Danes had made over 300 converts and had established a school at Tranquebar with more than 80 pupils. Later in 1714 Ziegenbalg commenced the long voyage back to Europe, arriving at Bergen in Norway on the 1st June 1715. From there he travelled with one of his Hindu converts to Halle in Germany, and then on to London, where he was introduced to King George the First.

“who made many inquiries respecting the mission, and assured him of his royal patronage. The Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Bishop of London, treated him with the highest consideration and kindness. By the former of these prelates he was introduced to the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, and received a congratulatory address in Latin, to which he returned an admirable reply in Tamul, immediately adding a translation of his speech into Latin. The Society made Ziegenbalg a liberal present both of money, paper, and books; and the Directors of the East India Company having generously given him a free passage on board one of their ships, he embarked at Deal on the 4th of March, and after rather a dangerous voyage during which he improved his knowledge of the English language, landed at Madras on the 10th of August, 1716 where he was most hospitably received by the governor, and the Rev Mr Stevenson, chaplain to that Presidency.”[4]

With such strong patronage behind him, the missionaries’ reception in Madras this time was far more positive than it had been before. The local EIC officials dare no longer stand in his way.

Christian Schools Founded in Cuddalore.

“After a few day’s refreshment at Madras, Ziegenbalg rejoined his excellent colleague, Grundler at Tranquebar, and resumed with renewed vigour the arduous work of his mission. They immediately instituted a seminary for the education of native youths, to be employed as catechists and schoolmasters; and shortly afterwards, at the suggestion of the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, and with the assistance of Mr. Stevenson, and the approbation of the governor of Madras, they established Tamul and Portuguese schools at Madras and Cuddalore.” [5]

As far as I can current ascertain, this was the first formal European run school for Indian's in Cuddalore. Undoubtly the temples and mosques had had schools within them for centuries, before this, and Indian’s had an established system of home tutoring for the children of the most senior merchants and religious officials.

At the same time another school seems to have been established for children of the garrsion and officials. Another German had been selected. Writing in 1733 Mr. Sartorius stated that: -

[in 1733] Mr. John Beck, the schoolmaster, had died four days ago. Mr. Beck was a Wurtemburgher, and came out to India in the service of the English East India Company. In 1716, when the English established a Charity-school for the children of Englishmen, at Cuddalore, he was appointed Œconomus; and as they were unable to procure a suitable schoolmaster, he took that duty also, teaching, first Portuguese, and, afterwards, English.[6]

It is possible that limited teaching had taken place previously in the homes of the earlier European’s, and the garrison, but it was probably very limited in it's extent, with teaching restricted to basic reading of the Bible, taught together with the commercial mathematics needed to cast up accounts. This teaching may however of been of a high order, especially when you consider the complex fractional maths involved in casting up accounts with such complex exchange rates and units of measurement, as existed at that time.

The town of Cuddalore was crowded, and no doubt insanitary, and security was never really assured for the European inhabitants, as their existed considerable potential for a rebellion amongst the indigenous population, whether supported externally or not.

Over time this led to the English officials and officers moving into newly constructed garden houses, located to the north of the town across the river, and away from the original town. The Fort appears to have gone through a series of building phases. It is very probable that initially an old tower down by the shoreline built by Indian’s formed its core, with earthworks and palisades built first. There appears then appears to have been a significant building programme during 1717 to 1718, which may have been when the majority of the brickwork buildings in the fort went up.

“Thursday The 28th February. Present
Thomas Frederick Esq. Chief.
Richard Horden. John Legg.
Josiah Cooke Randall Fowke.
General Letter from the President & Councill at Fort St. David dated 26th. Instant read, inclosing a draught of the Fortifications and Buildings of Cuddalore, with Messrs. Way and Hugonin’s reports of what is necessary to be done thereto, which is agreeable to their Sentiments, and they desire our approval or reasons against it.
The foremention’d draught and report, being thoroughly examin’d into, & fully debated, the board cannot but think the resolutions of the Hon’ble President & Councill highly to the benefit of the place, and agreeable to the Hon’ble Companies orders.

