Tth Life and Adventures of Joseph Emin




XXXI. 1783-1785.

[Emin goes to Muscat, Surat, Bombay - Movses formerly his servant, now a prosperous merchant giving himself airs - Emin goes to Purrel - Presented to Governor Boddam by Mr. Malet - Becomes acquainted with several people who show him great kindness - Difficulty in procuring passage to Calcutta - Captain Smith of the Admiral Hughes - Mr. Matcham and his letter - Leaves for Calcutta - Stranded at Madras through Smith’s mean tricks - Anderson of the Success - Emin scores off Smith in the end! - Arrears of pay - Hastings on the point of leaving - General Sloper - Posted to a company of European Invalids - Colonel Pearse in command at Fort William - Company ordered to Chunagar - Emin gets leave to stay in Calcutta and complete his "Memorial. "]

Copies of original documents - Application for Arrears of Pay - Letter of Col. Peter Murray - Emin’s address to the Governor.

(Narrative resumed) [Concludes his Narrative with dedication to Col. Pearse and an apology to the reader. ]

Emin having stayed at Charaky eighteen days, went in the same vessel commanded by the brave Ben Efy, and arrived in twelve days at Moshcat. He stayed also eighteen days in that unhealthy place; and thence in a Mahomedan vessel, after fifteen days sailing, he arrived at Jurat, where he was entertained above ten days by an Armenian merchant of Tiffliz, named Stephanus. Captain Pickett, his old acquaintance, on the Bombay marine establishment, being then an annual commodore there, applied to captain Tuice of the same corps, and procured a passage for him in his ship; in which, after five days sailing, he came to an anchor in Bombay harbour, and in a few hours went on shore to his relation Mussess, who had been his servant and companion almost eleven years before, and who, when he left Emin in Georgia, went prudently to Madras; where, understanding tolerably well the Armenian grammer, he introduced himself to Mr. Chamier’s favour, and was retained to teach his sons. In two or three years, M. Chamier gave Mussess a commission with goods to Suez, and thence to Egypt. On his coming back from that voyage with some gain, Mr. Chamier, finding him capable, entrusted him with greater merchandize, and a ship for Bushir in Persia; and also with valuable India goods and China wares to Shiraz, as presents to the late Carim Khan, in order to establish a factory there, and to sell his merchandize; but, unluckily, the king happened then to be dead. The presents were delivered to Abdulfat Khan his son, who being unworthy to reign after his father, was dispossessed by Saduk Khan his uncle. Mussess, wisely observing that the country was going to ruin through destructive civil wars, and hearing from all quarters the revolt of different generals, with much difficulty paid a sum of money to Saduk Khan, and bribed the officers of the court to let him go back to Bushir. Thence he went to Bombay; when the war happening to break out between us and the French, he thought proper to stay there by the order of Mr. Chamier till such time as he should be called for. Emin was not a little glad to find him there, after so many years longing to see him; but, contrary to his expectation, he found him quite transformed, behaving imperiously and haughtily. Emin had not been in his house fifteen days, when, in conversation, he had the baseness to use the following words to the face of Emin, who had been the cause of his superficial learning: "Now you are so humbled that you come to my house to be beholden to me. " At which unbecoming Jewish address, Emin was all on fire, and got up immediately to reward him accordingly, but the poor creature began to tremble without being touched, and from walking up and down the hall with a domineering attitude, sat himself down in a chair almost exhausted, and becoming quite as meek as when he was a servant to Emin, begged his forgiveness. Emin forgave him freely. As it was night, Emin said nothing to him; but the next morning he left the habitation of the unthinking ungrateful Mussess, and took a house at fifteen rupees a month, without a rupee in his pocket. But a countryman of his named Hacob, though too poor in circumstances to lend him any sum of money, made him coolly welcome to eat every day in his house some rice and curry.

Emin omitted to mention before, that a few days after his arrival at Bombay, he proceeded on foot to Purrel, to wait on Governor Boddam. Mr. Mallett, his worthy friend, happened to be there, and introduced him to his Excellency. Mr. Alexander Adams, one of the Honourable Company’s civil servants, who came thither on some business, offered kindly to take him in his chariot back to town; but the governor engaged him to dinner, and sent for his son, who came in a hakry. In the afternoon, dinner being over, he went in the same carriage with his boy to Bombay. When Mr. Mallet came to town with the Governor, (which used to be once a week every Monday morning, ) he made it his business to bring Emin acquainted with a great many gentlemen, particularly Mr. Pemberton, whose letter of recommendation to his brother was afterwards of great consequence. He also found Mr. Nisbet, and Mr. Matcham, his old acquaintance, whom he had seen twelve years before, and whose hospitality and good-nature for nine months kept Emin from being almost starved. He and his son dined with them at least three days in the week, and this made him pass the time pretty easily, otherwise he might have been uncomfortable, living intirely with the Armenian Hacob, who, like Mussess, had been his servant for two years at Bosra and Bagdad. Emin, in all that period had not a single rupee in his pocket: yet he took care not to open his lips to those gentlemen, nor did they say any thing to him on the subject. He supposed that money was very scarce there, or that they were ignorant of his wants, otherwise they would surely have offered him a small sum. While he was meditating on his distressed condition captain Pickett arrived in two months from Surat, and with him, as an old acquaintance, Emin made free, borrowing of him 400 rupees, which were just enough to pay some small debts contracted to make up some linen for himself and the boy. But he was at a loss to get his passage to Calcutta: the commanders of the ships, on the one hand, not knowing him, would be paid on the spot in ready-money; and his friends, on the other hand, pressed him to go away; so that he was as much in distress as ever. At last he told Mr. Mallett that he had no money, and his friend very kindly interposed with the governor, who spoke to one captain Smith, (a Cumberland man, ) commanding a new built fine ship called the Admiral Hughes, to give Emin a passage, which he promised the governor he would, but not in Emin’s presence. This gentleman being newly come from Europe, was naturally very fond of money, and kept Emin in hot water for some months before he set sail; telling him it was true that the governor had spoken in his behalf to give him a passage, but that he must pay 300 rupees at Bombay, or give security for payment. Emin laid his case before his good friend Mr. Matcham, who readily sat down and wrote the following note: "Mr. Matcham presents his compliments to Captain Smith, and informs him that he will stand security for 300 rupees, for his friend Emin’s passage-money to Bengal; that is, if he should not be able to pay the money there, Mr. Matcham will pay it to Captain Smith. " Emin took this note to the captain, who little thought Matcham was Emin’s friend, as well as the Governor and Mr. Mallet. He answered the note in this form: "Captain Smith returns his compliments to Mr. Matcham, and begs leave to send back his note respecting Mr. Emin, as he had already promised the Governor to accommodate that gentleman with a passage. Saturday, 31st July 1784. " Emin carried this note to Mr. Matcham, and begged of him to let him have it, alleging that the captain’s word was not to be much credited. At this thought Mr. Matcham laughed heartily; took up a pen and wrote jocosely under the captain’s note: "Mr. Emin, I congratulate you on captain Smith’s generosity. - You will observe by the above your captain means to afford you a passage gratis: 300 rupees between your Highness and him is no mighty sum, though you are a prince sans royaume. " Emin took great care to keep this note. In this manner had he been obliged to cringe nine months in Bombay before he could obtain a passage, often recollecting his late venerable father’s good-natured banter, that his son Emin supported himself as a king among the Armenians, but that he was an English beggar. He wishes with all his heart that no man of spirit may ever meet with the same numberless adversities, which made him almost forty years keep his body bent to his good friends, whose patience and humanity surpassed his sufferings, who have been always kind, and always the same, receiving him like the lost prodigal son, and as affectionately giving him fresh comfort each time, so as to make him forget all his past misfortunes, and affording happiness to his contented mind, by obligingly reminding him, that it was not for himself he suffered, but for the service of his country.

Mr. Mallet, Emin’s very good friend, obtained for him a letter from Governor Boddam to Mr. Hastings, the late Governor-general: Mr. Pemberton also favoured him with a very friendly letter to his brother the reverend Mr. Pemberton, and a third letter was from Mr. Matcham. After he had taken leave of all his friends, the hospitable Commodore Nisbet honoured him with his own boat in which he and his son went on board the Admiral Hughes. Next morning captain Smith came on board and sailed for Madras, where he arrived in eighteen days, and where Emin made free to write two lines to Mr. Chamier, to acquaint him with his arrival, and to ask if he had any commands for Bengal. As the ship was to stay there but a few days, Emin did not think proper to go on shore. Mr. Chamier would by all means see him and the child; and sent a boat with two catmarans, which took them on shore. He received them in a most friendly manner, entertained them in his house, and made some new clothes for Arshac, of whom he took as much notice as if he had been his own child. He comforted Emin as well as he could for not having succeeded in his honourable design. On the third day Emin called on captain Smith, to know at what time the ship would sail, who, with great indifference and coldness, told him that he did not know. Emin supposed that the ship would stay longer than it was talked of, flattering himself that he should enjoy more of the agreeable company of his friend Mr. Chamier; but, to his great surprize, the next morning the captain and the ship were gone. Emin could not help being a little sensible of the captain’s uncivil behaviour in not speaking the truth. He intended then to travel by land, but his friend Mr. Chamier was against it, thinking it would be too much fatigue to undertake going that way. While they were wavering which way to proceed, captain Anderson arrived with his own ship, the Success gally from Mukha and Juda: he happened to be an intimate friend of Mr. Chamier’s by whose interest, after staying five days at Madras, he received Emin on board, giving him politely the best accommodation he could. He treated him well all the time of the passage, and in thirteen days they arrived in Calcutta river. Emin offered to make him proper recompence; but captain Anderson would by no means accept of it, nor suffer him to say more about it.

Captain Smith, after several weeks, not ashamed of his unmanly behaviour, made apologies, saying, that he did not know at Madras when he was to sail; and imagining that his boasting note was left with Mr. Matcham, and that Emin was to be imposed on like some other poor Armenians, sent his purser slily to hint at the payment of his passage money. Emin not answering immediately, the young man made him several visits for some weeks; till one day he said, that captain Smith sent his compliments to remind him of his passage. Emin said, "Why did not you speak plain all this while, that you might have had your answer?" at the same time producing the captain’s note: the purser saw it, and was astonished. Emin told him, that he was very sorry the captain should call himself an Englishman, since he was fitter to live in Duke’s Place among the Jews, than to rank himself among gentlemen. Upon this the man went away with the answer, and never returned, nor was he ever seen after in Emin’s house. Captain Smith, whom he often met in the government-house at breakfast and dinner, never opened his lips to say a word about the affair which had been so silently settled. Mr. Matcham soon after arrived from Bombay, and Mr. Mallet overland from Delhi. Emin would by no means keep the ridiculous secret from his friends, but acquainted them with it. On the first meeting they laughed at it heartily, and seemed glad it had happened. They approved Emin’s conduct, saying, he had done right to keep the note, to be even with the man who had plagued him so long at Bombay, and left him behind at Madras.

Emin, on his first arrival at Bengal, went with the letter from Mr. Boddam to wait on the late Governor Hastings; and after delivering it, was received with great politeness by his Excellency. A few days after, he was advised by several of his friends, particularly by the reverend Mr. Pemberton, (who was more than a father to him, ) to address Governor Hastings for his arrears of pay, since his furlough had been granted by him without limitation of time; but Mr. Hastings, whose time was short, and who was very busy before he went to Europe, could not give attention to Emin’s application. He favoured him at last so much, as to advise him to write to the Honourable Council. Emin asked, when he should write? Mr. Hastings said, "I will let you know: " but unfortunately for Emin, he was involved in greater affairs, went on board, and left him without a patron. The succeeding Governor, Mr. Macpherson, happening to have seen Emin at Madras, desired to have a short memorial from him, with the leave of absence for an unlimited time, and the letter from the duke of Northumberland, and that of Mr. Edmund Burke. On seeing the paper, he promised upon his honour to use his interest for him in the Council, so as to procure an order for his arrears, and his rank in the army. Emin seeing Mr. Macpherson’s extraordinary affability, took it for granted that he would perform his promise; but Mr. Macpherson, either through forgetfulness, or by some accident, as he was not very well in health, neglected Emin’s case, and kept him several months in suspense, without deciding one way or the other.

During this precarious situation, when Emin little expected to hear such news, he was informed of General Sloper’s arrival at Madras, and of his coming to Bengal to take the command of the army. This honourable officer happened to know Emin twenty-six years before during the last war in Germany, and immediately on seeing him, took him by the hand, and protected him in a manner becoming the dignity of a brave soldier. He, in a few weeks time, having procured an order of the Honourable Council for the arrears of Emin’s pay, and his rank in the army, posted him in the third company of European invalids. Earl Cornwallis succeeding both to the government and the command of the army, the General went home, and left Emin to shift for himself; but fortunately, Colonel Pearse took the command of the garrison in Fort William; and having known Emin at the Royal Academy of Woolwich, condescended to renew an acquaintance of thirty-six years singular kindness, and took him entirely under his patronage. The third company of invalids being ordered to move to Chunagur, Emin wished to remain in Calcutta to finish his narrative. The colonel obligingly interposed with Earl Cornwallis; and his lordship signified his pleasure, in a general order, that Ensign Emin was not to proceed with the corps, but was to draw regularly, according to his rank, for his pay, batta, and house-rent. This great indulgence he owes to the colonel, for had he not been present to use his interest with Governor General, Emin could never have finished his Memorial; in which a friend at Calcutta, has corrected the bad English and false spelling, but has designedly left the rough style without any alteration.


