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Category Archives: NamesImage
SCOTTISH CEMETERY AT KOLKATA
The Scottish Cemetery: 159B, Ustad Enayet Khan Ave, Park Circus, Park Street area, Kolkata, West Bengal 700017, India
One of the results of the Act of Union (1707) was the ability of Scots to engage in the opportunities provided by organisations like the East India Company. Henry Dundas (1742-1811) “the uncrowned King of Scotland”, helped to bring the activities of the Company under the direct control of the British government. By 1792 as many as 1 out of 9 civil servants in the Company were Scots, along with a third of all officers in the army in India and 1 in 11 of its soldiers. Scots, including soldiers, missionaries, jute traders and businessmen went on to play a prominent part in the economic development and administration of West Bengal.
Scots were heavily involved in trade. Coal, timber, sugar, indigo, and cotton all had large markets created by the Industrial Revolution in back in Britain, and by the 1880s West Bengal was also the world leader in the production of quality tea. Of local interest, from the 1830s it became possible to mechanically spin jute fibres and much of the raw material jute made its way to the mills of Dundee.
Such were the numbers of Scottish-linked families in India that they formed a regiment in the British Indian Army: the Calcutta Scottish. Their badge featured the Saltire as well as the arms of the city, and they wore Hunting Stewart tartan.
St Andrews Church in Dalhousie Square, built in 1816, is now part of the Church of North India; and the nearby Scottish Cemetery at Calcutta was established in 1820.
Extending to 6 acres (24,000 m2) the cemetery now lies within a dense urban area in the centre of Kolkata. It is enclosed by a high wall; and the entrance, which bears the title “Scottish Cemetery” over an archway, is flanked by a restored gatehouse. The cemetery is roughly square in plan and laid out largely in a grid pattern. It contains over 1600 burial plots, with well over 2000 burials.
All burials were recorded in meticulous detail and are preserved in the original ledgers kept at St Andrews Church and the Cemetery gatehouse. Well over 90% of the names are recognisably ex patriot Scots; most of the others are prominent Christian Bengalis. The memorials are generally of imported Scottish sandstone or granite. Towns of origin mentioned on the various stones include Paisley, Sutherland, Fife, Campbeltown, and many from the Dundee area including Arbirlot, Broughty Ferry, and Monifieth.
Although the cemetery was in use until the 1940s, it was abandoned in the 1950s and almost all the original lead (used in lettering) and cast iron has been removed. By the turn of the twentieth century the cemetery was derelict and overgrown; the monuments and stones were broken and decayed. The cemetery, was a great burden for St Andrew’s church to maintain; and it served no useful purpose for the relatives of the people buried there or, more importantly, for the local population.
However, it is a rare, largely undeveloped area space in a densely populated part of Kolkata; and it has considerable potential not only as a regeneration project but also a revenue generating tourist attraction.
A conservation project, initiated by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), is now led by the Kolkata Scottish Heritage Trust with the following aims:
- To maintain the Scottish Cemetery as a managed green space which can be a ‘lung’ for the surrounding population as inspired by the ideals of Sir Patrick Geddes.
- To research and record of the cemetery and thereby improve the understanding of the site, its history and its genealogical importance. To make this information readily available.
- To restore the cemetery buildings and as many of the monuments as possible.
- To establish a centre for training traditional building skills necessary for the repair and restoration of the monuments as well as of the traditional buildings of Kolkata.
In 2008 the cemetery was cleared of invasive vegetation which had been the principal cause of decay to memorials and headstones. Thereafter, it was possible to conduct a detailed archaeological survey, to assess the condition of surviving monuments and consider the most effective means of repair. Much of the survey work was conducted by RCAHMS (the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic and Monuments of Scotland).
The initial work of clearing the overgrown vegetation was done by Simpson and Brown Architects of Edinburgh with Addyman Archaeology. The boundary wall has been repaired and made secure, lighting has been installed, gardeners have been employed to keep the vegetation under control, the Gatehouse (with toilets) has been conserved for the use as an interpretation centre for the visitors and tourists, and workers quarters has been constructed. Levelling for proper drainage is in progress; and research continues for developing compatible traditional mortar. Planting of flowers, trees, and shrubs has been undertaken to encourage butterflies and nesting birds and so enhance the area as a sustainable natural eco-system within the built up area.