Agreed to prepare a Letter forthwith advising them with our approval of the Measures they have concerted about the Cuddalore Buildings.” [6]

This first letter considers the town, and the next one deals with the Fort across the river.

“March Monday the 4th. Present
Thomas Frederick Esq. Chief.
Richard Horden. John Legg.
Josiah Cooke Randall Fowke.
From the President & Councill at Fort St. David dated the 2nd instant, inclosing a Plan of that place, explaining therein what they think necessary to be done for compleatg. The Buildings and Fortifications within the Fort. Of which they desire our approval or dissent, and advising they have completed a Contract for eighteen hundred bales to be brought in by the end of December, and that the Ship Fort St. David Monchu is affiv’d with the stores sent upon her.

Rge foremention’d Plan of ffort St. David being laid before the board, fully debat’d and consider’d. We cannot find any reason to disapprove of what th Hon’ble President and Councill have agreed upon in relation to the Fortification of the Fort, and buildings to be erected therein but on the contrary think they have concerted measures for the best, & fully agreeable to Hon’ble Companies directions Wherefore.” [7]

It is highly probable, although not certain that at least one of these buildings inside the fort was designed in such a way that it could serve as a garrison chapel.
Sadly Ziegenbalg like so many others, was to have his life cut short, and it is perhaps significant that he was at Cuddalore when he died.

“But the labours of Ziegenbalg were drawing rapidly to a close. In the autumn of the year 1718, the health of this indefatigable man began to fail. He languished for a few months amidst great weakness and pain; and with a faint hope of relief from travelling, he commenced a journey along the coast. Having reached Cuddalore, he found his end approaching, and sent for his friend Grundler, to whom on his arrival he expressed the most humble yet exalted hope of heavenly happiness; and having received the communion, and a favourite Lutheran hymn to be sung, he expired in perfect peace, on the 23rd of February, 1719, in the 36th year of his age deeply lamented by his excellent colleague and the native converts, and esteemed and regretted by the Pagans themselves.” [8]

                           A Description of Fort St. David, circa. 1773

A Description of Fort St. David, circa. 1773

Fort St. David is a small, but strong and regular fortification, built on a rising ground, about a mile from the Black-Town, which is called Cuddalore. This last has a wall running round it, with the addition of a few bastions, but is too large even for all the English troops on the coast properly to defend.

In it, reside the greatest part of the native Indian inhabitants of Fort St. David's boundaries. Both the town, and the fort, are situated near the sea side; Cuddalore lying almost due south from the fort. The extent of this settlement's boundaries, are, towards the land, about four miles, and three along the sea side: the former are pointed out by a thick hedge of the aloe plant and cocoa-nut tree, having bastions of six or eight guns, at about three-fourths of a mile from each other. In one of these little forts Deputy Governor Starke had fitted up a pleasant apartment, and to which he frequently retired from Fort St. David.

The country within the boundaries is very pleasant, and the air fine, having seldom any fogs. In the district are many neat houses with gardens; the latter were laid out with much good taste by the gentlemen, who either had been, or were in the company's service. These gardens produce fruits of different sorts, such as pine-apples, oranges, limes, pomegranates, plantaines, bananoes, mangoes, guavas, (red and white,) bedams (a sort of almond), pimple-nose, called in the West Indies, chadocks, a very fine large fruit of the citron-kind, but of four or five times it's size, and many others. At the end of each gentleman's garden there is generally a shady grove of cocoanut trees....

In the neighbourhood of the agreeable retreats before mentioned, are many pleasant rows of the ever-green tulip tree, which are planted through great part of the boundaries, in the same manner as the elms in St. James's Park. At some little distance from one of these walks, is a building, belonging to the company, and designed for the governor, and called 'the garden-house.' It is roomy, handsome and well built; and has a very good and large garden belonging to it, with long and pleasant avenues of trees in the back and front.

