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
অনাথ সৈনিক সন্তান আবাসন, হাওড়া, ১৭৮২
The picture shows the building where the Lower Military Orphanage was maintained by the East India Company for the orphans of regular soldiers. The Military Orphan School, which appears to have been the main institution for orphans in Bengal, was initially in Dakhineswar, later had moved to Howrah. This house, built by a Mr Levett in Howrah on the eastern bank of Hooghly River facing Calcutta, was originally meant for a distillery. In 1782 Captain William Kirkpatrick took over the house as an orphanage for the children of British soldiers of all ranks. Later in 1790 the children of officers were sent to a mansion in Kidderpore near Tolly’s Nullah, and the building pictured here became the Lower Military Orphanage and was maintained by the East India Company for the orphans of regular soldiers.
This is a hand-coloured etching with aquatint by William Baillie (1752/3-1799) – plate five of his ‘Twelve views of Calcutta’ published in 1794.
অনাথ সৈনিক সন্তান আবাসন, খিদিরপুর, কলকাতা, ১৭৯০
The Bengal Military Orphan Society was set up in 1782 to provide for orphans of the officers and soldiers of the Army of the East India Company from all over Bengal. However it had additional aims, including the rescue of children from the vice and intemperance of the barracks. All children, Eurasian or British, legitimate or illegitimate, orphaned or not, were required to be sent to the orphanage in Calcutta which enabled the military to remove an encumbrance to its discipline and movements. The officers ‘children were funded by contributions from army officers (this group also included Ordnance Conductors appointed before 1822). The East India Co paid for the soldiers’ children, and also for orphans who had fathers in the British Army who were admitted from the late 1810’s.
This is an albumen silver print of a photograph of the Orphan School’s building taken by Captain R. B. Hill in 1850s