The second phase of the work was started by Neeta Shubhrajit Das Associates in 2012. Dr Das attended a residential training course at the Scottish Lime Centre Trust in Fife, Scotland in 2013 to study the manufacture and application of traditional lime-based building materials including mortars and renders. She will train local craftsmen to ensure that the historic buildings and memorials are appropriately conserved.
In addition to all that, The Kolkata Scottish Heritage Trust is working in partnership with the Presidency University, Kolkata and the University of St Andrews to digitise the cemetery’s burial archives.
The Monifieth Connection: Samuel William Low of Monifieth, Forfarshire
Alexander Johnston Warden, Angus or Forfarshire, the Land and People, Descriptive and Historical Published 1880 (Part XIV) details that Lows had been resident in Monifieth for 300 years. In 1849 James Fairweather Low and his brother, Samuel Miller Low took over what in 1880 was described by Warden as “a large and thriving concern now known as Monifieth Foundry, and about 300 operatives have steady employment at the various departments of the work. The machinery sent out by Mr Low has made him and his work known in all parts of the world where flax or jute is spun.”
Samuel Miller Low had married Grace Margaret Lyell the eldest daughter of Dr Lyell, a physician in Dundee, and they had three sons and four daughters. Charles William Low (1867- 1897 in India). Charles brother, George Carmichael Low (14 October 1872 – 31 July 1952), was a celebrated Scottish parasitologist who in the course of a distinguished career was President of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. He worked with Sir Ronald Ross who in 1902 had received the Nobel Prize for his work, in Calcutta by co-incidence, on the transmission of malaria.
See also MHAIRI PYOTT “J F Low Ironfounders – the Foundry by the Sea. Posted on August 28, 2013 on The Monifieth Local History Society Web Site
Nick Goes to Eden Gardens
The Sherriff of Kolkata
You Tube: Scottish Cemetery in Kolkata is worth a look.
Monifieth School Board
Rev. Crawford Smith Chairman: Messrs. Robert Galloway, David Low, G.R Paul, David Gowans, and Robert Stephens, Members; Mr Irvine Drimmie, Clerk; Mr John Strachan, Treasurer; Mr J. H, Meldrum, Schoolmaster, Miss Ellen Sinc;lair, Schoolmistress; Mr J . Coldwell, Schoolmaster. (Mattocks)
Monifieth Yearly Society
James Baird, President; Alexander Moir, Vice President, William Smith, Secretary; Andrew Walker, Treasurer; Alex. Hutcheson and Andrew Williamson, Members of Committee; Meets every alternate Monday evening in the Free Church Hall, at half past seven o’clock.
Monifieth Parochial Board
Office 53 Brook Street, Broughty Ferry. Hours—Forenoon from 10 to 3; Evenings, 6.30 to 7.30; Saturdays, 10 to 1. Wm. B. Spence, Collector. Registrar for the Parish—Robert Morrison.
POST OFFICE DIRECTORY
Mails arrive. Mails despatched.
7 a.m. 10.56 a.m.
11 a.m. 3.10 p.m.
6.30 p.m. 7.55 p.m.
No despatch on Sundays.—David Lowson, Postmaster.
CLERGYMEN AND PLACES OF WORSHIP.
Parish Church, – Rev. Dr. Young, Inducted in 1855.
South Free Church, – Crawford Smith, M.A., Ordained in 1878.
Hillock Free Church, – Edward Cross, M.A., Inducted in 1845
MONIFIETH YOUNG MEN’S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION
Rev. Crawford Smith, M. A. Hon. President. Edward C. Baird, President. James A. Young, Vice-President. John Johnston, Secretary. James A. Baird, Treasurer. Jas. Elder, Chas. Malcolm and W. B. U. Patterson, Members of Committee. Meetings in the Room every Sabbath morning at Nine o’clock.
LOYAL ORDER OF ANCIENT SHEPHERDS
The Monifieth Branch, Panmure Lodge of the above association, meets every alternate Tuesday evening in the Sunday School Hall, at eight o’clock. Thomas Douglas, Worthy Master ; Robert M’Lauchlan, Deputy Master; David Macrae, Secretary ; David Doig, Treasurer; Other office bearers, James Lowson, Wm. Kennedy, Alex. Costley, James Carrie, Walter Levie, Jas. Campbell, John Hendry, D. B Hampton, James Blane, and James High.
