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Rev. lly H. HACKER 

London Missionary Society 



{PMo by D. J. Ckambii 



On the completion of a hundred years' work of the London Missionary 
Society in Travancore, great rejoicings were made by the Christian people, 
who had under its influence received the blessings of the Gospel, and in 
every church connected with the mission thanksgiving services were held, 
and praise rendered to God for all blessing received during the century. 
These services were brought to a close by a series of special meetings at 
NagercoU, when representatives from all missions working in South India 
were present, bringing congratulations and good wishes from their respective 
societies. The interest and pleasure of these occasions were greatly heightened 
by the presence of the deputation from our Society in England, Dr Wardlaw 
Thompson, Rev. W. Bolton and Mr A. W. WTiitley, whose broad-minded 
sjonpathy and helpfulness have left behind them a memory of cheerfulness 
and encouragement which will long abide. At one of the meetings, tor the 
information of the deputation and the encouragement of mission workers, 
four special papers in English were read — one on the History of the Mission, 
by Rev. A. Parker of Trevandrum ; one on Educational Work, by Dr Duthie ; 
one on the Medical Mission, by Dr Bentall ; and another on the Evolution 


o( Church Life, by myself. These papers were considered worthy of a more 
permanent record, and the Travancore District Committee appointed me to 
revise, compile, and add any fresh matter that would complete the sketch 
outlined in the papers. The result is the following pages ; and the work is 
issued in praise, confidence, and hope — praise for ail the blessings received 
in the past, confidence that the work established will stand because it is 
rooted in the will of God and in the hearts of men and women, and hope that 
its record will strengthen the hearts of all Christian workers in their 
endeavours to widen the boundaries of Christ's kingdom, so that India may 
speedily see the divine wealth of tenderness and love for all mankind that 
lies in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 






The Field Described . .11 

Ti'avancore. An Ancient and Sacred Land. Size. Population. Reasons of its Isolation. 
Social System. Brahmans. Nayars. Traders. Shanars. Ilavas. Other Castes' History. 
First i>art of India which received the Gospel. Early Syrian Church in Travancore. 
Portuguese Power. Francis Xavier. Influence of Rome upon Syrian Chiis?tian Community. 
Present extent of the London Missionary Society. 


The Ringeltaube Period, 1 806- 1 8 K) . .18 

Ringeltanbe's Diary. Political Condition of Travancore. Riugeltiiul)e's Personality. Vetha- 
manickam his first Convert. Ringeltaube's Arrival and Reception. Christians among 
the Hills and Caves. The first Church at Mylady. State of first Converts. Ringeltanbe's 
Methods of Work and Discipline. Colonel Munro's Help to the Mission. Ringeltanbe's 
Illness. He ordains Vethamanickani. (lives him Charge of the Mission. Leaves tlie 
Country. The lost Leader. Estimate of Ringeltanbe's Character and Work. 


The Growth of Forty Years^ 1816-1856 . . \\\ 

A Lonely Flock. Visit of Bishop of CalcutU. Charles Mead's Arrival. Nagereoil made 
Head Station, (lift by Ranee of Travancore. Foundation Stone of Nagereoil Church laid. 
Richard Knill. Nagereoil Seminary. First Printing Press. Mr and Mrs Mault Arrived, 
l^uilon Occupied. First Deputation from Board visits Travancore. Th(?ir Report. Forma- 
tion of Neyoor District. Raman Thampi. His Liberality and Sutlering. Opposition. 
Pareychaley District started. Mr and Mrs Abbs. Mr Roberts and the Rajah's College. Mr 
Mead's return from Furlough. Reinforcements. Commencement of Trevandrum District. Mr 
Whitehouse and Seminary. Influence of English Education. Slavery in Travancore. Lace- 
making and its Results. Mr Lewis and Santhapuram. Dr Loitch and the Medical Mission. 
Arrival of Mr Baylis. Retirement of Mr and Mrs Mault. Results of their Work. 