In consequence of a publication in the Gazette, that all persons having Claims on the Company, shou’d prepare them by the 1st of next Month, I take the Liberty tho’. with Reluctency of being troublesome to you. The necessity of my present precarious Situation Obliges me against my Will to be so, Some Weeks since you promised most graciously to take into / your Good Consideration my Hard Case, in regard to my arrears of pay, and my Rank in the army, for 13 Years I took it for granted, and have wrote with the utmost confidence to my Friends in England that the present Governor General (meaning Your Excely, wou’d of his own Accord, and without any Gentleman’s Interest or Interposition have supported me from falling and protected me, In doing of which I am confident they will applaud your Kindness, and Acknowledge it with Thanks.

I know the Multiplicity of important Affairs on your hands, which must prevent you from thinking of me, and which consequently Obliges me to intrude on your patience by reminding you of my distresses and being at present without any Means of Subsistence, your kind notice of me indeed is a Curtain that Screens me from the Reflections of the World and holds me from sinking totaly down in their Oppinions, may God avert any disappointment of my conjectured hopes, tho’. My Attachment to your noble Country wou’d be none relax’d, as for 35 Years last pas’t I have served it without regard to Emolument, According to my weak Ability, and shall continue so long as I live to wish to see Its prosperity and Glory. When I was young, it was a matter of Indifference whether I lived on Air or Starved upon Nothing, but now a number of poor Relations, besides a Wife and 4 Childrens to provide for, makes me to feel it to the Quick and in duty bounds me to call and cry out so very loud.

I have refused very great offers in my wandering Travels by different Infidel Nations, nor did I bend my neck to them even at the very risk of my Head, but have always prefered Christians to their Temptations just to serve my Consience, and my principles, which I hope to preserve incorrupt to the last of my Breath.

Lastly if my pay and Rank will be granted to me by your favour, I shall be happy, but if not I shall Still be contented provided you will with your usual Indulgence overlook my speaking so freely the Sentiments of my honest heart a principle of Gratitude no man that knows my Charracter can despute.

My Bill for my pay, and Batta I have tae Singular Honor to inclose, and to prove to you Justice, that I left my station under Sanction of your Noble Government, I likewise have the Singular Honor to inclose a Certificate of my Leave of Absence, I remain with utmost Respect

Hon’ble Sir

Calcutta the 14th Your honors most obedt. most obliged

April 1785 and most protected

Humble Servant

(Signed) JOSEPH EMIN Ensign

To the Hon’ble John Macpherson Esqr

Governor General &ca. &ca. &ca.

Fort William,

Brevet Ensign Emin originally did duty with Major Baillies Troop of Cavalry, Since the reduction of that Corps Ensign Emin has not been posted to any other, but was permitted to reside wherever he pleased. It rests in the pleasure of the Commander in Chief whether or not to allow Ensign Emin his Batta during the period of his absence; but with respect to his arrears of Pay, he has an undoubted right to them if there are any due.

Adjutant General’s Office PETER MURRAY

22nd February 1786. Adjt. Genl.

To The Hon’ble Governor General John Macpherson Esqr & Councell &ca &ca

Honourable Sir & Sirs

Having given my most humble Address to the Honourable Governor General containing the Case of my precarious Situation, in Consequence of my Arrears of pay and my Rank in the Army, also the Certificate of inlimited Time (of the late Governor General) the Governor General very Graciously gave me Hopes and bade me to wait. It is now almost a year and half past, unsettled with restless Mind the present Necessity Obliges me, tho’ with Reluctancy, humbly to beg of your Honour and honours’ Indulgence to take my hard Case in your most humane favourable consideration so as to be pleased to grant by your mighty Hands my Rank in the Army and my Arrears of pay, which is the whole dependence of numerous poor Relations a Wife and four helpless Children, in a Country of despotick Government, where groaning under the oppressive yokes of different Tyrants, whose cruel barbarous Usages to the subjects, are not only unknown to your Honor and Honors, but also to all the Universe.

I am extreamly sorry to have gone so far deep in this my humble petition, as to effect your Humanity but if the Source of it had not been from that cruel quick feeling, which forces me to call out in so unsoldier like manner, I would with all the Ease and patience be content myself by the undaunted Attachment, for a Noble Country which I have without any Emolument honestly served full 35 years, either in some Campaigns abroad, or in a Mind gratefull, when Absented by an order & in defence of which (whether I am favoured or not) it is the humble request of your troublesome petitioner to spend the remainder of his Days. I have the singular Honor to be

Hon’ble Sir & Sirs

Calcutta Your most Obedient most

The 30th March 1786. obliged and dutyfull

Hum’ble Servant


(The foregoing are copies of documents in the Record Department of the Government of India kindly supplied by the Officer in Charge. )

Emin’s name is entered in the Directory as follows.

Bengal Army List, February 1797 ( p. 54 )



Joseph Emin

It is to Colonel Pearse, who would despise a formal dedication that Emin begs leave to inscribe his Narrative, with the simplicity of a soldier, and with a grateful sense of his kindness. He hopes that the public will receive his work with indulgence, and will have the goodness to consider, that he has laboured forty years, against his own interest, to be of service to his country; but found at last that he was grasping at nothing; having only the satisfaction of knowing, that it was his prudent conduct, in all that period, which saved him from being demolished by barbarians, who are themselves not sure of their own lives for half an hour; among whom, fathers are jealous of their sons, and sons envious of their fathers. The savage manners of those countries, to hear of which is painful, affect more strongly the mind of a man who saw with open eyes how unmercifully they destroy one another. There is no occasion to say more about them. The words of European travellers sufficiently prove their dispositions to have been always contrary to those of Europeans; and those travellers were among them in a time of peace only: but from the invasion of the Afghans, who first began to pull down the family of Safi, and the completion of its ruin by Nadir Shah, the Persians are become entirely different, growing worse and worse every day. The whole country resembles the wreck of a ship; and, as the divine punishment of their wickedness, the dreadful storm continues dashing the remainder of it against the rock.

To conclude: The author humbly begs leave to remind the candid reader of his imperfect acquaintance with the native propriety of the English style; but he trusts that the singularity of the matter will not be unentertaining; and he flatters himself that the young Armenians, whose knowledge of the language is but superficial may easily read and understand a work so plainly written. Who knows but it may throw some light into their minds, if they communicate the substance of it to others, or translate it into their own language? In time to come it may be of service to them, and rouse them from their slumber, till they open their eyes by degrees, and understand the true meaning of liberty; of which all Asia, from the creation of the world to this moment, have been, and are blindly ignorant; witness the many vast regions in that quarter of the world which have been ruled by the will of a single tyrant, who, like a savage beast, has devoured his subjects; and when he has been cut off, his successor has been no better than himself. Since the Orientals know not what freedom is, the author could not have learned the meaning of it in Asia; but he went to improve himself in the knowledge of European manners, and happily found at last, that liberty is the source of all the comforts of life.



Emin to Mr. Pitt, 1758 - to Mrs. Montagu, 1785 - Mrs. Montagu to her Sister, I785 - Advertisement of Emin’s book, 1789 - Edmund Burke to Emin, 1789 - Emin to Mrs. Montagu, original, August 1791, duplicate November 1791 - Mrs. Scott to Mrs. Montagu (undated).




Had I been so fortunate on my leaving this Place when I went to my own Country as I am now by your presence, I need not have the great Pain to be obliged to return. I had a little Allowance that I thought be to me certain & sure, but I was by misfortune disappointed when I was just at my Arms Length of Success. I say I was forced to return to manage my own Business, and try whether this sad face of mine, that recommended me once to brave People, wou’d serve me again. Your Reception of me yesterday was severe, but I hope it was friendly. You said so, and I beleive it. It was the Fedelity of your heart to spure me on, and to assure me of your Friendship. But give me Leave to say S r that your hint with the Word Oriantal, as if I was telling one of the Arabian Tails, I own, it choacks in the Throat me nor can I swallow it with any Comfort. I am hurt to the Soul, I see that success is necessary to make a man seem honest as well as wise. I own great S r in my first attempt I am not successful, but I can with satisfaction say have got Some Experience, & know the Country and the People. My failing was not my Fault. I can explain it, I must not write what I wish I cou’d, and must not speak what I think. It is the noble Sentiments of gratitude abstructs my pen. I hear it with Patiene. Thank you for it, and for the many favours already bestowed on me. - You seem to me like the noble Sparthans, who made their Conversation concise as well as their Writing short, whom I will not only immitate but to improve upon without ever troubling your Goodness by my wild speaches. When I speak I am a ramber, and grow hot, but writing confines me to explain myself better. I will in three days time shew you what my meaning is, if you cannot bear my nonsense to disturb the extencive business you are employed in I am with the truest Veneration.


( Aug 7 1785 )

To the most worthy, and most learned M rs Montague

May it please your Ladyship

That your faithfull Servant the author of this humble Address took the Leberty to write by one of the Ships of last Moosoon his precarious Situation of Life to acquaint that he had no other Friend at Calcutta but M r Macpherson the present Gov r General who being very much inclined to assist, or forward my Interest fo grarnting my Arrears of pay, and my Rank in the Army, as he cou’d not do or bring about by himself alone at the Honorable Board of Counsell, & myself being almost despared by various desagreeable anxiety of Mind behold unexpectedly the great providence sent to my Assistence, the most learned Judge the Great S r William Jones, who without my giving him the least hint of my Destress, interposed with the rest of other Gentlemen at Board, who having agreed unanimusly to take my Case in good Consideration, and favour me without any Opposition. o n that I am gratefully under Obligation to S r William, who has honored me with the inexpressible Indulgence to be with him, to enjoy almost every day in the Week at his House his learned improving Company, in a word I am in Love with his benevolent Heart and greatness of Soul. His mind is exactly like my dear uncle M r Edmund Burke’s, and my Lady Jones’s affable Cordiality Care and Indulgence towards me and my Son, much resembling my Princess Patroness the aimable M rs Montague, in short I am happy and hope your Ladyship is so too:

Yesterday I dined with my boy at S r Williams he told me was going to write both to M rs Montague and to M r Burke and promised to remember me to your Ladyshim, to him, and to all his and my Noble Friends, which makes me still happyer. Pray remember with my best Respects to M r Burke, I intreat he will kiss for me, and for my Son your Ladyships powerfull hand, and when we are come to old England we will kiss the sole of his Shoe, and my best wishes with my Respects to his Lady, and his brave Son M r Burke. I have the Honor and happyness to be

My Lady, your Ladyships

Calcutta the 7 th Aug t 1785 most obedient most obliged, and

most faithfull Slave & Servant


and Aurshauk Emin

( On the back of this letter a memorandum by Mrs. Montagu)

Papers to be given me at Denton



Mr Pratt’s marriage

1786 On Dec. 21 1785

Emin! y e 18th Janry.

My very dear Sister

This severe return of frost makes me heartily wish you may not have left Norwich, your party at ye Bishops, & Deans, when ye Kitchen Fire w d warm the whole dwelling w d be very comfortable, & far more wholesome than a cold Villa. M r Ireton on Monday brought me a mourning ring for our dear S r William, I find by him, the Primate is quite alone at Bath, my nephew Robinson, who dined with me on Monday, tells me ye Primate did not invite him to come to Bath, I hope he has not disappointed any expectation his Grace entertaind that he w d come as a thing of course, which, however, I much suspect. The news paper asserted that the Recorder of Canterbury was a Candadate for ye vacant place of a Master in Chancery. I heartily wish ye Chancellor w d give it him, as I think it w d be a very comfortable situation, & his knowledge of Law, & excellent, & acute parts, w d enable him to make a very good figure in it, but as Places are seldom given to a Man for his capacity of filling them, I am afraid Charles must still toil on at ye Wrangling Bar, for I cannot learn from my Nephew Robinson, his Mother, or M rs Taswell, who all dined here on Monday, that they have heard any thing of ye affair but from ye news paper, However I am not quite without hope of it, & sh d I hear any thing to be depended upon will immediately communicate ye pleasing intelligence to you. You w d read of L d Dacres death in ye news papers he was well as usual when he went to Bed, but expired in less than an hour. L d Camden is very happy in his Sons marriage, by ye Rise of Stocks ye fortune will amount to ₤50, 000. The Archbishop of Canterbury has given William Gregory a Living worth 160l. a year, & situated only 17 miles from London. He is an amiable youth, & I rejoyce in his good fortune, I do not know by what interest it was procured for him. After 20 years intermission of correspondence I had a letter last week from Emin, he found S r W m Jones was sending a packet to me of litterary performances by our Country men at Calcutta, so he inserted his letter. He tells me S r William Jones is his kind Patron, & has made his situation very comfortable. It seems he is married, & has a Son grown up. I believe Harry Bothum will hire Ad l Derbys House at Newton which is now to be lett, ye Admiral having inherited a Villa at Panbury which he likes better. I am to dine at M r Raikes on Thursday sennight; I wish you & dear Miss Arnold were to be of the Party. It is reported that Miss Barwell is gone off with her Cousin a M r Brown, they are not gone to Gretna Green, but far worse, to the Den of Sin & infamy, for it seems he is a married man. I was just here interrupted by a Person who calld to make me a visit, & from him I learn, that M r Barwell follow d his Sister & her Lover to some Sea Port, where they were waiting for a fair wind to waft them to some Foreign Shore, he burst into the Room where ye Lovers were sitting, & by ye assistance of 4 Servants arm’d forced ye fair fugitive into a Postchaise, & brought her back to London; whether she will return to reason & virtue I know not to fair Fame she never can, for as says ye f rench Poet,

lhonneur est comme une Ile dun bord

Si une fois on en sorte, l’on n’y rentre jamais,

I am sorry for M r Barwell who has been so kind and generous a Brother. The Carrier I fear has feasted on ye Turkey you kindly intended for y r Nephew & Niece for it has not arrived at Manchester Square, I dined w th them yesterday with some of ye York family. I forgot in my last to tell you ye cheap lamps are not like Parkers in a main article they emit ye smoke which his do not. He has single lamps, at 15 shillings a peace, which give more light than 2 wax candles or indeed than 4, & ye expence of oil only one half penny an hour. I beg my best comp ts to M r & M rs Freeman & love to dear Miss Arnold. Your Turkey is a noble Creature, especially to those who feast on ye feathers black & gold; to ye Gourmand merely it affords only one fine entertainment. I am ever

Your most affectionate Sister

& obliged

E. M.

Mr. and Miss Barwell. Richard Barwell (the friend and supporter of Warren Hastings), whose correspondence has been published in Bengal Past and Present, retired from Indian service in 1781, at the age of 39 or 40. Mrs. Montagu’s letter of 1785 gives no clue as to the Christian names of the members of the Barwell family alluded to, but Richard Barwell had some relatives named Brown, which is also the name of the cousin with whom Miss Barwell eloped. Richard Barwell had two houses in Calcutta, Writers’ Buildings and Kidderpore House (Dict. of Ind. Biog. ). He became M. P. for St. Ives and Winchester, and died in 1804. A son of his was Collector of Midnapore in 1827. Mrs. Montagu’s French quotation, of which one word is illegible, was probably made from memory, as she seems to be alluding to the following, from Boileau’s Les Femmes (Satire X), 1693.

