|Job Charnock's tomb, St. John's church, Kolkata. Alamy|
|Marble slab. Epitaph Job Charnock's tomb. .funbuzztime.com|
|Charnock's mausoleum. stjohnschurchcnikolkata.org|
Charnock in 1690 established a fortified British trading post with a factory and warehouse and the city of Calcutta had a humble beginning. He worked for more than three decades for the English company - East India Company and put it on a firm footing.
Charnock died in 1969 and the four black tombstones within it include Job Charnock's family members.
A mausoleum was erected in 1695 over Charnock's simple grave by Charles Eyre, his son-in-law and successor and it is in the graveyard of St. John's Church, the second oldest Protestant church in Calcutta after John Zacharias Kiernander's Old Mission Church (1770). Eyre's wife Mary died in 1693 and was buried next to her father. This Church along with the mausoleum is now regarded as a national monument. The white colored mausoleum is octagonal in shape with a small dome and arched doorways, and inside you will see the epitaph placed on the western wall with entrance from all the three sides. The small octagonal tomb sits on a low plinth and is built in two distinct levels, the upper being considerably smaller in its cross-section than the lower; externally the tomb is marked with slender pillars along each corner, simplistic battlements at the interfaces. The jet black stone tablets, each etched with nicely artistic Latin, English and Arabic calligraphic obituaries in white paint. The English translation of the central tablet commemorating Charnock reads –
|Tablets. Job Charnock mausoleum, Kolkata. pixels-memories.blogspot.com|
The interesting aspect of this tomb is it is made of rock brought from St. Thomas mount, Madras (Chennai). None of the tombs in this region contained this kind of unique rock. T.H. Holland, Sr. Geologist of the GSI, after elaborate studies concluded that it is an acidic granite rock variety earlier called Pallavaram black gneiss. Actually it is pink granite or Hypersthene granite and the pink coloration is due to potassium. Based on his study of rocks in the tomb, Holland named the unusual rock as Charnokite in memory of an Englishman who had a humble beginning whose character of conviction, hard work and perseverance saw him through many ups and down in his chequered life. His foresight and good planning saw the development of Calcutta.