Alexander Hamilton's Account of Fort St David

Alexander Hamilton was an Interloper, trading to India. An Interloper was someone who was from Britain who was not an official of the East India Company. He travelled and traded extensively around the Indian Coastline between about 1688 and 1723.

It is not possible to date his visit to Cuddalore exactly, but it was probably after 1700.

Fort St. David is next, a Colony and Fortress belonging to the English. About the Year 1686 a Moratta Prince sold it to Mr. Elihu Yale, for 90000 Pagadoes, for the Use and Behoof of the English East-India Company. The Fort is pretty strong, and stands close to a River; and the Territories annexed to the Fort by Agreement, were as far as any Gun the English had, could fling a Shot, every Way round the Fort; but whether the Buyer or Gunner were Conjurers or no, I cannot tell, but I am sure that the English Bounds reach above eight Miles along the Sea-shore, and four Miles with in Land. The Country is pleasant, healthful and fruitful, watered with several Rivers that are as good as so many Walls to fortify the English Colony. And ever since the Time that Aurengzeb conquered Visapore and Golcondah, there are great Numbers of Malcontents and Freebooters that keep on the Mountains, and often fall down into the open Country, and commit Depredations, by ravaging and plundering the Villages; and all the Mogul’s Forces cannot suppress them.

When the English bought Fort St. David, the Dutch had a little Factory there, about a Mile from the Fort, and the good-natured English suffer them still to continue a few Servants in it. Our Company did not find so much grace from the Dutch at Couchin, nor the gentlemen of Bantam and Indrapoura, when the Dutch seized those Places. It is true, the Dutch can drive no open Trade there, but what they must pay the English Company Customs for.

About the Year 1698 the Freebooters aforementioned had almost made themselves Masters of the Fort by Stratagem and Surprize. They pretended, that they had been sent from the Mogul’s Vice-Roy at Visapore, to take Charge of the Revenue collected at Porto Novo, and to carry it to the Treasury at Visapore, and desired Leave to put their feigned Treasure into the Fort for a few Days, to secure it from the Moratta Freebooters aforementioned, who, they said, were plundering the open Country, which Favour Mr. Frazer, Governor at the Time, granted, so they brought into the Fort ten or twelve Oxen loaded with Stones, and each Ox had two or three Attendants, and about 200 more of that Gang, who came along with the Carriage Beasts as a Guard, lodged themselves in a Grove near the Fort Gate, to be ready, on a Signal given, to enter the Fort. The Freebooters within took an Opportunity the very next Morning, and killed the Sentinel and a few more that were asleep in the Gate-way next to the Grove; but, before they could break the Gate open, the Garison was alarmed, and killed all their treacherous Guests, and the Ambush without being come into the Parade before the Gate, met with so warm a Reception, that they retreated in Confusion, and the English pursuing them, killed severals, but lost some of their own Men.

Mr. Frazer ordered directly the Grove to be cut down, for fear of future Danger from it, but Fort St. David being subordinate to Fort St. George, the Governor and Council there called Mr. Frazer to their Court, and fined him for Presumption, in cutting down so fine a Grove for Enemies to skulk in, without Leave asked and given in due Form; but; their Right Honourable Masters adjusted all that Matter, and ordered the Fine to be refunded, with the Interest; but Governors of different Views and Humours seldom agree.

This Colony produces good long Clothes in large Quantities, either brown, white, or blue dyed, also Sallampores, Morees, Demities, Gingees
Missing line
Assistance of this Colony, that of Fort St. George would make but a small Figure in Trade to what it now does.

The River is but small, tho’ very convenient for the Import and Export of Merchandize. And Cuddelore, that lies about a Mile to the Southward, is capable to receive Ships of 200 Tuns in the Months of September and October. The Rivers have both of them Bars, but are very smooth, whereas Fort St. George is always going ashore and coming off.

The Company has a pretty good Garden and Summer-house, where generally the Governor resides; and the Town extending itself pretty wide, has Gardens to most of their Houses. Their black Cattle are very small, but plentiful and cheap. And their Seas and Rivers abound in good Fishes.