"L’honneur est comme une île, escarpée et sans bords,

On n’y peut plus rentrer dès qu’on en est dehors. "

The letter is addressed

Mrs Scott

at The Revd Mr. Freemans





Memoirs of Joseph Emin, a Native of Hamadan,

Who, after following his father to Bengal, was at the age of twenty-four led by a spirit of enterprize to visit England and from that time, during a period of thirty eight years, has passed an active and eventful life in different parts of Europe and Asia.



The Work to be printed in England, on fine paper, in quarto. The subscription, two gold mohurs, to be paid on the delivery of the Book, and the Work to be put in hand as soon as a sufficient number of subscriptions shall be received to defray the expenses of printing it. A list of the subscriptions to be prefixed. Persons wishing to subscribe to this publication are requested to signify their names to the author in Calcutta or to the Printer of the Calcutta Gazette.


The 1st January 1789


"Proposals for printing by subscription" were very frequent in the Calcutta Gazette. Portraits of Lord Cornwallis, prints of Lord Clive’s picture at Government House, "Indian Traveller, " a "Treatise on Indigo, " and many other works, even a gloomy publication entitled "Thoughts on Duelling, " with "Observations on Suicide and Assassination, " were all advertised for subscribers, and presumably found support. The list of subscribers was always inserted, generally at the end of the book. Emin’s subscribers’ names were placed at the beginning of his book. Mrs. Montagu considered the price of the book was too high. "But, " protested the author, "be rights it should be so, for being brimful of two footed savage monsters, among whom Emin lived more safe and happy than among his Christian friends. "



My dear Madam,

I cannot immagine for the Soul of me what can be the reason of your Ladyships Treatment to me, as not taking any notice of my several Letters sent to you within these 5 Years past. I wish I was a penman to know the properest form of drawing - a Complaint of you to yourself, for without any Fault you seem to have cast me out of the happymaking Books of your Sublime Memory. I suppose you think I am poor, if so I can tell boldly to your Ladyship the contrary, I am as rich as ever with Content of mind, as healthy and strong at the Age of 62 year, as when at 25, carrying heavy Louds on my Shoulders in that great City of London. Beleive me my dear Lady the Sentiment of noble Gratitude has chained me down to be so humble, otherwise by the great Providence your honest Emin can snap Fingers at the Stars and bid defience to the Sun and Moon. But for all that Boast I cannot contain myself without the favour of your happy-making kind, answer, if you write me a single Line only ney if you even curse me I shall forget all my past Hardships, and rest satisfied. I am in hopes you will bless me at last when you come to consider, for you Humanity is far supperiour to my Furiousness. I have not any one to interpose with you in - my behalf, but your own compassioned good Heart to save the Anxiety of Mind, and keep me no longer deprived from that most valuable and singular Favour.

I have the Pleasure to acquaint you that by my good Friends Persuasion drawn up with much difficulty in 2 years and half the Memoirs of my Life of almost 40 years. I was obliged to trust it to the Care of my worthy good Friend M r Thompson (for the dearness of the Press in this Place) to present it to the Protection of M r Hastings my Calcutta Patron to be published in London by Subscription, and have at the same Time remitted a sum of Money to be paid to M r Thompson to defray the Expences of the Press. I hop your Ladyship as well as your Friends will condisend to subscribe to it. My gardian Angel Sir William Jones has been so good as to correct the wrong spelling and faulse English of it. Lady Jones and several Gentlemen have seen it and approved of it. I mke no doubt you will be entertained likewise when printed. Had not I been encouraged by S r W m and Lady Jones, I should never had undertaken to do it, the style is plain the meanest Capasity may read and understand it.

Now to save me and your Ladyship the Trouble M r Thompson my good Friend will by word of mouth tell the whole Situation of my Life. I can say so much, that I am not so poor as my Friends immagine, which is the only reason they take no notice of my Letters, and when I come to England I shall not hangue upon them as before unless they invite me hundred Times.

My Son Arshak is about 12 years of age, I wish he was in England for his Education. My Wife with a Son and two Daughters are in Julpha, God help both the Christians and Mahomethans in Persia, for it is almost depopulated by civil Wars ever since this 8 years or the late Carim khan. - I beg ten thousend Pardon for giving so much trouble with my rough long Letter. You know too well that I love adore and esteem your Ladyship as Godess of Wisdom. My Unckle my Brother and Son (here) hearing me so often remebering with respectfullness and veneration of the celebrated M rs Montagues Bennevolency of great good Heart and drinking to her good Health every day at dinner, that they are as much in Concern for not seeing once a year a Letter in my hands from her, as I am. They join with me to send their sincere Wishes for your Ladyships Health & Happyness. And remain

My dear Madam

Your most obedient most obliged

most gratefull & dutyfull humble Servant


Calcutta 15 th January 1789

Compliments of the season

to your Ladyship, with great

many happy new years:

P. S. If our Old venerable Friend Doctor Monsey is living pray remember me kindly to him once more adieu; Be pleased to look over the inclosed list of Letters, and a Copy of proposals for the subscription of Culcutta Gentlemen.

To the most celebrated M rs MONTAGUE


(From Prior’s Life of Edmund Burke. )

To an application from Emin many years subsequent to this period, to procure for him some situation of profit in India Mr. Burke wrote the following reply: -


My dear old friend Emin,

You reproach me but too justly for not having regularly answered your letters, but I assure you that neither my wife nor I halve forgot you; nor has my son been left unacquainted with our regard and good wishes to you; so that he begs leave to be ranked among your old friends, though you could only know him in his infancy.

I have never had much interest in India. Lord Clive once thought himself obliged to me for having done what I thought an act of justice towards him. The only use I made of his inclination towards me was to get him to recommend you to some military promotion. This was in the year 1772. I am convinced he did write but I believe he was far from well with the people then in power. Since that time none of those who governed India, either abroad or at home, have been my particular friends. Some, perhaps, have been ill-disposed towards me. My parliamentary occupation with regard to India was naturally not very pleasing to those, the faults of whose government it fell to my lot to reprehend. My friends have suffered; I have not gained. I shall, however, he well paid for a great deal of trouble if I can make the burden of the English government over the people of India a little more tolerable than it has been.

As for you, my friend, you have been tossed in many storms, and in many parts of the world. It is fit that your declining years should have some rest. I am glad you have sought it in the comforts of a good conscience, and the domestic satisfactions of a good father of a family; everything else is but show without substance.

There are many changes here of all kinds since you left us. The Duke of Northumberland, your friend, is dead. Mrs. Montagu is still alive, and when I see her I shall put her in mind of you. Many changes, too, of a much more striking nature have happened since you and I first became acquainted. Who could have thought the day I first saw you in St. James’s Park, that this kingdom would rule the greater part of India? But kingdoms rise and pass away- emperors are captive and blinded - pedlars become emperors. We are alive however, and have, I hope, sense enough to derive lessons of private consolation from great events. They do not always teach the great, for whom they seem to be made; somebody ought to profit of them. You have attempted great things on noble principles. You have failed, and you are better off for yourself than if you had succeeded; for you are an honest, and if you please, a happy private man. Believe me, if occasion offers, I shall not forget you. My son and Mrs. Burke desire their kindest remembrance, and pray believe me to be, with great esteem and affection, my worthy old friend,

Your most faithful and obedient

humble servant


March 29. 1789.


[Original] Aug. 15 1791

[Duplicate] Nov. 12 1791

My dearest Madam.

O! gracious Heavens how happy I am made at last by your benevolent Heart after thirty years absence from England, seven of them spent in Bengal, the Paradice of Europeans and after writing several Letters to you without receiving an answer; when M r Redhead unexpectedly presented me with two of your Letters, dated 2 d and 24 th of Feb y. containing a draft of ten Guineas; I return you my grateful thanks for not forgeting me intirely, but I wish with all my Heart you had - rather committed that sum to my good Friend M r Thompson, who has the superintendency of my publication. I shall be unhappy should he imagine it is done underhand by my desire. I was near going to send back the draft without receiveing the amount, but S r W m my Gardian angel and Lady Jones prevented me, lest I should incur your displeasure. My Reason for daring to think of committing that Rashness, or for putting this mad mans Head in danger, (as you after so many years surprizingly remember the oriantal proverb "that a brave mans Head is always in danger) was a suspicion from the Tenor of your 1 st Letter, that you remitted the money for Charity sake, but in the second you call it a Subscription. I beg leave to assure you that I am not an Abject, but thank God independent. Should the fate of Destination oblige me to come to England again and reduse me to the last extremity, I will rathar die than pass the streets where the Houses of my Friends be unless they invite me, and send me their handsome Chariots. M r Thomson has 500 rupees of mine, which is fully sufficient to pay the Expences of the Work, only I did wrong to acquaint any of my Friends with the price of Subscription. If you had made no objection but possessed with the courage of a Heroine (as is writen in the Rejister book of my Heart) had distinguished your dearself most nobly and singly patronized my Work, who could dare to stand in your way, or hold back your powerful hand from it? This shews plainly, that you have forgot the virtue of your Authority of selling and buying me, which you might have exerted to bring about a matter, only a trifle to you. When M r Thompson said in his Letter, "that your celebrated patroness M rs Montague, in most express Terms dissuaded me from publishing your Work &c. &c. &c. I was struck with astonishment and answered him in a few words to publish the Work at any rate, and trouble no one of Friends to become a Subscriber to it. - You were pleased to say books are very cheap in London, I know that before, but you would not have thought mine too dear, had you but recollected from your noble memory several years ago the drunken Greek man and his Dromedary with two Bunches on the back or the English Giant when you & I made a party with the old Late Lord Lytleton to go and see the monster near Charing Cross, whom Gentlemen and Ladies too travelled some hundred Miles on purpose to see, and satisfy Curiosity. If Curiosity would lead people to wander so far for trifles, why should my eventful work be laid a side?; because it was a little dear, be rights it should be so, for being brimfull of two footed savage monsters, among whom Emin lived more safe and happy than among his Christian Friends, who have made him inconsolable by their nonbecoming Coolness, in not answering him in due Time, in not acomplishing his wishes without a Cost of themselves, meerly for the satisfactions of Friends in this new eligant City, where by virtue of indifatigable study of S r W m Jones & the Arts & Sciences may florish, which have already began to shew a head, & to shine out. He is an honour to his Country! yes he is the glory of it. I wish poor Armenia had been so happy as is India and to have been taken by the impartial true hearted English nation, as Britain was in former days by the famous ancient Romans, Saxons, Danes and Normands; when each of these powers brought and introduced some wholesom Laws and Customs, and enlighten’d the conquered so as to make them free, & indipendent. Not like poor Armenia inslaved by fire-worshipers (or Persians) by rigid a rab Mohometans, & by savage Tartars, & Lastly rob’d of their natural Sences by the Craft of holy Eclisiastics.

I am proud that you think I retain my English, but sorry that I cannot avoid mixing an a siatic tincture in my writing, I indeavour much to naturalize my sentiments to the English, but to no purpose, I am like a pack-hors, sureenough (for I was a porter) trying to copy after an antilope, I find I forget my own Gate; for it is not very easy to make a fierce-Tyger to become as tame as a Lamb; nature is a great obstacle, and it’s power undaunted neither Art nor skill can alter it, till in time it fals in pieces and turns to the humble dust again. - As a Rational being I dont at all approve of our late Friend Doctor Monsey’s whims, for giving his dead body to be quartered and hack to peices like the bloodthirsty Purtugues Conspirators in Lisbon. For all his wit, and vivacity; he was wrong in directing in his last Will himself to be handled and treated in so indecent a manner. I am apt to imagine his mind was not fixed upon the established principles of the Gospel, forgeting his origin & not observing wisely, whom, he was, that sent him into this Sublunary World, where all we mortals are but Travellers; we are on our ways driving back again to the place where the great God has made us and send us here to do good to our Fellow Creatures, & to shew good Examples. According to King David’s Psalm C. 100 v 3. Know ye that the Lord he is God, it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves, we are his People, and the Sheep of his Pasture.

