Friday, September 14, 2012

The Bengal Obituary Available Online

'The Bengal Obituary, or a Record to Perpetuate the Memory of Departed Worth, Being a Compilation of Tablets and Monumental Inscriptions from Various Parts of the Bengal and Agra Presidencies. To Which Is Added Biographical Sketches and Memoirs of Such As Have Pre-Eminently Distinguished Themselves in the History of British India, since the Formation of European Settlement to the Present Time'
is the title of a book that was published in 1848 for Holmes & Co (a firm of undertakers and monumental sculptors in Calcutta) and is over 400 pages long and contains over 5,000 transcriptions of (mainly) Europeans’ gravestones with brief biographies of 130 people who played notable roles in the colonial history of Bengal.

Most of the gravestones are for officials of the East India Company, soldiers, sailors or their families.

One of the notables was Gilbert Elliot, first Earl Minto (1751-1814), Governor General of India from 1807 to 1813.  Although he died in Stevenage, England, a month after his return from India, he was recognised for supporting the addition of a South Gallery to St John’s Church, Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1811 and for erecting at his own expense a cenotaph at Barrackpore in memory of the officers and men who fell in the conquest of Mauritius and Java in 1811.

For more information see The Bengal Obituary.

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