LOCAL MEDICAL PRACTITIONER Dr Robert Sinclair Smith, Bellgray Villa, West March.
MONIFIETH LODGE OF GOOD TEMPLARS
Meets every Monday evening in the Foundry Hall at eight o’clock, John Johnston, C. T.
PANMURE GOLF CLUB Instituted 1845
D. Mitchell, Captain; J. Sharp, First Councillor, A. R. C. Patterson, Second Councillor; Irvine Drimmie, Hon. Secretary. The M’Lauchlan Silver Medal is competed for in May, along with the Gourlay Cup ; the Gold Medal and Silver Cross, in October; and the Brand Cup, in February.
MONIFIETH GOLF CLUB Established 1858.
Alex. Moir, Captain: Andrew Walker, Foundry Terrace Secretary and Treasurer ; Council—Thos. Christie, Geo. M’Cadam, John Chalmers, and Geo. Wright. Monifieth Challenge Cup played for in the months of April and May. Panmure and Average Medals on the first Saturday of March and September. Cold Cross and Average Medal on the first Saturday of June and December. Fenton Gold Medal second Saturday July; also six monthly competitions during the season.
MONIFIETH LIBERAL ASSOCIATION
Meets every alternate Friday evening in the Young Men’s Christian Association Rooms at eight o’clock. Wm. R. Mills, President; James Stewart and Robert Reid, Vice-Presidents; Archibald Whyte, Secretary and Treasurer.
MONIFIETH CONSERVATIVE ASSOCIATION
James Johnston, President; S. M. Low, Vice-President; J. II. Meldrum, Secretary and Treasurer ; meets every second Wednesday of each Month during the winter season in the Sunday School Hall.
Estimated Population, 2,000.
Number of Householders, 400.
Voters for Members of Parliament, 350
Feu-Duty, … … £1030 9 6.
Yearly Rental, … … £4,260 5 0.
Annual Holidays begin on Second Monday of April, Fourth Monday of July, and Second Monday of October.
Parish Church Officer—Andrew Beaton.
Free Church Officer—David Ramsay.
GAS LAMP COMMITTEE.
Chairman—R. B. Laird, Esq., Members—Messrs David Stewart, A. T. Smith, Archibald White, Samuel Boyle, and Alex. Baird, Secretary, Treasurer and Lighting Inspector—Mr Irvine Drimmie.
MONIFIETH VIGILANT COMMITTEE.
James Barrio, President, John Strachan, Secretary and Treasurer.
Note—Since the sheet containing Mr Walter Alexander’s Advertisement was printed he has removed to that Shop lately occupied by Mr Andrew Beaton, while Mr Beaton, whose Advertisement appears on the same page carries on the business of Tailor and Clothier, at his residence, Anderson’s Terrace, Monifieth.
Friday April 10th saw the Monifieth History Society put on a display featuring the Foundries of Monifieth under the title……… Monifieth’s Famous Historic Foundries:
A display of photographs, memorabilia and research information relative to the part played locally and internationally by firms such as J F Low and Low & Duff.
On a bright sunny day the visitors came in to see the exhibition .
One of the visitors Mr. Jack Scott of Montrose had just celebrated his 100th birthday.
THE COURIER AND ADVERTISER, MONDAY MARCH 30th 1936
LETTERS WRITTEN 100 YEARS AGO
When Monifieth Had Its Race Meeting —
A Train Journey—Liverpool Contrast
A century ago the people of Dundee flocked down to Monifieth Races in open railway coaches, amid great bustle and excitement
The quaint and animated scenes which the races presented are described in homely Scottish language in a series of letters I have before me, which were written in the year 1839.
They are the correspondence between two young Dundee lads, Jeffrey Thomson Inglis who was later for many years a shipbroker in Dundee, and Robert Leighton, who had gone to seek his fortune in Liverpool. Leighton was better known in later life as a versatile writer of Scottish poetry, such as ” The Moose and the Rat”, ” The Laddie’s Lamentation for the Loss o’ His Whittle.” etc.
The letters, which took weeks to reach their destination, and were usually sent by hand of messenger, and sometimes by sea, bring us into close touch with the times and with the writers themselves.
On the Train.
Mr Inglis, describing a visit to the Monifieth course, writes:— They were the first thing o’ the kind here, for mony a year. I gaed doon on the railway, and, o man, if ye’d soen sic a crowd, it beat a’ thing I ever saw.