My Son Arshak is hire I made him kiss this Letter because it is to be touched by your good Hands, sends his best respects to you with as much longing as is his old Father, he is above 14 years of age understands the Armenian the Persian, and little smattering of English, he must see old England and have his Education in a Gentleman like manner. My Wife and another Son with two Daugthers are in that miserable Place Ispahan. I shall this coming Season go either to their Assisstance, or to take my son with me to England, to leave him there, & go myself over Russia to bring them out of that Country to some other parts of the World that is quiet, and in peace.

Lord Cornvallis without my application has made me Invalid, I receive 91 rupies a Month from the Company, I am both easy and Contented.

I have shewn your charming Letters to S r W m and Lady Jones, besides several of my Friends, they admired much, which I was princely proud of. In return I trust you will admire mine, & shew it to all your Bosom Friends, and to let them know how much I am gratefull, how much I am obliged and sensible, that you have not forgotten me after 28 long years, and have the Honour to be.

My dearest Madam,

Calcutta 1791. August 15 Your most obidient dutyfull

by favour of Mr. Redhead. humble servant


This part is the answer of your 3 rd Letter dilivered by Doctor Russell.

I am made happy again by your 3 d Letter, dated 17 th march 1791, the Reiteration of the death of all my Friends is strewing Salt upon my Wounds, but I think they are all alive in you, and while you live I shall not feel for the Loss of others. There are still some remaining, who even when we were acquainted, were but indifferent ones. It is Montague alone, that knows the real value of a Man not they, whose Friendship is but bubles of novalty on the surface of Water, which in an Instance is no more (out of sight out of mind) I am at a Loss how to express my Gratitude for your being so benevolent towards me. Your taking so much pains to comfort me at such a great distance, makes me to forget all my past misfortunes, in not succeeding in my honest designs. Tho: I am advanced to 64 years and some months like old Job, I am become young again, and as lively as 25 years of age, ready to fall a sacrafice before you. I dont despair yet to see you before I die. I rejoice You are in a good state of Health, I pray God to continue so with Happyness to the inexpressible satisfaction of


Calcutta 12 th November 1791

by Favour of Doctor Russell

Per Queen Indiaman.

P. S. the above is my Son Arshaks own hand copied from the original, humbly begs to be remembered with his utmost Respect, and Adoration to you, who are my princess, my patroness, and my best of Friends. The under two Line extracted by him ------------------ from Hafiz of Shiraz & written by him ------------------ shew that he longs as much to see you, ---------------------------- as is his old dady.

To the most cellebrated M rs E. m ontague.


Letter from see Emin’s History

Mrs. Scott

Mrs. Montagu’s sister.

I am afraid my Dearest Sister has not had much external enjoyment from her sejour at Shooters hill, the weather has been so unfavourable, never did a Summer bear so strong a resemblance to a Winter as this has done, but if the elements were perverse, the society wou’d make your retreats so comfortable & pleasant as woud compensate for the churlishness of the weather. I assure you I read with much pleasure M rs Morgan’s account of Sandleford & its Owner, Swift says that when a writer speaks our own sentiments we declare him to be a very sensible fellow; no doubt it is the sure road to our approbation. The fondness I have for Wales also made me accompany her thro’ the whole of her tour with great satisfaction, tho’ as I had gone almost the same road it arose more from the pleasures of recollection than from those of novelty, but in some parts she saw things I had missd, & on the contrary in others I had the advantage of her, but in enthusiastic admiration of the Country our minds were a good deal at unison. I have felt myself very much interested in Emins life, which to those who had heard less of him might in many parts appear incredible. To be sure, the narrow escapes he had of being married to one Princess or other makes one smile, as by what I have heard you say his exterior charms were not very alluring, but he was a noble Being, & perhaps my heart aked as much for the bad treatment he received, as the heart of any of his Princesses. Pray how long did he live after the conclusion of his history of himself? he does not date that end of it. Be so good as to excuse the above shameful blot, which I am asham’d to send you, & can only plead in my excuse the stupidity which from a very violent cold has oppressed me; but my cold is abated tho I can not say so much for my stupidity. I should have thank’d you for your letter sooner, if a report of an intended stip of Parliament had not stopped my pen till I coud learn with certainty how I might safely direct my letter, & I am very glad to find the report was groundless; it appeard to me incredible, as it does not seem that we coud have a better Parliament, or that this was a proper season to make the experiment. I suppose the report was manufactured by the Democratic party. Miss Arnold desires her best respects. Believe me my

Dearest Sister your most

affect te & Obligd


July y e 5 th

( On the back )

Mrs. Montagu.



Angelo, Ducas. A Greek. Mentioned in the Sylhet Records.

Barlow, Sir George Hilaro (1762-1847). Revenue Secretariat ‘88-96; carried out Permanent Settlement; Supreme Council 1801: Provisional Governor after Lord Cornwallis; Baronet 1803.

Bebb, John. Board of Trade, Export Warehouse Keeper.

Bristow, Mrs. Née Amelia Wrangham. Much admired in Calcutta society; an accomplished actress, having her own private theatre in Chowringhee. The first to introduce representation of female rôles by ladies in Calcutta. John Bristow, her husband, a friend of Philip Francis, was Resident of Lucknow 1774, superseded 1781, reinstated ’82, died in Calcutta 1802. They were married "by permission of the Governor-General" at Chinsurah, 1782.

Brooke, W. A. E. I. Co. ’s service. In 1794 was Julius Imhoff’s superior in the Court of Appeal at Calcutta, seems to have resided at Belvedere. Died at Benares 1833, in the 81st year of his age, after 56 years of Indian service. (Note in Archdeacon Firminger’s reprint of Grand’s " Narrative. ")

Brown, Rev. David and Mrs. Well-known clergyman, who went to Calcutta with his wife in 1786; was connected with the Old Church for 21 years; 10 years Senior Presidency Chaplain; 1st Provost of College of Fort William, 1800. Wrecked in the Bay of Bengal 1812, rescued and brought to Calcutta, where he died immediately.

Bruere, William. Secretary in the Revenue Department.

Campbell, Robert. One of this name was a merchant and agent in Calcutta, mentioned in the Bengal Directory, 1797.

Campbell, Alexander. One Alexander Campbell was Secretary to the Select Committee, Fort William, 1766. There was also, later, an Alexander Campbell, indigo manufacturer, near Mirzapore.

Chambers, Sir Robert (1737-1803). Second Judge of Supreme Court 1744; knighted ‘78; Chief Justice ‘91; retired in, ’99; declined a peerage. A friend of Dr. Johnson and of Philip Francis. Had three garden-houses in Calcutta, at Chitpore, Chowringhee, and Bhowanipore, and in 1780 bought a town house (now part of No. 7) to the east of No. 6 Hastings St., which had formerly been occupied by Warren Hastings. ( Bengal Past and Present. )

Chambers, Lady. A daughter of Joseph Wilton, Royal Academician. She had, with Miss Meyer, sat to Joshua Reynolds for his Hebe. Dr. Johnson wrote of her, "Chambers is married, or almost married, to Miss Wilton, a girl of sixteen, exquisitely beautiful, whom he has, with his lawyer’s tongue, persuaded to take her chance with him in the East. " (Bengal Past and Present. )

Chambers, William, brother of Sir Robert, "whose knowledge of the dialects on the coast of Coromandel, as well as of Persian and Arabic literature, was critical and extensive, and his least praise. " One of the earliest translators of the New Testament into Persian, "but he had not completed half of the Gospel of St. Matthew, when it pleased Providence to call him out of this life. " (Calcutta Gazette. ) Persian Interpreter to the Supreme Court. A note in an article on the Old or Mission Church in Bengal Past and Present says that William Chambers was at first in Madras. He came to Calcutta in 1776. "Being of an artistic and scientific turn of mind, William Chambers designed several structural improvements in the Church, of which the old circular chancel still remains. He died in August, 1793. "

Chambers, Mrs. William Chambers married Miss Charity Fraser, sister-in-law of Charles Grant, member of the Board of Trade. Archdeacon Firminger says William Chambers had a house on the south side of the old Garden Reach Road.

Cheap, George. His date in the Bengal Directory is 1781, and he is not traced after that.

Cherry, George Frederick (1761-1799). E. I. Co. ’s service, I778; Persian Interpreter to Lord Cornwallis; Resident at Benares 1793; murdered there by Vizier Ally. "It had been previously intimated to Mr. Cherry that his (Vizier Ally’s) appearance was hostile, and that he ought to be on his guard, but he unfortunately disobeyed the caution. Vizier Ally made many complaints of the Company’s treatment of him, and having continued his strain of reproach against them for some time, he finally gave the dreadful signal to his attendants, who rushed in at that moment, and litterally cut Mr. Cherry to pieces. " ( Asiatic Journal. Note in Archdeacon Firminger’s reprint of Grand’s " Narrative. ") Grand speaks of him as "the much regretted and accomplished Mr. Cherry. "

Collins, Capt. John. E. I. Co. ’s Bengal Infantry 1770; Major in 1794; Resident at the Court of Daulat Rao Sindhia, 1795-1803. Resident of Lucknow after Mahratta War; died there in 1807; called "King" Collins, "cold, imperious, and overbearing. " ( Dict. of Indian Biography. )

Cockerell, Charles. Postmaster General in 1785. Baronet in 1809; a member of the firm of Cockerell, Traill and Co. in Calcutta. Archdeacon Firminger says he was descended from Samuel Pepys, the diarist. Grand mentions "Cockerell’s house at Belvedere. " His son took the name of Rushout, instead of Cockerell.

Crommelin, Mrs. Crommelin, C. R. Crommelin, William. In Berhampore lies buried Charles Cromelin, who came of a Huguenot family, and died in 1788, aged 81. He was Governor of Bombay 1760-1767. His grandson, Charles Russell Crommelin, was Secretary to the Bengal Government at the close of the 18th century, and in the South Park Street Cemetery, Calcutta, is a stone inscribed to Mrs. Juliana Crommelin, wife of C. R. Crommelin, who died November 1795, aged 25. William Crommelin may have been a brother of Charles.

Davies, Thomas Henry. Advocate in the Supreme Court. In 1790 he is mentioned in the Calcutta Gazette, in a list of those present at a "Public Meeting, " as Advocate General. An admirer of Miss Wrangham (Mrs. Bristow), and nicknamed "Counsellor Feeble" by Hicky in his paper, the Bengal Gazette ( Echoes of Old Calculta ), amongst others for whom Hicky had various kinds of nicknames.

Edmiston, James. In the E. I. Co. ’s service, died 1807, aged 40.

Eliot, John. Date as writer, 1781, Revenue Department 1793. Judge and Magistrate at Tipperah. In 1811 Offg Judge and Magistrate of 24 Pergunnahs, Superintendent, Alipore Jail; Magistrate, suburbs of Calcutta, died 1819 at Fort William.

Elliot, George. Date as writer I781, assistant Revenue Committee, 1783, Deputy Paymaster General, Paymaster of Extraordinaries and Company’s Allowances to King’s Troops. Paymaster to Artillery Garrison and Ordnance. Not traced after 1794. Epitaph in Bengal Past and Present, vol. viii., p. 212, from cemetery at Bhagalpore, "Sacred to the Memory of George Elliot Esqre. Who died On the I7th day of October, In the year of Grace. " No date of year.

Fleming, John. Appointed Inspector of Drugs and Indigo, June, 1793, "in the room of Mr. Lyon Prager. " (Calcutta Gazette. )

Francklin, Lieut. William (1763-1839). Entered the Company’s Bengal Infantry 1783. Lt. -Col. 1814, retired in India 1825. Travelled in Persia 1786. Member of Asiatic Society. Wrote History of the reign of Shah Aulam, the present Emperor of Hindustan, 1798, besides many other works. Died in India. ( Dict. of Indian Biography. )

Garbrand, C. Not traced.

Grant, James. Cousin of Charles Grant (for whom see Dict. Indian Biography ). In the E. I. Co. ’s service, in Bengal I784-9; Chief Sarishtadar, or General Superintendent of native revenue accounts under the Board of Revenue ’86. Author of Finances of Bengal.

Gutherie, Capt. John. In Bengal Past and Present, vol. ii., p. 427, there is a letter written by John Gutherie describing an action in which he took part, fought by a detachment under Col. Nevil Parker, at Korah, about twenty-five miles below Cawnpore, on June 18, I776, against the forces of Mabub Khan, a disaffected officer in the service of Nawab Wazir, in order to gain possession of nineteen guns. "There is took seventeen guns, with the Tumbils etc., etc., all well mounted after the Europe fashion, and very handsome. . . . . Their force was 5000 foot . . . . 1000 horse and about 600 Rocketmen, Bravo. Our whole force was 1, 300 Sepoys and eight guns. STILL MORE BRAVO. "

Hamilton, George. Only one reference found to this subscriber. In the Calcutta Gazette, "A Plan for a Lottery of Estates in England, June, 1791, " Eleven Commissioners were appointed for conducting the lottery, who were "to hold themselves responsible for the amount of the tickets and for remitting the same to London. " Of these eleven George Hamilton is one.

