Apr 242018
 

Riddries Close.Riddle’s Court, 322/8 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2PQ

Restored as his publishing house by Patrick Geddes, activist, sociologist, Professor at Bombay University (1919-23), who corresponded on education with Nobel prize-winner Rabindranath Tagore, this was also a pioneering student hall: medical students from Mauritius and Madras stayed here in 1896. Riddle’s Court also hosted a 1598 banquet for the Duke of Holstein, brother-in-law to James VI: £600 (2016 money), was paid to William Flebairn for spices. Further down the Royal Mile, in what is now the City Chambers, in 1798 John Caird advertised ‘real India curry powder, in the original package’ at £18 (2016 money).

Plaque comemorating a banquet of James VI's time.

Plaque comemorating a banquet of James VI’s time.

 

Tapestry showing Patrick Geddes and Rabindranath Tagore meeting in Darjeeling.

Tapestry showing Patrick Geddes and Rabindranath Tagore meeting in Darjeeling.

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Apr 242018
 

Milne's Court.Milne’s Ct, Edinburgh EH1 2NE

In the 1690s Scots spent over £9,000,000 (2016 money) on Eastern goods, and in 1695 the Scottish ‘Company Tradeing to Affrica and the Indies’ was licenced. In 1696 here in Milne’s Court lived seven investors: merchant James Balfour; Deans of Guild McLurgg and Allan; solicitor Cunningham; Alexander Gibson; and apothecary Miln. Their neighbour James Byers furthermore succeeded in being made governor of the Company’s ill-fated Darien trading post. The Company’s failure led to painful losses but after 1707, investment opportunities in the English East India Company were extended to Scots like portrait painter Allan Ramsay of nearby Ramsay Gardens.

Interior of Milne's Court.

Interior of Milne’s Court.

 

The Darien Chest which held the money and documents of the Company of Scotland, now at the National Mueum of Scotland.

The Darien Chest which held the money and documents of the Company of Scotland, now at the National Mueum of Scotland.

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Apr 242018
 

Site of Tolbooth.Heart of Midlothian Mosaic, 197 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1PE

Commercial rivalry and anger over English involvement in the failure of the Scottish ‘Company Tradeing to Affrica and the Indies’ boiled over into political violence in 1704. The ‘Worcester,’ an English East India company ship was impounded in Leith in retaliation for a Scottish East India ship confiscated near London. In revenge for another Scottish India ship taken by pirates off Madagascar, three members of the Worcester’s crew were incarcerated in the Tolbooth and on little if any evidence convicted of that act of piracy and hanged on Leith Sands. Seven jurors were shareholders of the Scottish India company.

Mosaic of Heart of Midlothian with outline of the condemed men's cell.

Mosaic of Heart of Midlothian with outline of the condemed men’s cell.

Burial Record for Captain Thomas Green at South Leith Church, 1705.

Burial Record for Captain Thomas Green at South Leith Church, 1705.

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Apr 242018
 

St Giles Cathedal.St Giles’ High Kirk of Edinburgh, High St, Edinburgh EH1 1RE

Wellesley Bailey, born in Ireland 1846, went to India in 1869. As an American Presbyterian Mission teacher, he visited some lepers’ huts in Punjab and decided to care for them and proselytise. Moving to Edinburgh in 1882, Wellesley became a lay-missionary with the Church of Scotland, and 1886-1917 ran the Mission to Lepers in India. When he retired, the Mission was working with over 14,000 leprosy-affected people in 12 countries. Brothers James (1807-72) and Duncan Monteith (1812-74) got rich sellling leather goods at the best addresses in Calcutta and their family commemorated them with large memorial windows opposite each other.

Wellesley Baillie (1846-1937) memorial.

Wellesley Baillie (1846-1937) memorial.

 

Duncan Monteith Memorial Window.

Duncan Monteith Memorial Window.

 

Receipt from Monteith & Co. for 1 pair of leather tennis shoes.

Receipt from Monteith & Co. for 1 pair of leather tennis shoes.

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  • Edinburgh India Institute: St Giles Cathedral
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Apr 242018
 

Thistle Chapel.The Thistle Chapel, St Giles’ High Kirk of Edinburgh, High St, Edinburgh EH1 1RE

There are some striking examples of India links in this sacred meeting place of Scotland’s chivalric order. Counting counter-clockwise from the entrance, stall 13, find arms (bottom middle) for the 2nd Marquess of Linlithgow, longest serving Viceroy 1936-43, during the World War Two suppression of Independence movements and the death of millions in the Bengal Famine. Stall 17 bears the arms (top middle) of the 14th Duke of Hamilton, in 1933 the first to fly over Mount Everest. At stall 7 we find (bottom right), with Ashoka’s lions hinting at Indian heritage, Dundee obstetrician Narendra, Baron Patel, in 2009, first Asian in the Order’s 322 years.

