Friday, 18 March 2016

Interesting facts of Governor Elihu Yale of Yale university

Elihu Yale Founder of Yale University.

Yale's first wedding took place here1680. St. Mary's Church, Chennai
During the British rule in India centuries ago, numerous British people joined the British East India company for better job prospects in a strange tropical land where the natives spoke different languages. Among them,  some got job promotion with additional responsibility.Over a period of time, driven by greed and over ambition to make quick bucks, some became corrupt. Once they made a bundle, they returned to their native land and lived comfortably like Indian Maharajahs.  Elihu Yale was a good administrator and through sheer hard work and gutsrose to the position of eminence and in late 1600s he became the Governor of Madras Presidency, an important British settlement on the East coast of South India. Yale married  one Catherine Hynmers, a widow, in 1680. Their wedding took place at St. Mary's Church, at Fort St. George, Chennai  where Yale was a vestryman and treasurer. The marriage happened to be the first registered at the  English church.

The following are some facts:

01. On July 26, 1687,Yale took over the administration of Ft. St. George Madras, India.

02. Gov. Elihu Yale was instrumental in getting absolute control over the town of St. Thome (now a suburb of Chennai) for three years from the Portuguese.

03. Yale's three-year old son David Yale died and was interred next to Hynmers, twice acting Governor of Madras in the Madras cemetery- St. Mary's church.

04. The records of this period mention a flourishing slave trade in Madras. Because of increasing demand for the slaves the English merchants began to kidnap young children and deport them to distant parts of the world, very much against their will.

05. On February 2, 1688, Elihu Yale through law restricted slave trade and made transportation of young children, in particular, was made unlawful.

06. In the later part of the 17th century, Madras steadily progressed during the period of the East India Company and under many Governors. Although most of the original Portuguese, Dutch, and British population had been killed during the Golkonda period, under the Mughul protection, large numbers of British and Anglo-American settlers arrived to replenish these losses. As a result during the Governorship of Elihu Yale (1687–92), the large number of British and European settlers led to the most important political event which was the formation of the institution of a Mayor and the Corporation for the city of Madras. Under this Charter, the British and Protestant inhabitants were granted the rights of self-government and independence from company law. In 1693, a Perwanna was received from the local Nabob granting the towns Tondiarpet, Purasawalkam and Egmore to the company which continued to rule from Fort St. George.

07. On December 30, 1687 the Corporation of Madras was established. The charter came into effect on September 29, 1688.

08. It was believed that Yale purchased territory for private purposes with East India Company funds, including a fort at Tevanapatam, now Cuddalore.

09. After Yale imposed high taxes for the maintenance of the colonial garrison and town, there were several revolts by the local Indians, but they were brutally put down by garrison soldiers. Further, Yale had a stable boy mercilessly hanged for petty crime and became unpopular among the locals. Being highly corrupt, high handed and arrogant, he was fired from the British company in 1692 as he got a bad rap wherever he worked. Yale died on July 8, 1721 in London, England.

Anyway, his philanthropy overshadows his misdeeds while in the employ of British East India company, Madras,India. Image Source:


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