Harington, John Herbert. Date as writer I780, Revenue Department. Held successively many appointments in Bengal. In 1825 Member of Supreme Council and President, Board of Trade. In 1828 went home on absentee allowance and died in London, April 1828.

In 1796 J. H. Harington was granted a pottah for a parcel of land measuring 9 biggahs, 5 cottas, and 12 chittacks, at that part of Chowringhee called Dhee Birjee and Chowkeber. In 1810 he had let the site of what is now 50 Theatre Road, with "a wall in the middle, " to Lieut. Arthur Dingwall-Fordyce, and was residing on his own property to the east of this site, where the Royal Calcutta Turf Club is now situated. What is now 45 and 46 Chowringhee is mentioned in the title deeds of 50 Theatre Road as the "property of the Children of John Herbert Harington, now in the occupation of Eneas Macintosh. " What is now 44 Chowringhee was then the property of Willoughby and George Dacosta, who were members of a Portuguese family mentioned in Mrs. Fay’s "Letters. " J. H. Harington’s land extended to what is now Harington St., then the "Public Road leading east from the High Road from Calcutta to Russa Pugla, to Short’s Bazar. "

Hay, Edward. Secretary to Government. Proprietor, with Jacob Rider, of the Bengal Bank, also powder-maker. At the New Powder Works, eight miles below Calcutta, he gave a farewell dinner to his friend, Warren Hastings, on the day of the latter’s departure from Calcutta, Feb. 1st, 1785. (See Archdeacon Firminger’s Notes on Old Calcutta. )

Hyde, Hon. Mr. Justice. Puisne Judge in Calcutta 1774. One of the magistrates who committed Nuncomar to trial for forgery. Passed 21 years of uninterrupted service as Judge; died in Calcutta, 1796. In Busteed’s Echoes of Old Calcutta it is stated that he lived in a house on the site of the present Town Hall of Calcutta, for which he paid a rent of Rs. 1, 2000 a month. A notice of his death in the Calcutta Gazette is concluded in the following terms. "In a society, scarcely a member of which has not experienced some instance of animated attention, of genuine hospitality, of affectionate kindness or of considerate and prompt benevolence, it would be equally useless and impertinent to enter into a laboured detail of qualities and virtues he was universally acknowledged to possess. We all feel and lament, but who can in adequate terms describe the extent of our loss!!!

"Tanto nomini nullum par eulogium!!!"

Mrs. Hyde, daughter of Lord Francis Seymour, Dean of Wells, after her return to England married in 1798, her cousin, Mr. John Payne, perhaps the "Mr. Payne of the Direction" referred to by Emin, p. 100.

Kennaway, Richard. There are notices in the Calcutta Gazette signed by him, as Import Warehouse Keeper in 1788. Probably related to Sir John Kennaway, as the latter’s grandson, son of John, 2nd Baronet, was named William Richard. (He became Judge of Futteypore, and died in 1842. ) Richard Kennaway, with Henry Vansittart, was executor to Robert Palk, whose house was advertised as follows - To be let and entered upon immediately.

House of the late Robert Palk Esqre., to the South of the Great Tank, now in the occupation of Henry Vansittart Esqre. For particulars please to inquire of Mr. Vansittart or Mr. Richard Kennaway.

Kyd, Major (later Lt. -General) Alexander. The heir of Col. Robert Kyd (and son of Capt. James Kyd, R. N. ); died 1826.

Lacam, Mr. Benjamin. Free Merchant. A protégé of Philip Francis and a Calcutta contractor. Proposed reclamation of Saugor Island, and executed docks in Calcutta. In 1773 married Miss Kitty Statham. Mr. and Mrs. Lacam were fellow-passengers with Philip Francis on board the Fox, November 1780, ( Echoes from Old Calcutta. )

Law, Thomas. Younger brother of Ewan Law, Chief of the Provincial Council at Patna.

Leith, Sir George, Bart. Has only come down to posterity as a society man, although there must have been some reason for his presence in Calcutta other than the of minuets! The "Ball held for the celebration of His Majesty’s birthday" in December, I793, was "opened by Mrs. Chapman and Sir George Leith" ( Calcutta Gazette ); the same account goes on to say "After supper country dances commenced and were continued with great spirit till four o’clock n the morning, and we observed, with much pleasure, for the first time, several Armenian ladies and gentlemen joining in the dance. " In December, 1794, at a "Ball and Supper at the Theatre" - the Governor’s house was not large enough for these festivities - "in celebration of Her Majesty’s birthday, the minuets began at half after 8 o’clock, the Ball opened with the two following;

Mrs. Morgan and Lieut. Nangrave.

Mrs. Chapman and Sir George Leith, Bart. "

A series of eleven minuets followed, of which Sir George Leith danced three. Nothing further discoverable about this gentleman.

Macan, Turner. Custom Master. His name appears in a list, headed by William Burke, of the names of the gentlemen who circulated a card calling a Public Meeting "for the purpose of considering an address to be presented to the Governor-General previous to His Lordship’s departure to the coast" (Madras), September, 1790. Macan was one of the jurors who tried the indictment of James Augustus Hicky for a libel on Hastings published in the Bengal Gazette, March, I781.

Mason, Bryant. Assistant to Commercial Chief at Patna; Deputy Paymaster to Troops at Chunar, 1787; Commercial Resident at Rungpore, Salt Agent at Tumlook. Resigned 1809; lost at sea on board ship Calcutta, 1809.

Mavrody. A Greek name. Mackenzie, Edward. Not traced.

Middleton, Edmond Pitts. Revenue Department 1783; Commercial Department, Commercial Resident, Salt Agent 24-Pergunnahs. Died 1810, and buried in South Park St. Cemetery.

Murray, Colonel. Adjutant General. Morris, Capt. James. Not traced.

Paniatty, Mr. Now spelt Panioty. A Greek name, well known in Calcutta up to the present day.

Parthenio, Rev. Mr. The Greek priest. The original of the head of Our Lord in Zoffany’s picture of the Last Supper, at St. John’s Church, Calcutta.

Prager, Lyon. Inspector of Drugs and Indigo. In 1786, the Court of Directors "permitted Mr. Lyon Prager to proceed to Benares and reside there for the purpose of trading in Pearl, Diamonds, Diamond Boart and other precious stones in order to afford to individuals means of remitting their property to Europe and to secure to the Company their accustomed dues. " ( Calcutta Gazette. )

Prince, William. Rocke, Edward. Not traced.

Russell, Claud. A Madras Civilian, sent for by Lord Clive with three others - William Aldersey, Thomas Kelsall, and Charles Floyer, in 1765, to supersede certain Civilians in Bengal (one of whom was Richard Barwell), of whose conduct the Governor disapproved. He was Collector and Military Paymaster in 1770, as may be seen from a letter addressed to him by George Vansittart, brother to the Governor, Bengal Past and Present. vol. vii., p. 50. Claud was brother to Dr. Patrick Russell, who saw Emin at Aleppo (see page 158), and wrote a letter to Lord Northumberland about him.

Russell, Dr. Patrick (1721-1805). M. D. Edin., doctor to the English Factory at Aleppo, 1750-’71. Much respected there and granted the privilege of wearing a turban. Studied the disease of plague there and later wrote a treatise on it. Accompanied Claud Russell to Vizagapatam in 1781. Appointed botanist to the E. I. Co. in the Carnatic: wrote on Poisonous Snakes of Coromandel Coast; etc. etc., made large collections of plants, fishes and reptiles. Left India with his brother in 1790. According to Emin, in 1791, see p. 496.

Shaw, Edward. Not traced.

Taylor, John. There were two others of the same name at a previous date in Bengal. This John Taylor seems to have been an official on the Board of Trade, mentioned by Dr. Busteed in Echoes from Old Calcutta, p. 196, as one of the numerous admirers of Amelia Wrangham, and one of the people on whom the editor of the Bengal Gazette had bestowed nicknames, and alluded to, in this instance, as "J. Durgee, " in his paper. In a list of Europeans (I783) not Covenanted servants of the Hon’ble Company, residing in the District of Rungpore, "without special permission, " there are mentioned Mr. Daniel Rausch, German agent for Mr. Killican at Gowalpara, and Mr. John Taylor, agent for Mr. Daniel Rausch at Mogulhaut.

Tucker, Henry St. George (1771-1851). Went to Calcutta as a midshipman in 1786, became Secretary to Sir W. Jones in 1790; Captain of Volunteer Cavalry Corps. Military Secretary to Lord Wellesley 1799; Accountant General 1801 and 1805; Member of Board of Revenue 1808; Chief Secretary 1814; Left India I815; Director of E. I. Co. and later Chairman of the Court ( Dict. of Indian Biography ).

Wright, Alexander. Captain in the E. I. Co. ’s service. Father of the distinguished orientalist, William Wright.


Arakiel, Moses Catchick. In 1802 wrote a letter to someone in Calcutta, which was later published in the Armenian Calendar for 1816, as follows:


I have the pleasure to give you such an account of the Armenian inhabitants of Calcutta, as I can confidently assert to be exact. I myself was born in the Metropolis, and what I am about to write is the Collective information from the oldest Armenians now living there. The Armenians settled in this country upwards of 150 years ago, and I feel a pride, in adding they have always been faithful subjects to the English Government, by referring to Bolt’s you will find that my Great Grand Father Phanoos Calender, was in consequence of his confidential service to the English honoured with several privilege and public rights from Government. Shortly after the establishment of Calcutta by the English, the Armenians settled amongst them, and erected a small Chapel in the China Bazar where Mr. Joseph Emin’s House now stands. The site of the present Armenian Church was at that time their burying ground in which there are tomb stones dated 80 years back and consequently older than the present Church. The Armenian Church was built in the year 1724 by one Aga Nazar, and the Steeple was added in 1734 by one Manuel Hazarmall, the expence attending which was defrayed with a sum appropriated for the purpose by his father Hazarmall Chatoor. The Architect Gevond was an Armenian from Persia. No material alteration was made in the Armenian Church from the above period until the year 1790, when my deceased father Catchick Arakel embellished the Church inside, presented the Clock, added the houses for the clergy, and built the surrounding walls. The Church now goes by the name of Saint Nazareth’s Church in honour of the founder. The Church at Chinsurah is the oldest that the Armenians have in this country, it was erected in 1695 and dedicated to Saint John.

I am, Sir

Your Most Obedient



March 25th 1802

Timber Chapel of the Armenians.

On the east side of China Bazar, a little to the south of the present churchyard of the Armenian Church, there is a small open space whence two narrow lanes diverge, the one, Hammam "Gully" - or Lane - running eastward, the other, Old China Bazar Lane, northward, ending in a small door opening into the Churchyard. The house in China Bazar at the corner of Hammam "Gully" is the one referred to as "Mr. Emin’s house. " Behind it is the old hammam, or Turkish bath, formerly used by the Armenians, now an outhouse. The open space whence the lanes diverge is the site of the old timber chapel, and there are said to be graves under the surrounding houses. In Mr. Mesrovb Seth’s History of Armenians in India, he quotes the permission, amongst other privileges, that the Armenians received from the E. I. Co., embodied in a Charter dated June 22, 1688, to erect a church wherever forty or more of their nationality should become inhabitants of garrison cities. It was to be built of timber (at the charge of the Company), which afterwards the Armenians "could alter and build with a stone. " Fifty pounds per annum were allowed them by the Company for the space of seven years for the maintenance of a priest of their own persuasion.

Name of the Church. There is no Saint Nazareth, any more than there is a Saint Bethlehem - or Saint Jerusalem for that matter - in the Armenian hagiology, and the founder of the church (doubtless a worthy person, but no Saint) was a man called Aga Nazar (Nazareth). Nazar and Bethlehem are proper names frequently occurring amongst Armenians. The original and the present name of the church is Nazareth’s Holy Armenian Church. The Armenian word êáõñբ Surp, which signifies holy, is also used as an equivalent to the word Saint. The Virgin Mary is called the Holy Virgin; the Saints John, Matthew, Peter, and others are spoken of as Holy John, Holy Matthew, and so on. And there is no other word for "Saint" apart from the word Surp, or holy. All Armenian Churches are called holy, and they are so accounted in a very special sense for many reasons, beginning with all the various ceremonies which take place at the laying of the foundation stones, when twelve stones, blessed and inscribed with the names of apostles and evangelists, are laid in the foundations of the walls. The name of the founder, being identical with that of a holy place, was quite suitably connected with the church in commemoration of the man himself, and the building could not have been dedicated to any mythical saint. The mistake made in English, up to the present day, in speaking of the Church as St. Nazareth’s Church, has arisen from the synonymity of the Armenian word used for holy and for Saint. It would have been better to have called it the Church of Holy Nazareth, but the original correct Armenian designation is as stated, Nazareth’s Holy Armenian Church.

There were originally only two gates to the churchyard, the north gate and the southern gate. The west gate, on China Bazar, was of later construction, and above it is placed an inscription in brass letters, which is sufficient to show that there is no "Saint" involved. It runs as follows, and clearly refers to the Church itself.

Holy Nazareth, our mother kind, with outstretched arms wide openeth

Her holy bosom for her sons, to nourish them with milk of grace.

