St Xavier’s College and the Collagiate School, Calcutta, 1860

StXviersCollege

সেন্ট জেভিয়ার্স কলেজ এবং স্কুল, কলকাতা, ১৮৬০

A quarter of a century before the the Belgian Jesuits set up the present St Xavier’s College in 1860, an international group of Jesuits commissioned by the English Jesuit Province landed in Calcutta to look after the interests of the Catholics. The team was headed by Dr Robert St Leger. The College of St Francis Xavier was opened at Moorghyhatta by Fr Chadwick, an English Jesuit in 1834. Next year, the college was shifted to 3 Park Street, and thereafter to 22 Chowringhee, where the Indian Museum now stands, to accommodate increasing number of students. Incidentally, the same year Mgr Carew took the charge of the affairs of the Catholic Church. In 1846, due to the feud between the Jesuits and Mgr Carew, the College was closed and the Jesuits left for their home shores.
At the demise of Mgr Carew in 1855, Mgr Olliffe took charge as the new bishop. Being an admirer of the Jesuits, he with the active support of some of his prominent associates, appealed the Belgian Jesuits to come to Calcutta to look after the education of the Catholic community! Click to See More
In response to the appeal of the English Jesuits, a host of seven Belgian Jesuits under the leadership of Henri Joseph Depelchin, SJ, then only 37, arrived at Calcutta in November 1859, . Within a fortnight, Depelchin announced in the newspapers that College of St. Francis Xavier would be opening on 6 January 1860. A prospectus, designed by a Brother Koppes, S.J., had already been published and distributed. The College opened eight days later than planned, with Father Jean Devos, S.J., as its first Rector. Within weeks, The college was moved to 30 Park Street where the Sans Souci theatre was located, before 1843, when a fire broke out, leaving nothing but ashes.sansSouci-theatre
[The Sans Souci Theatre of Calcutta. c.1840. One of the earliest known examples of a daguerreotype picture taken in Calcutta, which has survived only as a reproduction]
This address where the present day college campus stands tall, is an amalgamation of numbers 10 and 11 of Park Street. Premise number 11, was bought for Rs 45,000.00, by Fr. Depelchin. These funds were made possible with the generous donations of the Anglo-Indians and with help from the home Province of Belgium. The very first class had as few as 40 students. Later, in 1862, the college was affiliated to the Calcutta University. Soon, for the expansion work in terms of class rooms and facilities, the authority felt the need for development funds. They appealed to the public of Calcutta in newspapers for generous assistance and was responded with magnanimity by well wishers of the city in 1864. Besides Father Depelchin, S.J., and his assistant, Brother Koppes, S.J., the architect of the new school, went around personally collecting funds. The present imposing 5 storied building was built in an interval of 6 years, from 1934 to 1940 at a cost of Rs 9 lakhs, which was collected partly from the public of Calcutta, assistance from Belgium, and the huge rental received from the American army that occupied the building during the Second World War. See Evan Cotton. Calcutta, Old and New
The Goethals library, which is located above the College Chapel, houses some of the oldest periodicals, journals and books. The treasures were inherited, in 1908, by the Jesuit Fathers from the then Archbishop of Calcutta, Paul Goethals, S.J. Today, the treasures are well preserved and the library has become a spot of historical significance.

Advertisements

Calcutta Boys’ School, Calcutta, 1877

calcuttaBoysSchool
ক্যালকাটা বয়েস’ স্কুল, কলকাতা, ১৮৭৭
THE ORIGIN of The Calcutta Boys’ School is closely linked with the establishment of the Methodist Episcopal Church (now the MCI) in India.
It was Bishop J.M. Thoburn (1836-1922) who founded The Calcutta Boys’ School in 1877. The same year, he was also given the charge of the Calcutta Girls School, which Lord Canning had established much earlier in 1856.
The Calcutta Boys School was first located on the rear veranda of the Thoburn Church Parsonage, then located on Dharamtalla Street opposite the site of Methodist Episcopal Church, subsequently occupied by B.H. Smith & Co., with its opening in Mott’s Lane. Afterward the school moved in a room on Corporation Street near Whiteaway’s, and then shifted to the room at the corner of Princep Street opposite Wellington Square while the resident students continued to live in the Parsonage.