                                               Raworth's Rebellion 1713

Cuddalore History

Richard Raworth’s Rebellion

To Lieutenant Patrick Johnson,

Lieutenant Hugonin being indisposed I hereby order you
to take charge of the Company in the ffort and follow these
If any Gentleman from Fort St George comes
to the Fort, conduct him to ye Guard room at present my
appartment, but show him no more respect, then you
would a private merchant, if he has a Guard with him
of Europeans or Peons, suffer no one to enter the Fort
without my particular order,
And if he offers a paper to be read, immediately forbid
Him, and order him to the Chamber above mention’d, and
Your Soldiers to their arms, nor would I have you suffer
Him, or any belonging to him to talk with then.
Give the same orders to Cuddalore for the Execution of this
Shall be sufficient Warrant; Dated in Fort St
David this 8th October 1713.

R Raworth Deputy Gov’r

By the authority by the Governour
Order you to obey these orders
I am
Patrick Johnston.

With this document Richard Raworth announced that he intended to break away from the East India Company, and to take control of the factory at Fort St David. This event was to provide John De Morgan with his great break. By distinguishing himself during the crushing of this rebellion he came to the notice of his superiors and was promoted Sergeant.

Somehow the Madras authorities heard of Raworth's take over bid, and at once resolved to send a force to remove Raworth and to reclaim the fort. This force first had to make its way past the French settlement of Pondicherry.

Diary of all Transactions and Occurrences on the
Worsp’ll Henry Davenport Esq. His Journey
From Fort St George to ffort St David began ye 5th of
October 1713 & Consultations held since.
Octob 5 1713

Monday 5 This evening about six a clock took leave of the Hon’ble Edward Harrison Esq’ at ye ffort, and sett out for Fort St David and took the mount way, being accompanied with Mess Benyon, Boon, Trenchfield and Walker to that place, besides those ordered to ffort St David, namely Messrs Baker, Weld, Captn Poirier, Gunner Hugonin, three Corporalles and nine centinells, and Peons; upon arrival at Mount wrote the Honble Edward Harrison Esq by Mr Benyon.

Tuesday 6 This morning about half an hour after four, we set out from the mount, and at tenn a Clock arrived at Tippalore, and near three in the afternoon left it, and came to Sadrass at six in the evening, where we lodged all night.

Wednesday 7 We set out from Sadras by break of day, and by twelve a clock got about 20 miles on our way, and within two hours and a halfs march of Mercawn, stoping to refresh at Mongoode, in the Long wood, wher we dined, and were overtaken by a Dutch Tappa Peon from Pullicatt, going to Negapatam with a Dutch Packquett for that Place, we reached Mercawn this night, and lodged there where one of our Horses faultered. This morning Henry Davenport wrote the Hon’ble: President at our seting out, and sent it way by Tappys.

Thursday 8 About four in the morning we left Mecawn, and by nine a Clock got to Boomapollum, from whence ye Deputy Governour wrote the Hon’ble President by Tappys, here we Dined, nd at three in the afternoon, sett out from thence, we pass’d Pondicherry about four a Clock in the afternoon, when the Deputy Governour sent in Gunner Hugonin w’th his Letter to Governour Dulivier, acquainting him of his passing by his Garrison, and should be glad to serve him where he was agoing.