Davit Marcar Sheriman, Dionysius Herapeet, Nicholas Malkas, John Owen Petruse, Dan. Raphael Baboum, Sarkies Ter Johannes, Satur Muradkaun, Shamir Sultanum, Mirza Stephanus, John Visken, are Armenian names, several being merchants on the Bengal Establishment. The Armenians seem to have been a loyal and influential body of men at that time. In Bengal Past and Present, vol. ix., Part ii., is reprinted a Rare Pamphlet, by a Gentleman Resident in Calcutta, entitled a Narrative of Facts leading to the Trials of Maha Raja Nundocomar and Thomas Fowke. The Pamphlet was originally printed in London, in 1776. It includes Addresses of the Grand Jury, European, and Armenian Inhabitants of Calcutta, to the Chief Justice, Sir Elijah Impey, and the other Judges of the Supreme Court, with their replies. The following is the address presented by the Armenians.

My Lords,

We, the Armenians, inhabitants of Calcutta, in full conviction of many salutary effects already resulting from the administration of English laws in this Settlement, and in certain expectation of still more advantageous consequences, beg leave to express our warmest sentiments of gratitude to that power by whose interposition they were introduced, and to those hands by which we see them so impartially executed.

Ever mindful of the abilities and of the candour displayed by all the Members of the Bench, we think it our duty to signify our thankful sense of them to you, as the President, and through you to the rest of your Brethren, who, as they have uniformly exerted themselves for the public good, are also intitled to a share in our respectful acknowledgements.

We must confess our fears, upon the introduction of English laws into this country, to have been neither light not groundless. Where our fortunes, our lives, our honour, and our religion might be at stake, we could not but shudder at the consequences of justice distributed in an unknown language, and upon principles of which we were totally ignorant. - It is to you, my lord, that we owe this obligation, not only of a release from these terrors, but of a comfort and satisfaction proportionably more solid, as our causes of uneasiness had been substantial.

We are now convinced, that Chicanery, Subornation of evidence, perjury and forgery, will never by any particularity of circumstance, or exertion of influence, escape with impunity; and the severe warnings which have been given to all offences so injurious to society, are most ample pledges for the protection of the peaceable subject in his property, his person and his reputation.

We are also told, that by your timely interposition, an attempt to introduce blank warrants for summoning any persons from all parts of the provinces, has been most effectual precluded. By this step your lordship has probably rescued an extensive kingdom from absolute destruction: for what man, independent either in his fortunes or his principles, would have resided one moment in a country where he was perpetually liable to be harassed by vexatious and expensive journies, and by a painful attendance upon a Court of Justice, at the folly, the pique, or the caprice of every litigeous individual?We now experience within the space of a few months a total removal of every serious solicitude, and the most comfortable assurances of security in the possession of all we hold valuable, in these striking specimens of the excellence of the British Law, and the impartiality of its administrators. - We are therefore very earnest in our wishes, that its salutary influence may be yet wider extended, and its establishment, (if possible) more effectually secured. Calculated as it is for a people whose climate, whose religion, manners, and dispositions, differ totally from those of India, there must necessarily be many parts of it which materially clash with our sentiments and our prejudices, though we have the most exalted opinion of its general advantages.

Give us leave then, my lord, to hope, that it may hereafter be so modified and blended with the immediately national and constitutional peculiarities of this country, as to leave us no possibility of apprehension from its most extensive exertion, or excuse for undervaluing the obligations we receive from it; - that so our gratitude may be still more warmly excited towards our Most Gracious Monarch, who in this first exercise of his authority has given us so wonderful an instance of the wisdom of his government, and so respectable a representative of the British Legislature.

We most heartily unite in wishing that your lordship may long continue to preside in that Court from whence all our future security is to be derived; and that we may have the satisfaction of knowing, that our fortunes, our lives, and our reputations, equally unexposed to attacks of private artifices, and the fluctuation of arbitrary authority, stand inviolate upon the unalterable principles of equity.

Petrus Arratoon.

David Stephen.

Minas Elias.

John Mellickrat.

Owen John Thomas.

Jacob Martinus.

Joseph Emin.

Arratoon Sarkes.

Zachariah Caldar.

Gregory Simon.

Gabriel Johannes.

Sarkees Johannes.

Carapiet Thomas.

Vissent Gregory.

Catchatoor Owen John.

Stephan Mirza.

Astwasatoor Gregory.

Astwasattoor Gregore.

Arratoon Johannes.

Arrakeel Anton.

Phanees Bogram.

Thorous Gregory.

Gregory Sarkees.

Cachik Sarkees.

Abraham Pogose.

Petrus Isacc.

Mattacky Michael.

Satter Morraud Cawn.

Cachick Arrakeel.

Arratoon Petrus.

Malcas Isacc.

Baban Phanes.

Suttoos Elias.

Michal Agabab.

Parsick Carapiet.

Moses Joseph.

Arratoon Petrus.

Avidick Jacob.

Lazar Moorraud Cawn.

Petrus Avidick.

Aviet Astwasattoor.

Cachatoor Isacc.

Phanees Jacob.



It is by no means surprizing, understanding as you did, that new laws were to be introduced among you, formed to rule a nation differing so wide in climate, manners and religion, from you, that you should take an alarm. It will be with the highest Satisfaction I am enabled to acquaint his Majesty, through his Ministers, with what cheerfulness you submit to his laws, and with what gratitude you acknowledge his royal care, extended to these regions so remote from the seat of his empire, and with what "warmth you wish, that the salutary influence of his laws may be yet wider extended, and their establishment if possible, more effectually secured. " I will likewise most faithfully transmit your hopes that the laws may hereafter be modified and blended with the immediate national and constitutional peculiarities of this country.

We enjoy great happiness from finding that our administration of those laws has tended to remove the prejudices which you so naturally entertained; and it rejoices me to have it in my power to inform you, that the same gracious wisdom and goodness that prompted his Majesty to extend the benefit of his laws to this country, has prescribed to us by his Royal Charter, in what manner and how far we are to introduce them, thereby providentially guarding against any inconvenience that might arise from a promiscuous and general introduction of them.

The principles of laws relating to property are universal. To give to every man what is his due, is the foundation of law in all countries and in all climates; it is a maxim that must be acknowledged by men of all religions and persuasions. Religion, custom, and prejudice, do indeed make the same act criminal, or more or less so, in one country than in another.

But his Majesty has already most graciously consulted your religion and customs, and the climates which you inhabit, and has with most fatherly tenderness indulged even your prejudices; it is his royal pleasure that only such of his laws shall be enforced as are conformable to your customs, climate, prejudices and religion.

We cannot but be sensibly affected by this public approbation of our conduct given unanimously by so opulent, so respectable, and so independent a body of men, as the Armenians resident in this town.

Did our consciences not co-operate with that approbation, we should feel these expressions of your sentiments as censures, not praises.

We are confident, that if the laws of England are honestly and conscientiously administered, you cannot be disappointed in the effects which you so sanguinely, expect from them; and we pledge ourselves, that it shall be our constant study to administer them in such manner that you may derive from them the greatest benefit and the fullest protection which they are capable of bestowing.

Further on in the Pamphlet it is stated that the "Export Trades in Raw Silk to Bombay and Surat, " etc., etc., is "carried on and the returns made in ships and vessels belonging to the English Merchants. The principal freighters, and almost the only importers of money into the Kingdom, are the Armenians and the owners above-mentioned, and without which the territorial revenue of the Kingdom would be difficult to collect . . . . the greatest part of the foreign trade of this kingdom is managed by the above mentioned bodies of men; and except a little silver imported by the Dutch and the French, the only resource for keeping up the currency of this country lies in the honest industry, integrity and perseverance of the English and Armenian independent merchants residing in Calcutta. The trade of the port has increased in a duplicate proportion within these three years, as may be proved by the Custom-House books.

"Next to that from the European Merchants, stands the Address of the Armenians; a very rich body of people, whose extensive dealings and universal correspondence make them particularly useful in this country. It has ever been thought a wise maxim, by the ruling Princes in the East, to give them every encouragement and protection in their dominions. They also have confined the signatures of their Address to the principal men of their Cast residing in Calcutta. "

From a publication called "Indian Recreations, " printed in Edinburgh in 1803, and reproduced in the Armenian Calendar for 1818.

"The Armenians are the most respectable and perhaps the most numerous body of foreign merchants in this Capital. They carry on an extensive trade from China and most of the sea ports to the Eastward and to the West, as far as the Persian gulph. Their information from all these different quarters is deemed the most accurate and minute of any body of men in their profession. They are attentive, regular and diligent in business; and never think of departing from their lives and indulging in dissipation, even after a competency has been acquired. Their houses are therefore of old Standing, and many of them are possessed of large Capitals, as subjects they are perhaps the most peaceable and Loyal to be found in any country, as members of Society they are polite and inoffensive.

When the convalescence of his majesty, after a severe indisposition, was publicly notified in Calcutta, a general expression of joy was made by all the inhabitants. But the most conspicuous and brilliant illuminations were displayed by an Armenian merchant by the name of Cachick Arakel, because accompanied by an act of Charity. His Loyalty did not escape the notice of Lord Cornwallis who on interrogating him what particular interest he felt in the life of his Brittanic Majesty received this reply. "I have, my lord, lived under his Government for near thirty years, it has never injured me but on the contrary always afforded its protection, and this, with industry has enabled me to accumulate a very plentiful fortune. "

This speech is not perhaps the most eloquent; but I confess that to me it has conveyed a more advantageous Idea of his understanding than if he had composed Volumes of our political Sophistry.

"When these circumstances were reported to his majesty by the Governor General Mr. Cachick Arakel was presented with the miniature of his sovereign which he continued to wear till his death, and his son now wears it in honour of his family. Some of the more respectable Armenians are commonly invited to public balls and entertainments given in Calcutta where they invariably behave with all that decorum and correctness which a knowledge of mankind generally produces. A few priests of their persuasion are maintained by them, not only in affluence but in some degree of splendor. In their fondness for Show and elegance the Armenians approach nearer the English than any merchants here, they are however more guarded in their expense, for they are seldom seen displaying their equipage till they are fully able to defray its charge. "

The foregoing extracts testify to the part taken by Armenians in developing the trade of Calcutta, and the position they held amongst the inhabitants of this city during the latter half of the 18th century, although the extraordinary privileges conferred on them by the Court of Directors of the E. I. Co. in the charters of June 22, 1688, can scarcely be considered as in full force at this period, a century later. These charters had been granted partly in recognition of the great services rendered by the Armenians to the English (for an account of which see Mesrovb Seth’s History of Armenians in India ), when they were first establishing themselves in Calcutta, and partly for the encouragement of trade.

"And whereas the said Armenians use to drive a great trade from India to Turkey overland, by way of Persia and Arabia, and are now desirous to drive that whole trade by the way of England, it is hereby agreed and declared that the said Armenians have liberty to send upon any of the Company’s ships for England any sorts of goods of East India, consigning them to the Company by true invoices and bills of loading and not otherwise, paying ten per cent commission on the value of the said goods in London, besides the same freight as we ourselves pay. " The Charters even went so far as to say "That we will not continue any Governor in our service that shall in any kind disturb or discountenance them in the full enjoyment of all the privileges hereby granted to them, neither shall they pay any other or greater duty in India than the Company’s Factors, or any other Englishmen born, do, or ought to do. " - In short, the charters provided that, in all respects, Armenians should be treated in the same way as Englishmen born.

Such favoured treatment, obviously, could hardly be expected always to continue unchallenged, and in the Decisions of the Supreme Court of Judicature of Fort William in Bengal, from the date of the Charter of 1774 to 1841, with notes by T. C. Morton, 1854 (2nd ed. ), there will be found the following, taken from Bolt’s Considerations on Indian Affairs.

"With reference to the above documents (the charters) the following remarks were addressed by the Company’s solicitor Mr. Nuthall, to his employers, in May 1772; when the position of the Armenians in the Company’s territories was the subject of debate in the House of Commons.

1st. It is no treaty, or contract, the Armenians are not parties to it consequently are not bound by it. It is nothing more than a set of orders or regulations issued by the old East India Company for the purpose of encouraging the Armenians to employ the Company’s ships in trade under particular duties and freight therein specified.

2ndly. It does not appear from any of the India Company’s records, that the Armenians ever acted under this grant, or ever claimed the privileges or immunities therein mentioned, from 1688 to this time: or ever consigned to the Company their goods from India to the Turkey trade, or otherwise, as was the plain intention of the instrument.

3rdly. But admitting this to be an agreement binding on the old Company, and that there is evidence of its being put in execution, can it be insisted upon, that after the surrender of the old Company’s charter and all their powers, the present East India Company, who derive their rights under a different charter, is concluded by it, or bound to perform, or acquiesce in it? It might as well be urged that the bye-laws and resolutions of the old Company were binding on the new Company; there is no act of Parliament, or Charter, that warrants any such position. " - Mr. Sayer, the Standing Counsel of the Company, subscribed to Mr. Nuthall’s remarks, and said of them "that they effectually put an end to all pretended treaties with the Armenians in the year 1688. "

These opinions on trading according to the Charters, pronounced in England, do not seem however to have affected the position of Armenians in Calcutta as British subjects. Mr. Justice Chambers, in his notes (Aug. 21, 1788) upon a case regarding the estate of an Armenian dying out of Calcutta, says " . . . . . yet, it seems reasonable to give so much latitude of construction to the words British subjects dying within the provinces, as to include a class of Christians who are strangers and foreigners here, and who consider themselves, whether they live in the town of Calcutta or out of it, as residing under the protection of the British Government, and not of the Subahdar . . . . . . A further argument in favour of this practice may be drawn from a deed poll under the Company’s seal ( a ) executed in London A. D. 1688, by which Armenians are permitted to live in any of the Company’s towns, and to sell and purchase houses and land and to be capable of all civil offices, as if they were Englishmen born. "

In one respect they were far more favourably situated than Englishmen born, for their country was nearer, Armenian women travelled to India, and they were able to marry women of their own race and religion, which was not the case with many Englishmen in India, either then, or at a later period. What appears to be the oldest tombstone of an Armenian in India is that of a woman, the wife of a priest, at Surat, where Armenians first formed a permanent settlement. Thence they went to Akbar’s Court, and the first Jesuits who visited Agra found Armenians there, at Futtehpore Sikri, in 1579, the date of this inscription. The Jesuits also, in 1600, got possession of the books of an Armenian bishop who was travelling towards Lahore. Rev. Father H. Hosten, S. J., says that the Jesuits do not mention churches or chapels at Surat, but that their silence on this point would mean little, for Surat at that date was under Akbar, and not in the hands of the Portuguese.