” We were packit in the waggons just like sacks o’ flour, only that the sacks lie on their sides, and we were on end. Well, ye see, we got safely down to the race-ground, where there were sic a lot o’ tents and sweetie stands. The races a’ gaed off well.
The cart horse race was a capital ain, man if ye’d seen them comin in; the cloarty looking chaps wi’ their hair a’ fleeing ahent them, and their great muckle clumsy horses. Ane o’ the chaps fell off his horse.
Well when the races were done a’body gaed awa to the railway to get hame, and we had to wait about an hour till the coach cam frae Dundee. There was sich a flee to get a seat ye wad a thought they were gaun to tear the coaches to pieces . Well I got a kind of a seat in an open kind o’ a wagon when lo and behold a hue and cry got up that the coach was gaun to Arbroath. I jumped out when off it sets to Arbroath carrying about half o’ the Dundee folk awa to Arbroath.
A Liverpool Contrast.
Mr Leighton writes back from Liverpool with a description of a race meeting there, which was probably the forerunner of the Grand National. “ The ground around the racecourse was covered with tents,” he states. “ There were shows, stands, and gambling establishments of every description—the wheel of fortune, dice, thimble-rig, etc. Ye will, nae doot, ken what thimble-rig is. It’s a terrible thing for whirlin’ the baubees oot o’ fouks’ pockets.
” There were some gentlemen getting ten sovereigns at a time whirled oot o’ their pockets, an’ ithers again were whirlin’ in ten sovereigns, but the whirlers in were a great deal fewer than the whirlers oot.”
He adds that ” there were also cock- fights and men fights going on.”
Mr Inglis is not too satisfied with Dundee. In Edinburgh, he says.
“ there’s sic a lot of fine intelligent chaps that ain can get a crack wi’ after the labours o’ the day are ower. Here there’s no a single chap that’s worth a bawbee.”
England pleases Mr Leighton no better, he goes to Wigan, and describes it as ” a clorty, black, smoky place, full of wild and ragged men like tinklers.”
In another letter Mr Inglis makes a remark of interest to Dundonians. “ There’s been a grand tea garden established since you left by Mr Tammio Laminio in Reform Street. I was in it the other nicht gettin’ a cup of coffee.”
These were lively days, too, for Mr Inglis remarks casually that during the celebrations of the Queen’s birthday in Dundee, during which the crowds tried to burn a boat, the provost’s head was cut. Mr Leighton complains mournfully that they had no such fun in Liverpool.
Both were versifiers. Mr Leighton, adopting the ballad metre, writes to his friend:—
A munelicht nicht I chanced to stray
By Broughty Castle’s crumlin’ wa’;
A lake wi’ calmness was the Tay.
Another moonbeam on her breast did fa’.
Far in the east a form appear’d:
It seemed| a ship far far awa’;
To Broughty Castle straight she steered;
White war her sails, white as the snaw.
She lay wi’ staurn on the thore,
Unanchored motionless lay she;
There streamed a flag a flag that bore
Her awfu’ name, ‘twas Mysterie.
So the ballad goes on.
Mr Inglis seems to have been more of a didactic versifier. While he played his flute after dinner the muse answered his call and inspired him to this:—
When friends o’ our youth through the world are spread.
And forgot the dear moments in childhood they led
Of all their new pleasures they none e’er will find
Like the joys of their youth and the days o’ lang syne.
A later letter seems to have inspired Mr Leighton with a longing for his native heath. At any rate, we find the correspondence finishing with a verse from his pen:—
Gie me the braes whar a bairnie I toddled,
Gie me the woods whar I ken lika tree,
Gie me the burnies whar often I puddled.
O lat me hame an’ my he’rt will be free.
The letters are in the possession of Valerie Sharp, Littlehampton.
The work on the new dual carriage way will probably result in the disappearance of what to generations of Monifieth `locals` is known as Scobie`s Roundie.
The roundel of trees at the end of Victoria Street at its junction with the Dundee Arbroath road, is certainly a place of some historic interest. Continue reading
By Mhairi Pyott
James Graham, who became the first Marquis of Montrose, was born at the family home at Old Montrose, in 1612. This is where he spent much of his boyhood also with some time at Kincardine Castle. Montrose was hanged at the Mercat Cross on 21st May 1650 , to the last protesting he was a true Covenanter and a loyal subject.