Fryday 9th We left Connygoil three quarters after five in the morning, & entered the Company’s bounds of Fort St David half an hour after, passing by Condapah Choultry with out any resistance, and then crossed Penny River by boat and a Cattamaran, having sent for Peter Ackman Officer of Cundapah Guard and acquainted him of his obedience and Duty to the Rt. Hon’ble President and Councell of Fort St George Commission to Henry Davenport Esq. Who’s orders he was to follow as being sent commisary and Deputy Governour of ffort St David, the Deputy Governour ask’d him if he knew of his coming, to which he answer’s no, so soon as we were Land’d on the South side of the river between the ffort and his guard he fired an allaum Gun, w’ch was immediately answer’d from Horsetail point firing another, and the like from ye Fort hoisting the fflags for signalls of enemys, as usual in time of Warr, in the mean time we kept on our way till we came to the Bore Chitteees Tope, where we stopt expecting Cap’t Poiriers return from the late Deputy Governour Robert Raworth Esqr. To whom Henry Davenport Esq’r (at our arrivall by Penna River) sent with a generall Letter from the President and Councell of Fort St George to the said Robert Raworth Esq’r accompany’s with another from himself signifying the occasion of his coming, and three letters by fellows in Coolies habit to the following Gentlemen of his councell, namely to Mssr’s Berlue, Woodward, and Houghton, and alfrom tht Post so to Lieutenant Hougonin and Hobbs, importing the same to them, and requesting their obedience to his authority, given him by the Hon’ble President & Councell of Fort St George after an hours stay at said Bode Chittees Tope, Messr’s Berlu, Houghton and Burton, came & acknowledged their obedience to Henry Davenport Esq’r and gave him the relation Enter’d after this diary, not withstanding which and the danger we were to expect, we set forward towards the ffort, and advanced to Tevenpatam Gate, w’ch the officer of ye Guard a Serjeant named Hans Stuport shut against us and made his men stand to their arms, and declared he had orders from Robert Raworth Esq’r to let no strangers in, which oblig’d us to hault , when the Deputy Govenour sent Mr Berton up to the Gate, and told him Henry Davenport was his Governour and Mr Raworth was Dismissed, and acquainted the said officer with the powers we had brought, afterwards, we return’d about a quarter of a mile from that Post, Mr Hugonin was order’d back by Henry Davenport Esq’r

On the 17th of October the Madras force reached the bound fence approximately 2500 yards from the northern end of Cuddalore town. The Choultry was a travellers rest house and place where merchants could store their goods and do business as they entered the settlement.

Saturday 17th Between one and two this morning Ensigns Handle & Ackman were sent with forty good men to endeavour to surprize Cundapau Choultry and Horsetail point, about four the deputy Governour was advis’d they had gott possession of the former, w’ch they found deserted, they put a guard into it, and immediately advanced towards Horsetail point, where they found only one Gunner, who upon their entering was going to fire an allarum Gun, w’ch. Ensign Handlee prevented by threatening him if he did not instantly lay down his match he was a Deadman.

By five this morning the whole body march’d for the bounds where soon after they arriv’d, and advanc’d to Cundapau Choultry where we drew up our men, Deputy Governor order’d Serjeant John D’Morgan with twenty men to keep possession of that Post, and Sergeant John Cordall with Andrew Middleton and twenty men to Horsetail point, immediately after we passed ye River when was sent a Peon to Ensign Hobbs to summon him to his obedience to the Right Hon’ble: Company, and for what was pass’d shou’d be fogott; he return’d answer that Mr. Raworth was his Governour & he knew no other, so cou’d not quitt his post without his order after we were all over the river, we march’d towards the Company’s Garden always taking care to be undercover from the Forts Gunns, when haulted within a hundred & fifty yards of the Garden Gate, fronting before which they had thrown five or six thousand crows feet to prevent our advancing on them, the Deputy Governour sent Mr. Burton to summon the officers and soldiers to return to their obediene to the Right Hon’ble: Company, who all peremtorily refus’d except Sergeant Fox that came to us upon secng summons and submitted himself to the order of the Deputy Governour, telling him that Mr. Raworth had kept ye men in a Continuall heat of Liquor, which he believ’d was the occasion of their being obdurate, during this parly a single Horseman from the Fort who we perceiv’d came to view us, and immediately return’d when Mr. Raworth was so kind to salute us with an eighteen pounder, which fled just over our heads, and litt between us and ye Garden, this was enough to provoke men of the best Tempers to have reveng’d themselves, when it lay in our power to have Cutt off every man that was lodg’d in the Gardens but to shew Mr. Raworth and the rest of his rebellious Crew, we delighted not in blood, we march’d to secure Cuddalore, between which and Trepopalore he fir’d a second shott at us, w’ch: did no mischief, and was was soon after taken up and brought to the Deputy Governour, at Ten we enter’d Cuddalore by the Braminy Gate, which finding shutt Mr. Hugonin jump’d over the Pallasadoes, and open’d the Gate by Cutting the barr in two, we took possession of the point (finding no body upon it) with a Barrell and a Jarr of Powder; the Forces were drawn up when the Officers were order’d to draw out their men and take possession of severall Guards, after this the Deputy Governour went to Mr. Farmers house which he makes his residence for himself and all the Gentlemen.