In this tomb lieth buried the body of the noble lady, who was named Marinas, the wife of the priest Woskan. She was a crown to her husband according to the proverbs of Solomon. According to our Armenian date of one thousand and twenty-eight, on the fifteenth day of November at the first hour of Friday, at the age of 53, she was taken up to the Lord of Life, a soul-afflicting cause of sorrow to her faithful husband.

Ye who see this tomb, pray to the Lord to grant mercy.

Ի տապանի աստ ամփոփի մարմին տիկնոջն Տիրուհի.

Սա Մարինաս վերակոչի. գոլ կողակից Տէր Ոսկանի.
Էր սա պսակ իւր կենակցի. ըստ առակին Սողոմոնի
Իսկ մեր Հայոցս տումարի. հազար քսանը ութ ամի.
Տասն ֊ հինգ նոյեմբերի. ՝ի յՈւրբաթի նախկին ժամի.
53 ամաց լինի. առ Տէր կենցաղոյս վերակաչուի.
Տխրապա(տ)ճառ հոգ վշտալի. առ կենակից հաւատքի.
Որք հանդիպիք սոյն տապանի. առ Տէր հայցմամբ տուք ողորմի.


The Armenians have three chronologies, eras, or calendars.

1. The ERA OF HAIK, the progenitor of the Armenian nation, son of Togarmah, and great grandson of Noah, or of Japhet, who, after the destruction of the Tower of Babel and the dispersion of the races of mankind, went to the land of Ararat and there repelled the invasion of Belus and killed him in the year 2492 B. C. This date agrees with the date given by the minute calculations of Julius Africanus and Eusebius for the death of Belus. Each year of the Haikian era consists of 12 months of 30 days each, and an additional 5 days at the end of the year, and the year commences on the 29th July, O. S., 11th August, N. S., which is, since 1900, 12th August. This is the date, one month before the autumnal equinox, observed by the Egyptians, the only race that rivals the Armenian on the point of antiquity, for the feast of the marriage of the waters of the Nile. In pagan times Armenians on this day commemorated the Deluge, by aspersions and by the letting loose of pigeons, and in Christian times the fathers of the Church fixed the Transfiguration of Our Lord for the 16th of August, 5 days after the new year, on the same day that the pagans consecrated to their goddess Venus ( Asthghik ), Ishtar, Astarte. One period or cycle of the Haikian Era lasted 1460 years, and as the era began in 2492 B. C. with the formation of the Armenian nation, so did the last year of the second period, 428 A. D., see the end of the autonomy of Armenia and the absorption of their country by neighbouring States.

2. The Armenian GREAT ERA, fixed by the Catholicos Moses II., began in the year 552 A. D., July 29, the months and days being the same as in the Haikian Era. This is the "Armenian date" mentioned in the Surat inscription, one thousand and twenty-eight, which by the addition of 551 years gives the year 1579 A. D.

3. The LITTLE ERA of the Varthapiet (monk) Azariah, by order of the Catholicos Melchisedek began in the year 1615 according to the Julian Calendar, with this difference, that the new year begins on March 22, O. S. The names of the twelve months, of 30 days each, and one additional period of 5-6 days at the end of the year, differ entirely from the names of the Haikian calendar. The Azariah date is used only by the Armenians of Julfa, in memory of the date of their deportation by Shah Abbas from their native land of Haiastan (Armenia) into Persia.

Nearly all the old graves in the Calcutta and in other cemeteries in India bear the Azariah date.

The next oldest inscription from Surat is dated 110 years later than 1579. Probably the stones in between these dates have disappeared, or are inaccessible. In Father H. Hosten’s publication, Mirza, Zu-l-Qarnain, a Christian Grandee of the Three Great Mogols, he mentions an Armenian inscription at Agra, worked into an arch and forming a window-sill, where no one would suspect its existence.


To return to Morton’s Decisions, on p. 242 we find: -

"What is the nature of property in land and how transmissible in the province of Bengal.

It is proposed here to inquire as to the law of land in that part of the territories of the Fort William Government which is subject to the Courts of the East India Company.

Emin vs. Emin is the earliest known authority as to what is the general law recognised by H. M. Court to govern the descent of land in the provinces or the mofussil. In that case a bill was filed (April 1815) by the widow of an Armenian against the infant heir at law, being the eldest of two sons of her deceased husband, praying an assignment of dower. The husband, Joseph Emin, is described in the evidence to have been "a native of Ispahan in Persia and a Christian of the Armenian Church. " The lands out of which dower was claimed and of and which the husband is alleged to have been " seised and possessed of an estate of inheritance in fee simple to him and his heirs for ever, " were, buildings and ground in Old China Bazar and in Mullungah in Calcutta, covering about five biggahs of land, also a small house and premises, being ten cottahs in "Mouza Entally near the town of Calcutta. " The usual infant’s answer was put in for the heir (the other son was not a party) and the cause was heard on the 10th July, 1815, when the widow was decreed entitled to dower "in the messuages lands and tenements whereof the said Joseph Emin was . . . seised as of an estate of inheritance and in fee simple" . . . . The Commissioner assigned parcel of the property in Old China Bazar "as and for her dower; " . . . . His return was confirmed: and the Court passed a final decree on the 21st November 1816, directing, int al., that the complainant be let into possession of the premises . . . "as and in full satisfaction of and for the dower of the said complainant in and out of the freehold messuages lands and tenements whereof the said Joseph Emin . . . was in his life time seised. " Now, inasmuch as the dower was claimed and decreed out of the whole estate, and a small part lay just beyond the Mahratta ditch . . . . this decree is a holding of the Court, in 1815 and 1816, that land of an Armenian in the mofussil in which he has an absolute interest, is fee simple and descendible according to English law . . . "

The deceased, Joseph Emin, referred to in the above extract as a "native of Ispahan" in Persia, was Emin’s second son, born in Julfa, who died and was buried at Bhagalpore, in July, 1814, leaving two sons. On 26th March, 1811, he was "granted a pottah for 15 Cottahs and 8 Chittacks of Ground in Bazar Calcutta which formerly belonged unto Khojah Selman Beshy. " These premises are now No. 23 Canning St.

It does not appear that Emin’s father Hovsep, who died in 1777, while his son was absent in Julfa, succeeded in acquiring and bequeathing to his son any of the wealth accumulated at that time by so many of his compatriots in Calcutta. Emin’s application for his arreas of pay shows him to have been in somewhat straitened circumstances, with "a Wife and 4 Childrens" to support. Later on he may perhaps have entered on some kind of business, for in 1791 he is assuring Mrs. Montagu that he is "not an Abject but thank God indipendent, " and this in spite of his having been "made invalid, " on ninety-one rupees a month.

The name of Emin, however, seems to have been familiar in circles other than mercantile about the period of Emin’s first return to Calcutta. Having read in Bengal Past and Present, vol. iv., p. 498, of the curious entry in the marriage registers of the Roman Catholic Cathedral at Moorgheehatta (close to the Armenian Church), in 1772, of the name of Maria Hammond as Maria Emin, I went to see the original record, and the Christian Brother in charge kindly allowed me to copy it out.

14 de Fevr 1772 Casousa Charles Seally n al de Iglaterra con Maria Emin natural de Colcata nesta Igra de Sna de Rosr foraó tes temonhas Bernando Pinto e Bete vy Emen.



This marriage also took place on the same day at St. John’s Church. Mrs. Sealy, married as "Maria Emin natural de Colcata, " was no other than Maria Hammond, the future great-grandmother of a Viceroy of India, Lord Northbrook, through her daughter Mary Ursula, who was married at St. John’s Church, Calcutta, to Thomas Baring, B. C. S., afterwards created Baronet. A month previous, on Jan. 14, the same vicar had married Maria Hammond’s sister Ann to Captain Showers, and had spelt her surname quite correctly in the register (see Bengal Past and Present). The identity of "Maria Emin’s" second witness, "Bete vy Emen" - with an e this time - is a mystery.


Emin’s letters to Mrs. Montagu in 1785, ’89, and ’91, show that he was then living in Calcutta with his eldest boy, Arshak, and that his wife and other children were still in Julfa. He has told us nothing about his marriage except that he married to save his life from the plots laid against him by the ecclesiastics, and he does not even mention the name of his wife. The marriage was probably arranged for him - and perhaps he had not forgotten the little princess Marian at Astrakhan, for his silence on the subject is a contrast to all that he has had to say about the members of the "Fairsex, " English, Circassian, Georgian, and others, that he met in the course of his travels. His wife was the daughter of Aga David, a man of some position in Julfa, who sent her out to Calcutta to join her husband, but at what date is not known. Her name was Thangoom-khatoon. Thangoom is the Armenian for something dear, or precious, and khatoon is a word common to most languages in those regions, meaning lady. Her tomb in Julfa shows her to have died in 1843 at the age of 95, so that she must have been about 28 at the time of her marriage. Her two sons were named Arshak and Joseph, and one daughter was called Ismeen, the other, possibly, Bégoom. The eldest son, Arshak, cannot be traced after the letter of 1791, nor do the Calcutta church registers offer any clue as to what became of him. His grave is not in the Calcutta churchyard, where his father, grandfather, great-grandmother, and his father’s uncles lie buried, nor is it in Julfa. Inquiries made at Chinsurah, Saidabad, Dacca, Madras, and Bombay, in all of which places there are Armenian churches and burying-grounds, have proved fruitless. He may, however have been buried at Saidabad, for the stones there are not in good preservation. Had his death occurred in India later than 1793 a record might have been found in the Calcutta registers. At one time there were three wardens of the Calcutta church, a dispute arose between the three, one of them took away the records to his house, and nothing previous to 1793 has survived this most unfortunate proceeding.

Successive road repairs, carried out after the manner of road repairs in Calcutta, have raised the level of the street outside the west entrance to the churchyard to a height of nearly two feet above the enclosure, which has necessitated the placing of wooden steps inside the door of the west porch of the churchyard, and also of a footway to the west door of the church, to enable people to enter dryshod, as this portion of the yard, being so much lower than the street outside, is often flooded to a depth of several inches during heavy showers of rain. The churchyard is full of graves, and in fact is practically paved with flat tombstones, with scarcely any space between, and as the steps and footway, although easily movable, are nearly always in position, several stones are concealed from view. In the search made for the grave of Arshak, Emin’s eldest son, these constructions were removed for inspection of the stones underneath, and in the porch were disclosed five stones of the Emin family, lying side by side, the first line of graves at the entrance. Next to the northern wall of the porch lies David, Emin’s favourite uncle, "My ruler David" (see his letter to his father, p. 104). The inscription on his grave (translated from the Armenian) is as follows,

This is the tomb of David the son of Michael Emin of Hamadan who departed this life on the 6th of March 1763.

The next stone has the following,

This is the tomb of Mirzabek the son of Michael Emin of Hamadan June 23 1769.

Next comes that of Emin’s grandmother.

This is the tomb of Ripsima the wife of Michael of Hamadan August 24th 1769.

Next to this grave is one without any inscription. In former years many pious Armenians desired, from feelings of humility, that no inscriptions should be placed over their resting-places, and also that they should be interred at the entrances to cemeteries, and in places which were passages, or thoroughfares through the grave-yards, so that people should continually pass over and tread on their graves. From the position of this nameless grave, next to that of his wife Ripsima, and from what Emin has related of his grandfather’s piety and resignation, it is more than likely that this grave is that of old Michael Emin himself.

The fifth grave has the following inscription.

This is the tomb of Malachia the son of Michael of Hamadan who died in the Lord on February 8 1799 in Calcutta.

The first record of the family in the church register is the death of Malachia. All these stones are very small and of a dark slate colour. No coffins were used. "Dust to dust. "

The next record in the register is the death of Moses, 1804. He lies next to Malachia under a large white marble tombstone, one of the few elaborately cut stones in the yard, with a Greek key border, and, at the upper end, two medallions enclosing verses from the Psalms, as follows. There are no other stones with medallions in the churchyard.

I am as a man that hath

no strength, free among

the dead.

Ps. lxxxviii. 4.

My days are like a shadow

that declineth and I am

withered like grass.

Ps. cii. II.

Into the womb of our mother earth was placed the body of the pious man Moses by name who was the son of Joseph a native of Hamadan of the family of Emin. He lived a modest life until his good end at the age of forty-five years. He was born in India in the large city of Calcutta. O readers of this epitaph, mention his name whole-heartedly. He was summoned on the 3rd of June in the year of our Lord 1804.

