Sunday, 8 April 2018

Tomb of Gen. Lord Charles Cornwallis in Ghazipur, India


 Lord CornwallisFind A Grave
Tomb of Cornwallis, Ghazipur, UP. GhazipurWala Obaid

Above Image: Tomb of Charles Cornwallis, British Adminstrator and Military Commander; tomb, overlooking the Ganges, is a heavy dome supported on 12 Doric columns above a cenotaph carved by John Flaxman.

Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh, India. 
Birth: 31 Dec 1738, Mayfair, City of Westminster, Greater London, England.
Death and burial:    5 Oct 1805 (aged 66), Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh, India.  .......................


The tomb of Lord Cornwallis  at Ghazipur, a small town in the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh is about 7 km east of Varanasi, the holy city of the Hindus. Lord Cornwallis  came to India after having served well in north America during the most stressful era of American war of independence. Being a member of the House of Lords, Cornwallis opposed the British policies that antagonized the American Colonies. He voted against the Stamp Act (1765) and the Declaratory Acts (1766). However, when the American Revolution began, Cornwallis was given a general's commission and sailed to America to suppress the revolt. Earlier Cornwallis  effectively led the British forces during the Battle of Long Island in 1776, at the Battle of Princeton led by  George Washington, at the Battles of Brandywine (1777) and Monmouth (1778). However, his string of victories did not last long. In the Southern campaign, after some initial successful raids, his British troops  could not bear the onslaught of both American and French forces  in Yorktown, Virginia. Cornwallis, second in command, was forced to surrender his command on October 17, 1781 and thus ended  the American War of Independence.

Lord Cornwallis, during his tenure,  never failed to prove his  administrative and military skills in India. He was appointed Governor General of India twice. The first tenure from September 1786 to October 1793 is remembered for his valuable contributions towards revenue reforms, judicature system and the second one for his war against  Mysore kingdom. His landmark reforms were the system of permanent settlement in the history of revenue reforms and the Supreme Court of criminal judicature at Calcutta. He was the one who gave due importance to
civil administration in India as propounded by Warren Hastings. Among his achievements, the most successful one is his southern campaign against the ruler of Mysore Tipu Sultan, a formidable sworn enemy of the British. He successfully led  the wars against Tipu Sultan between 1790-92, His capture of Bangalore Fort in 1791 war against the Mysore ruler, put the East India Company Army at the door step of Tipu's capital Srirangapatna.  It was a strategic location and the British had easy access to the supply line without any hindrance during war time. In the subsequent battles led by his successor Col Wellesley, it gave him a tremendous advantage to raid Tipu's formidable seat of power. Tipu was finally killed in 1799 by the British Army led by Wellesley. Now the natural resources rich southern territory of India was wide open for the British Company to seize it and exploit it to their advantage.  A sort of open range for the land hungry British Company.

When  Lord Wellesley the next Governor General (1793-1805) took over the administration of East India company's affairs in India, he had to deal with a  financially stressful situation  as a result of many crustal wars and conquest. This left the English company in administrative chaos and financial strain. At this juncture  Cornwallis was again sent to India for the second time in July 1805 to improve  the administration and establish peace  with the warring kingdoms.  

But unfortunately Cornwallis' mission could not make any progress for certain reasons. His age and stressful administrative work, besides long travel  in a hot country had their impact on his health. While on a mission  to north west of Calcutta, according to William Hickey, a British lawyer, best known for his memoirs, Cornwallis became a wreck of what he had been while  formerly in Calcutta. He urged Gerard Lake, the commanding officer to have peace with the Marathas. He was supposed to visit some outposts with Lake.   After several weeks of long travel, part of it by boat, he became ill when he reached Ghazipur on 27 September. He became too weak to travel and   died at Ghazipur on 5th October 1805 at the age of 67. He was buried there and the British inhabitants of Calcutta erected this monument in his honour. 

Historian Marguerite Wilbur called the era of Cornwallis and Mornington the Golden Age of British rule in India. His administrative reforms are still being followed by both the central and state governments. Memorials were also erected in his honour in Bombay, Madras, and in Saint Paul's Cathedral in London. A fine  sculpture now stands in the Victoria Memorial, Kolkata.  It was made by John bacon in 1803.
The mausoleum - tomb at Ghazipur is a big dome supported by twelve columns erected on a 3.66 metres high circular platform, about 18.30 metres in diameter. There is the  bust of Lord Cornwallis  at the centre of the platform of the square structure made of marble.The presence of a Hindu and a Muslim on either sides shown in the attitude of mourning shows that he was revered by the natives well.  There  is an epitaph in English. The other side of this structure  shows a European and a native soldier paying homage with an epitaph below in Urdu. The exterior of upper portion of the tomb is
Mausoleum of Lord. Cornwallis. Ghazipur, Indian Tourist Places

ornamented with army cap and floral motifs. The circular iron railing around the tomb with its gate toward south-east is beautifully fabricated with spears, bows & arrows, swords and inverted cannon.

http://asi.nic.in/asi_monu_tktd_up_lordcornwallis.asp

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornwallis_in_India