 

Patel flat, Thistle Chapel.

Baron Patel’s Flag with Ashoka’s Lion Column.

 

Marquess of Linlithgow's Coat of Arms.

Marquess of Linlithgow’s Coat of Arms.

Duke of Hamilton's flight over Everest, 1933.

Duke of Hamilton’s flight over Everest, 1933.

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Apr 242018
 

Craig's Close.Craig’s Close (now 249 High Street), Edinburgh EH1 1DF

First mentions of Indians in Edinburgh appear in newspapers. In May 1753, a reward is offered for John Samson ‘East-Indian […] Moletto [Anglo-Indian] Boy’ servant/slave ‘run off from his master in Edinburgh’, possibly with a missing silver watch. In 1769, advertisements are published for Mercury, ‘East India black boy about 13’. 1771, Caesar, a trained Indian chef (16), escaped a stately home near Dingwall and was searched for here. In the 1870s, basket weaver Khuda Baksh, and tobacco pipe seller Roshan Khan, his Scottish wife and five children, lived in the High Street. Others, often Lascars (sailors), lived in Leith.

Craig's Close plaque.

Plaque remembering Craig’s Close.

Advert in the Caledonian Mercury, 4th October 1769.

Advert in the Caledonian Mercury, 4th October 1769.

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Apr 242018
 

Minto House.Minto House, The University of Edinburgh, 20-22 Chambers St, Edinburgh EH1 1JZ

Here lived (1725-1878) the Elliots of Minto, important East India Company shareholders. The first Earl was Governor-General of India (1807-13), one brother was assistant to Warren Hastings, another was Governor of Madras. The 4th Earl became Viceroy (1905-10). After their house was demolished in 1878, the present building was erected. Elsie Inglis’ Women’s Medical College (1889-1908) was based here: Of 185 women it trained, at least 20 were born in India, and 46 worked there, including Hilla Furloonji Batliwala (nee Banajee); Kadambini Ganguly; Khorshed Sorabji Kanga; and Meher Ardeshir Dadabhai Naoroji (niece of Dadbhai Naoroji, the UK’s first Indian MP).

Shadow of Medical School sign on the pediment.

Shadow of Medical School sign on the pediment.

 

Portrait of George Eliot, 1st Earl of Minto, by James Atkinson.

Portrait of Gilbert, 1st Earl of Minto, 1820s.

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Apr 242018
 

National Museum of ScotlandNational Museum of Scotland, Chambers St, Edinburgh EH1 1JF

From courtly dress to contemporary art, to birds, minerals and fossils, India’s natural world and her culture have been collected by the Museum since its inception in 1854. Scots working as political and commercial administrators, military officers, surgeons and missionaries in India under British rule contributed to the Museum’s mission of collecting art and science worldwide. The examples of India’s manufacture, her ancient history or Hindu sculptures, they sent back to Scotland, represented their interests, involvement in historical events, and Britain’s commercial links. The Museum is committed to reassess for today the significance of these objects of the colonial history of British India.

Courtly dress, Bhopal, India.

Courtly dress, Bhopal, India.

 

Western tragopan, female bird, India.

Western tragopan, female bird, India.

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Apr 242018
 

Bristo PortBristo Port, Edinburgh EH1 1EY

Bedlam Theatre is on the site of the old Poorhouse, which included rooms for those who had ‘lost their reason’. Starting in 1792, Dr Andrew Duncan led the campaign for a new Lunatic Asylum. Dr Duncan himself had done one tour of duty to China on a ship of the East India Company. Progress was slow until Parliament granted £2,000 in 1806. Fund-raising began in earnest, with applications to ‘gentlemen and noblemen’ in Scotland and England – and India. By 1814, of the £6,500 raised from individuals, ‘contributions totalling £1,700 were received from Madras, Bombay, Calcutta and Ceylon’.

Andrew Dundan bust in Old College, Edinburgh University.

Andrew Duncan bust in Old College, Edinburgh University.

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Apr 242018
 

India Buildings.

India Buildings, Victoria St, Edinburgh EH1 2EX

The name of this building, erected 1864-6, was possibly copied from a Liverpool office block, built in 1833-34 and named by Liverpool merchants celebrating the end of the East India Company’s monopoly on trading with India. The Buildings have a dramatic interior, with a domed, balconied rotunda. In January 1906, Pandurang Mahadev ‘Senapati’ Bapat (1880-1967) is said to have read an essay ‘British rule in India’ at a meeting here of the Independent Labour party. Bapat lost his Indian government scholarship, travelled to Paris in 1907, joined Indian radicals, returned to India in 1908 and became a freedom fighter.

India Buildings plaque.

India Buildings sign.

 

Postage Stamp of Senapati Bapat.

Postage Stamp of Senapati Bapat.

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