The age of forty-five years, according to the Armenian way of reckoning ages, would mean that he died in his forty-fifth year, so that he was born in 1760, and the discovery of this grave was the first indication of the existence of a step-brother to Emin, proved, later on, by the letter, when it reached me, which he had written to Mrs. Montagu in 1785, in which he mentions his brother. When he returned to Calcutta to his "worn-away father, " after an absence of 20 years, in the cold season of 1770-’71, he complained of the cool reception he had from him (see p. 429), which may have been partly due to the presence in the old man’s home of this child of his old age. Emin was no longer an only son.

After the entry of Moses’s death in the register, the clerk has casually inserted, "And on the same day there died an ordinary priest ( hasarak kahana ). " An "ordinary" priest was the term used formerly to denote a visiting priest, that is, one not regularly appointed to officiate at the church in question. But in this case, the poor priest seems to have been so "ordinary, " that the clerk did not so much as put himself to the trouble of recording his name!

The earliest death in Calcutta in the Emin family was that of Emin’s step-mother, who is buried just outside the north-west corner of the church, under a very narrow stone, five feet one inch by one foot one inch, inscribed.

This is our eternal home, according to the Word of the Lord.

Here abides Theghki, the wife of Aga Joseph of the family of Emin, who came from Hamadan. She departed this life on the first of September 1758.

Joseph lies next his second wife. Of the mother of his son Moses there is no record. His stone is very long as compared to the others, six feet five inches by two feet.

This is the tomb of Aga Joseph the son of Michael Emin of Hamadan. He departed into the upper world on September 9, 1777.

The fact of no coffins being used for any of these burials accounts for the extreme narrowness of all the old stones. The earliest record of a coffin being used in this churchyard is for the burial of Dishkhoon, wife of Lazar Agabeg, February, 1832, the name of the undertakers being Simpson & Co.

Two tiny baby graves, lying side by side south of the church, are inscribed as follows: -

This is the tomb of Michael the son of Melikseth Emin of Hamadan who died in childhood in 1775 in the month of Nirhan (March).

This is the tomb of Hosanna, the daughter of Melikseth Emin of Hamadan who died in childhood in 1777 in the month of Shams (April).

The exact ages of children are never given, either in the registers or in the calendars, the same wording is used for all, i mangakan hasaki, - literally, in the state, or age, of childhood.

The grave of Melchisedek, Melchised, or Melikseth, the father of these children, is the only one missing from the graves of the five sons of Michael Emin who came to India, the second son, Moses, having been murdered at Tabriz (p. 14). Another son of Melchisedek was buried at a much later date in Chinsurah: -

This is the tomb of Johannes the son of Melchised of the family of Emin of Hamadan who was nicknamed Marisentz. He died in the year 1808 at Chinsurah.


When Thangoom-khatoon came to Calcutta to join her husband, she must have brought her second son, Joseph, with her, for in the Church register there is the following entry.

August 4, 1806. Joseph, the son of Aga Emin, married Mérine, the daughter of Simeon Stephen Baraghamian. The officiating priest was the Reverend Joseph Stephen. The best-man was Mr. Jacob Voskan.

The Armenian word rendered "best man, " for want of a better word, actually signifies cross-brother, and the person performing this office takes part in the ceremony by holding a cross over the bridal couple during the greater part of the marriage service.

The next entries: -

1807. September 6.

God bestowed a male child on Mr. Joseph Emin.

1807. On September 21, was baptised and named little Joseph Emin; the god-father being Mr. Jacob of Hamadan.

Mr. Jacob no doubt was Mr. Jacob Voskan. The duties of the best man do not end with the marriage, for he is expected to stand god-father to all the children of the couple at whose wedding he officiates.

Emin, born in 1726, had now attained the age of eighty-one years, and had witnessed the marriage of his son and the birth of a grandson.

The next entry is that of his own death, two years later.

1809. On August 2 rested (died, or, went to rest) Emin Joseph, who was buried in the churchyard by all the resident clergy.

He lies at the foot of his father’s grave, and on his white marble tombstone with Greek key border, resembling that of his step-brother Moses, there is a design of cannon and drums, and below this is inscribed: -

This is the tomb of Aga Emin, the son of Joseph Emin of Hamadan who departed to the upper world on the 2nd of August 1809.

On the 20th of August of the same year, 1809, the old register again remarks: -

God bestowed a male child on Aga Joseph Emin.

This son was baptised Michael, after Joseph’s great-grandfather, old Michael Emin. Joseph did not long survive his father, dying out of Calcutta in July, 1814, at Bhagalpore, where he was buried in the old English cemetery. In reply to inquiries kindly made by Archdeacon Firminger, the authorities in charge of the cemetery stated that there is now no stone there discoverable inscribed with the name of Emin. The stone, however, was in existence in the year 1868, as the late Mr. Thomas Malcolm, who was warden of the Armenian Church in Calcutta for twenty years, was requested in that year, the first of his wardenship, by Joseph Emin’s eldest son to arrange for a priest to accompany him to Bhagalpore to say the usual prayers for the departed, and to bless the grave of his father, a duty which apparently he was in the habit of fulfilling every year. As he died himself in Calcutta on Dec. 30 of that year (1868), the stone must have broken up through neglect after his death, since it has now disappeared. Therefore, neither of the graves of Emin’s two sons, Arshak and Joseph, can now be traced.


Emin’s daughter Ismeen was married in Julfa to one Hovsep Hohannes. One of her sons, Mackertich, was sent out to the care of his grandmother, Thangoom-khatoon, at the age of ten years, in 1825. He was a pupil of the Armenian Philanthropic Academy in Calcutta till the year 1829, when he left Calcutta in a Swedish vessel for Stockholm (a voyage of eight months), whence he travelled to Moscow, and entered the Armenian Lazareff, or Lazarian, Institute in that city. He spent his life in Russia, married a Russian, and had one son who predeceased him. He was principal of the Lazarian Institute for twenty years, 1840-1860, when he resigned his post. He lectured in the Institute there later on, for several years, and he died in Moscow in 1890. He published many translations of Armenian historical works in Russian, five works on Armenian archaeology in Russian, five works on literature (Armenian), five works on mythology, in Russian, and ten historical works in Russian. At his jubilee as a professor nearly every continental university in Europe sent him congratulations. The "Life of Mackertich Hovsepian Emin, " by one of his pupils, remarks on the fact that he could never be induced to speak of his family, and thence draws the inference that they had at one time been in very good circumstances, but had afterwards become very poor. Ismeen’s husband, Hovsep Hohannes, had followed the profession of a glazier, that is to say, he was a worker in a kind of glass mosaic, made of very small pieces of coloured glass set in various elaborate designs, and used for the ornamentation of large doors in the houses of wealthy people. The author of the "Life of Mackertich Hovsepian Emin", also states that Mackertich in his boyhood had, naturally, been known by his father’s name of Hovsep Hohannes, but, after having visited Calcutta, had adopted the name of Emin out of compliment to his relatives in that city, who had befriended and educated him. Be that as it may, it cannot be the reason for the action of the descendants of Hovsep Hohannes by his wife Ismeen Emin, in discarding their rightful patronymic, and appropriating instead the maiden name of their ancestress, an unheard-of proceeding amongst Armenians. An Armenian is invariably known by his own and his father’s baptismal names, and, as a family or surname, he takes that of his paternal grandfather, or of some other ancestor, but always on the paternal, and never on the maternal side. The only surviving Emins, the only descendants of the author of this book who can rightfully be called by that name, are his great-great-grandchildren through Michael (b. 1809, d. 1846), the second son of his second son Joseph (b. 1781, d. 1814), by Mérine, daughter of Simon Stephen Baraghamian, who died in 1830 at the age of 40, and lies buried between the outer pillars of the porch of the Armenian Church in Calcutta. The two sons of his eldest grandson died young, as did his own eldest son Arshak.

Thangoom-khatoon, who seems to have been a very vigorous old lady, returned to Julfa to her daughter Ismeen, probably after Ismeen’s son left for Russia, as the author of Mackertich Emin’s Life relates how lonely and disconsolate his grandmother was after his departure, ignoring the fact that Thangoom-khatoon had two other grandsons in Calcutta, the eldest of whom had married in 1827, and that in 1829 she had become a great-grandmother. The old register says,

1827. October 18. Mr. Emin Joseph Emin was married to Miss Mary Sarkies Owen.

1829. January 30. Mrs. Mary Emin Joseph Eminian gave birth to a son who was named Joseph.

Thangoom-khatoon’s second grandson married in 1830.

1830. November 27. Mr. Michael Joseph Emin was married to Miss Catherine Elaz Avdalian.


Ismeen’s husband died in 1823. On his tombstone in Julfa his name is preceded by the word Mah-thiesi - i. e., one, or the man, who has seen the Death. It is a term applied to those who go on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and see the Tomb, or the Death, of Christ. The inscription reads as follows.

Mah-thiesi Hovsep Hohannes died at Bagdad on Nakha 12 (July) 1823.

His body was evidently brought from Bagdad to Julfa for burial. Next to him lies his wife.

This is the tomb of Ismeen daughter of Aga Emin and wife of Mahthiesi Hovsep. Thira 7 (Oct. 5) in the year 1831.

And on the grave of Thangoom-khatoon herself is the following: -

This is the tomb of Thangoom-khatoon the wife of the late Aga Emin who died (rested) in the Lord at the age of 95 years on the 14th September 1843.

Of Emin’s other daughter there is no record.



On the old tombstones in Calcutta we generally find lengthy and ornate inscriptions to the husbands, and short and simple ones to the wives, and the name of the wife’s family is very rarely given. Sometimes the husband lies under a pure white marble stone with a border, and the wife next to him under a plain black marble slab. The stones of Catchick Arakiel and of his son, who were buried inside the Calcutta Church, are both pure white, but the wife and mother has a black slab between the two white ones. I Catchick Arakiel’s inscription is a simple one, as follows: -

This is the tomb of Paron (Mr. ) Catchick, the son of Arakiel of the family of Gentloom. He was aged 48. He rested in the Lord in the year 1790, in Calcutta, corresponding with 175 of the era of Azariah, Nakha (July) 26.

Below the inscription is a horseman with a spear in one hand and a pair of scales in the other. On his wife’s stone it is stated that she was of the family of Tharkan. On the wall near these graves there is a tablet to Catchick Arakiel, erected by a "grateful community, " in commemoration of his building the clergy-house, enclosing the churchyard with a wall, and presenting the church with a clock, which still keeps very good time. It arrived from England in 1793, after the death of the donor, and the name of the maker is Alexander Hare. Moses Catchick Arakiel, the son, in an application to Government for help in his old age, when he was in very reduced circumstances, states that his mother (daughter of Satoor Tharkanentz) was the grand-daughter of Phanos Kalanthar. (See Mesrovb Seth’s History of the Armenians in India, and Bolts’ Considerations on Indian Affairs, 1772. )

Another well-known merchant was Sarkies Ter Johannes, one of the signatories to the Address to the Judges, p. 507, who is buried on the north side of the churchyard, together with several members of his family, including his brother, a priest of the church belonging to the Mooradian family in Julfa. This church is now in ruins. It is unusual for a priest to bear the same name as his father, but it is distinctly stated on his tomb that he was Ter Johannes, son of Ter Johannes. His age is not given, nor is that of his wife. The old inscriptions often, in fact, nearly always, omitted giving these important particulars. He was not, apparently, officiating at the Calcutta church. Sarkies Ter Johannes’s inscription is elaborate and in metre, almost as ornate as Pietrog Arathoon’s.

The cruel bitter wind of death has blown out the light of the Armenian nation, the Armenian leader (chief) Aga Sarkies, the son of Ter Johannes. The sword of death has cut down and destroyed the crown of the Armenian community. He was an eloquent and honest man. His manners were amiable to all. Like Tobit he was charitable to the homeless and distributed money bountifully. At the age of 73 years he was put in this dark narrow cell. Now, O ye people, follow this suitable advice! Put not your trust in vain in life which is pleasant but unreal, but follow after good meditations and lay up incorruptible treasure. The date of this man’s departing to the Creator of all was the year one thousand eight hundred and twelve on the eighteenth day of the month of Ghamar (July-August).

His wife shared in the esteem in which her husband was held, as her inscription is also in metre, though not so lengthy or elaborate; she was "pious in her life, a faithful wife, a tender mother, charitable to her neighbours, and an example of Christian morality. "

Johannes Sarkies, son of Sarkies Ter Johannes, married the daughter of Catchick Arakiel. Her tombstone has the following inscription: -

The tomb of

The pious lady Elizabeth Johannes Sarkies, daughter of the late Aga Catchick Arakiel and wife of the late Aga Johannes Sarkies, who departed this life full of years and honour at Calcutta on the 7th of May in the year 1857 at the age of 75.


With the genealogical tables here appended I bring this record of my ancestor to a close, in the hope-although "there is no reasoning on tastes" in 1918 any more than there was in 1788 - that it may be found, to be of interest by readers in the twentieth century, as it has been in the eighteenth, by so eminent and distinguished a man as Sir William Jones. It is the record of a man whose one thought in life was the freedom of his country, and it seems strangely befitting that, in bringing it to the light again, I should lay down my pen in the very month that sees the dawning of liberty to the people for whom he was ready to sacrifice everything. May they prove themselves worthy to gain, and to retain, that liberty!