The school finally acquired its own building at the current location on S.N. Banerjee Road in 1893, thanks, in large measure, to the generosity of a man who could be regarded as the chief patron of the school : Sir Robert Laidlaw KT (1856-1917). Sir Robert Laidlaw, the founder-chairman of the great business houses Whiteaway, Laidlaw and Co. and the Duncan Durian Rubber Estate, Ltd., donated the land and erected the Main building in 1893 (see above photograph), and the Renfrew House in 1902. Cacutta Boys School

He endowed the school with the 3 magnificent ‘Waverley Mansions’ in 1903 and established The Calcutta Boys’ School Endowment Trust in 1904.
The main objective was to impart quality education. Initially the school was known mostly for extracurricular activities, however studies picked up after Mr Clifford Hicks joined in. An educationist, later nominated a Member of the Legislative Assembly, Mr. Hicks , took over the reigns as principal. He introduced the motto “Two yards outside the school gates the jungle begins”. Mr. Hicks believed that the guardians of the students were required to be interviewed more rigorously than the students themselves, and during his tenure, this principle was adhered to strictly.
He took the school to new heights of academic fame, and the school became one of the top educational institutions in the city. During Clifford Hicks’ time as principal the newest of the three buildings that currently house the school was built. Named the “New Building,” the construction was made possible by donations collected by the students of the school. See for more

Charity School, later Free School, Calcutta, estb c1726-1731

Old Court House, Calcutta(crp)

চ্যারিটি স্কুল, কলকাতা, স্থাপনা c১৭২৬-১৭৩১
The first Charity School in Calcutta was founded somewhere between 1726 and 1731. The Charity School and later, its successor, the “Free School” began life as the School, on a site on which today stands the Scottish Church, in Dalhousie square, adjacent to Writer’s Buildings. The Mayor’s Court moved to this two-storied building belonging to Charity School in 1732, which also accommodated the Town Hall of Calcutta for a while. The School was established to provide education for European orphans and children of poor Anglo-Indians in the city. The education given by the School is of a ‘plain practical character and the boys generally become signalers in the Telegraph department, assistant apothecaries, writers in Government offices and mercantile houses, overseers of plantations, or obtain employment on Railways or in printing establishments, printing being an art successfully taught in the School.’ The Calcutta Review of 1866.
The Free School, engrafted on the Old Charity School, founded in 1742, and later settled in “the garden house near the Jaun Bazar *, 1795.” The purchase and repair of the premises cost Rs. 56.800. The public subscriptions towards the formation of the charity amounted to Rs. 26,082, of which Earl Cornwallis gave Rs. 2000. The Free School at this period (1792,) was located in “the second house to the southward of the Mission Church.” – All these we know from ‘Good old days’ of Rev. William Carey.
In the lapse of time the education imparted by the School became quite inadequate to the demand for education; and in consequence of the necessity for providing instruction for the offspring of the poor, the Free School Society was established on the 21st December, 1789. Shortly afterwards the children commenced their schoolwork at no. 8, Mission Row. The property—where once stood the house of Impey’s colleague, Mr. Justice Le Maistre—was purchased in 1795, and for some years to come the School profited much from the proceedings of the annual Calcutta lotteries. In 1841 Free School Street was made by the Lottery Committee, and the Governors of the School were enabled to extend and define their boundaries of the School grounds. A great storm in 1852 played serious havoc with the already decayed buildings, and so in the following year, a New Boys’ School was commenced by Messrs. Mackintosh, Burn & Co. from designs prepared by Col. W. Forbes.st_thomas_church_freeSchool_street – The photograph taken in recent time by unknown photographer shows the edifice of St Thomas Church, which is bound up with that of old Calcutta Free School, now known as St. Thomas’ School. The Church was dedicated to St. Thomas, the Patron Saint of India and the Free School was founded on the festival of that apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ. Today, part of the land houses the food and rationing offices. It was only at the beginning of the 20th century that the authorities decided that the “Free School Street Premises” was “Unsuitable” and thought of shifting the school to Ranchi. The idea was abandoned as parents objected and the choice fell on “Kidderpore House” at 4, Diamond Harbour Road. In 1914 the “Free School Society” approached the government for “Kidderpore House” and the school started in full from there in 1916. In 1917 it was decided, that the “Free School” would be converted, into the St. Thomas’ School for better management and in 1923 the “Calcutta Free School” was officially named St. Thomas’ School after the Apostle on whose day the original “Free School Society” had been founded. See for More
The featured Coloured aquaint by Francis Swain Ward, painted in c1760s, and published in 1804 ln: Views in Indostan by William Orme, Plate 17

