Apr 162018
 

George Heriot's.George Heriot’s School, Lauriston Place, Edinburgh EH3 9EQ

John Borthwick Gilchrist (1759-1841), former pupil and donor of George Heriot’s, went to India as a surgeon in 1782. An early introducer of indigo, and farmer of sugar and opium, he also started the teaching of Hindustani and use of Devanagari letters at Fort William College Calcutta, 1801. Returning to Edinburgh, he joined the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Horticultural Society, the East India Club, and the Scottish Military and Naval Academy. He erected an aviary containing exotic birds outside his house on Nicolson Square. After his banking enterprise failed, he moved to London, taught Hindustani, and died in Paris.

 

Plaque to George Borthwick Gilchrist.

Plaque to George Borthwick Gilchrist.

 

Portrait of John Borthwick Gilchrist.

Portrait of John Borthwick Gilchrist.

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Apr 162018
 

Greyfriars KirkyardGreyfriars Kirkyard, Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh EH1 2QQ

Of 670 grave plots here, at least 60 have Indian connections. Henry Mackenzie wrote essays against men with Indian fortunes coming back to lord it over Scotland with rubies and fiery curries, but his gravestone mentions three of his own sons who themselves served in India. Famous Latin poet George Buchanan was the earliest Scot to criticise colonialism in India in his ‘Polyonymum’ (1552) and ‘De Sphaera’ (1555). Isabella Hope survived shipwreck off Madagascar in 1792. In 1825, John Adam, acting Governor General of India, died aboard ship in the same seas, according to his memorial in the family mausoleum.

Grave of Isabella Hope.

Grave of Isabella Hope.

Grave of George Buchanan

Grave of George Buchanan.


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Apr 162018
 

Old CollegeOld College, University of Edinburgh, South Bridge, Edinburgh EH8 9YL

The India links of Edinburgh University staff and students started in the 1750s and strengthened in the 19th century. Principal William Robertson (1762-93, mausoleum in Greyfriars’ Kirkyard) wrote an early history of India; Principal William Muir (1885-1903, bust in the Playfair Library), supported Muslim and female education in Northern India. Edinburgh University, long the preferred British university for Indians, has awarded Honorary Degrees to Nehru’s sister and Shah Rukh Khan. In the Playfair Library stairwell are a marble bas-relief of Bombay philanthropist Cowasji Jehangir, friend of Principal Alexander Grant (1868-84), and a painting of wealthy Anglo-Indian and philanthropist Margaret Tyndall Bruce.

Statue of Cowasji Jhangir.

Statue of Cowasji Jhangir.

 

Portrait of Margaret Tyndall Bruce.

Portrait of Margaret Tyndall Bruce in the Playfair Staircase.

 

Pandit Nehru at his sister's honorary degree ceremony.

Pandit Nehru at his sister’s honorary degree ceremony.

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Apr 162018
 

India Cross.Castle Esplanade, Edinburgh EH1 2NG

War memorials on the Esplanade include one to Colonel Mackenzie (92nd Highlanders) who quelled a mutiny of the 5th Bengal European Regiment in 1859. The events of 1857-58 are commemorated by the large ornate Celtic cross erected in 1862 by officers and soldiers of the 78th (Ross-shire) Highlanders in memory of their comrades. Another mutiny started right here. In 1778, 400 Seaforth Highlanders refused orders to embark for South India. Supplied by Edinburgh well-wishers they barricaded themselves on Arthur’s Seat for a week. Tricked into going to India afterwards, only 390 out of 1100 reached there able to fight.

Memorial to Colonel Mackenzie (92nd Highlanders)

Memorial to Colonel Mackenzie (92nd Highlanders).

 

'72' cipher of the Seaforth Highlanders' in honour of Kenneth Mackenzie, comander at the time of the Edinburgh mutiny.

’72’ cipher of the Seaforth Highlanders’ in honour of Kenneth Mackenzie, comander at the time of the Edinburgh mutiny.

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