Soon after arriv’d at Mr Farmers house, we spy’d Mr Raworth’s Pinnace put out to sea, which we supposed somebody upon her was running away, upon enquiry we were inform’d twas sent by Mr. Raworth to take his Dubash Dossery, who had run away from him on a Cattamaran, this fellow is a great a villain as ever came into ye bounds, and had done as much mischief; the taking of this servant wou’d be of grat service to the Company in making him confess the many ill actions of Mr. Raworth, to whom he was his chief Councellor, so the Deputy Governour order’d a Chillinga imediately to be well man’d and sent upon her a Sergeant and Six Soldiers, with a promise to ‘em if they took ye. Boat, to give ‘em a months pay gratis.

Whilst we were at Dinner Mr. Raworth from ye Fort fired severall Gunns the shott of one of them fell through a house near Chellumbum Gate which was brought to the Deputy Governour.

At five this evening eight Horse Consisting of Trumpeters, Gardeners, and Cooks dismounted when they were over Penna River and attack’d Condapau Choultry first firing at them, and then threw Granadoes w’ch: Sergeant D;Morgan bravely defended, killing and mortally wounding five and took as many horses, the Sergeant of that Guard arriv’d here that night with his men, who refus’d to stand by him Mr. Raworth having threaten’d for that action to bring his whole force against them, which being about five miles from us t’woud be impossible for us to assist them.
This afternoon the Deputy Governour receiv’d a Letter from Mr. Raworth in answer to his sent him yesterday, Coppy of w’ch: is enter’d after this Diary.
At four this morning the Deputy Governour dispatch’d a Letter to the Hon’ble President, advising that we were in possession of Cundapau Choultry, at six that we had Horsetail Point, and at Ten Cuddalore.

Throughout this rather strange affair the Deputy Governor Raworth, and the new Governor Davenport kept up a rather curious correspondence, in which both parties tried to make it appear as if they are acting correctly.

The letter referred to above was recorded as follows: -

“Cuddalore Saturday 17th At a Consultation present The Worsp’ful Henry Davenport etc. “

From Mr. Raworth


I receiv’d the letter you sent me w:ch I now return not being able to find the Gentleman to whom it is adrest, the late Deputy Govenour of this place, having departted to Fort St. George the ultimo August last.
I likewise send you the Coppy of a Protest, which I sent to Pondicherry not knowing but you were there, w:ch I again lay to your Charge the blood which by your order was shed yesterday, by that vile rascall John De Morgan and his party. I further declare you a Traitor to the interest of the Rt. Hon’ble United Company of Merchants of England Trading to the East India, for having in so irregular and unlawfull manner Enter’d the Town of Cuddalore, and spread seditious stories you have done, with the assistance of Messr’s Berlu, Baker, Woodward, and Houghton for w’ch I don’t at all doubt you’ll receive your reward, towards which I will contribute what lyes in my power, not withstanding in the former Course of my life, I have always approv’d my self.

Fort St David Sr
18th October 1713 Your most faithfull
Humble Servant
Rob:t Raworth
D Governour

After the Consultation at Fort St George on Friday the 18th of March 1714 it was minuted that: -

“Serjeant John De Morgan, being very well qualified and having behav’d himself remarkably well during the troubles at Fort St. David.AGREED that He be made Ensign to the Second Company of this Garrison, in the place of Ensign Gardener formerly discharg’d. Serjt. Jno. De Morgan havg. Behav’d himself well in ye. Troubles at ffort St. DavidHe is made an Ensign.