St Thomas School, Kidderpore, Calcutta, 1789

StThomasGirlsSchool-sepia
সেন্ট টমাস স্কুল, খিদিরপুর, কলকাতা, ১৭৮৯
St. Thomas’ School, founded in the year 1789 for the English community of Calcutta is the oldest school in Bengal. The origin of St. Thomas’ School, Kidderpore, may be traced to the charity school, which in the words of Reverend W.K. Farminger, was founded somewhat between 1726 and 1731. Proper records were made and preserved from 1787 by the Select Vestry of the new church (new St. John’s Church) which took over the running of the Charity Fund and School – for more about the Charity School See. “A plan for establishing a Free School Society for the Education of Children” was submitted at a meeting held on December 21, 1787, presided over by Lord Cornwallis at the Old Court House. The House of Impey’s colleague Mr. Justice Le Maistre was purchased in 1785. On April 21, 1800, a general meeting was called to unite the Old Charity School Fund and the Free School Funds.
In 1833, a new Constitution was passed with the Governor- General as patrons. A lot of additions were made to the school between 1833-41. During the revolt of 1857, the school continued in the old school rooms. The school came under the Government inspection for the first time in in 1882. Since that time, the school has worked under the Code of Regulations for European Schools. In 1915, the extensive Kidderpore house property was bequeathed to the Free School Society, upon which the present school stands. A couple of years later, this institution was renamed as the St. Thomas’ School Society. A bill called the St. Thomas’ School Act was passed by the Legislative council of Bengal in 1923. The name of the school was also changed from the Calcutta Free School to St. Thomas’ Schools. See
The school began life as the School, on a site on which today stands the Scottish Church, in Dalhousie square, Calcutta, adjacent to Writer’s Buildings. Later on the school premises moved to Free School Street. That site was sold and on the land stand the Food Department and the Free School St. Post Office and other buildings. A part of the St. Thomas’ School still exists at the same site and is called St. Thomas Day School, as legally it is a branch of the main St. Thomas’ School. See

Baptist Mission Press, Circular Road, Calcutta, 1818

baptistMissionPress_Calcutta-x
ব্যাপটিস্ট মিশন প্রেস, সার্কুলার রোড, কলকাতা, ১৮১৮
In 1800, William Carey established a Mission Press in Serampore for the initial purpose of publishing scripture translations. In 1817, W. H. Pearce, who had trained at The Clarendon Press, Oxford, came to Serampore and associated himself with William Ward, the Serampore printer and colleague of William Carey and Joshua Marshman. In 1818, the Baptist Mission Press opened in Calcutta, as Pearce sought to parallel Ward’s work in Serampore. After fifteen years of dual operation, the two presses joined together in a common purpose in 1837.
Between the work of the Serampore Press and the Baptist Mission Press in Calcutta, the complete Bible was printed in Bengali, Oriya, Hindi, Marathi, Sanskrit, and Chinese. In addition to Bible translations, a wide range of subjects including science, education, and literature appeared from these presses. They produced literature from some thirty languages of India, including Telugu from South India and Pushtu in Afghanistan, appeared in native fonts at these mission presses. In the early 1970s, the Baptist Missionary Society closed down the press and sold the land. The metal type created during the work of the Serampore Trio was melted down. Newspapers in the Indian languages first appeared from the Serampore Mission Press in 1818. Also in 1818, Carey and his colleagues began publication of the Friend of India, an English newspaper that continued until 1875. Eventually, Friend of India was incorporated in 1897 into Statesman and Friend of India, a contemporary daily newspaper in India. See

Baptist Mission Press was a letterpress printers. That means the process was still basically the same as that used by Gutenberg and Caxton. It requires great skill to take metal type, ink it, and transfer the image onto paper. A lot of type was set by hand compositors, working back to front, placing individual pieces of type, spacers and leading to fill out the meta a catalogue entitled ”

The date and photographer’s name of the above photo of the BMP building are not known. Many interesting pictorials of BMP can be seen online in the booklet, ‘The Carey Exhibition of Early Printing and Fine Printing at the National Library Calcutta‘ dated 195l.