From Jubilee to Centenary, 1856-1906 ...... 46 

Arrival of Mr Dennis. Retirement of Mr Whitehouse. Sir Charles Trevelyan's Action. 
Disturbances. Upper Cloth Troubles. Changes in Trevandrum and Quilon. Dr Lowe reviews 
Medical Mis-sion. Famine and Cholera. Testimony of Dewan to Christian Liberality. 
Accessions. Dr Waring and the Puliyar Caste. Developments. Ordination of Native 
Ministers. Steps toward Self-Support and Self-Go vernment. Dr Thomson and Medical 
Mission. Maharajah's Ward. Church Council organised. Government Census. Formation 
of Pastorates. Six Years' Movement. Changes in Mission. Cholera. Reinforcements. 
Losses by Death of Native Workers. Death of Mr Mateer. Forward Movement. Trevandrum 
Hostel o))ened. Changes in Staff. Native Evangelistic Society Established. Church Union 
formed. Celebration of Centenary. 



Educational Work ok the Mission ...... 

Missionaries Ednuational Pioneers, Clianges in Misaionsry Position. PreBelit Conditious. 
VilU^ Schools. GivW Schooli. Need or SeminArj. Ringaltmibe's Letter. Mead and Maiilt*s 
Etforts. Object of Seminary. First Seminary Teachers. Mrs Rol>erts' Vfe and DeTBlo|inient 
of Seminary, Distinguished Studenta. Seminary Affiliated to Madras University. Scott 
Christian College. Present Conditions of Villages anrt Churches. Sjieeial Need for Theo- 
logical Instnietion, Opinions of Leading Missionaries. Divinity School for South India. 
Extension and strength en in g existing Training Cl»«s. Rise of Christians in Educational 
Status. Prayer for Skilled Labourers. 

c:hapter VI 

Medical Mission Work ........ 

Development of MeHtcal Missions. Tlisir Position and Power in Missiunary Enterprise. 
Co-0|>erBtion. History. Ramsay. Dr Leitch's first Rejwrt. Dr Lowe. Trainiug Class 
for Medical Evangelists. Dr Thomson's Active Years. Erection of Central Hospital, 
Neyoor. Trained Nnises. Great Increase under Dr Pells. Testimony to Christian 
CharacMr. Present Staff, Economy in Expenditure. Charges for Medicine. The Question 
ofResnlt The Converted Fakir. A Grateful Patient. A Village Opened. Native Medical 
Evangelists. Influence of their Work. Ho|)e for the Future. 


1 AMONO Woi 

Position of Women in Indian Literature. Present Social Condition. Work of Misaiouaries' 
Wives. Boarding Schools far Giils. Testimony of Dr Mullens. Financial Responsibility. 
Lace and Embroidery Industries Casto Girls' Schools. Influence of Medical Mission. Mr? 
Thomson's School at Eraniel Bi blew omen's Work. How Begun and Maintained. Present 
Position of this Work Growth of Friendly Feeling. 


How tirst Christians were Gathered. Different Classes of Christians, A Missionary's 
Work, Life liefore Organisation. Needs of the Missionary. Growth seen in Mission 
Buildings. Changes in Missionaries' Duties, Change of Primitive Mission into Complex 
Organisation. Supreme Object of Mission, How Far this has been Reached, Self. supporting 
Pastorates. Church Council. Native Evangelistic Society. South Travancore Church Union. 
Object of the Mission. A Hindu's Criticism and Reply, 



Map of Travancore . 

Native Leaf Book 

Scene on Backwater, Travancork 

Syrian Priest and Church, Travancore 

Female Leper Home . . . 

River Scene in South India . 

Travancore compared with VV'ales . 

Nagercoil School and College Buildings 

Cape Comorin, South India . 

Bathing Tank and Temple, South India 

Rev. W. T. Ringeltaube 

Idols in a Village Shrine 

Village Life, South India . 

On the Road .... 

District Travelling . 

The Potter .... 

Extract from Ringeltaube's Journal 

View from Mission House, Nagercoil 

Nagercoil Church 

Nagercoil Church, Interior 

Group of Missionaries 

Rev. Charles Mault . 

The Seminary, Nagercoil 

Orphanage at Nagercoil 

Rev. J. Cox 

Rev. J. O. VVhitehouse 

Rev. F. Bay lis 

Contributions to the Collection 

Members of South Travancore Church Un 

Rev. S. Mateer 

Rev. Dr and Mrs Duthie 

Dr John Lowe 

A Group of Native Worker 

Dr Thomson 

On the Road, South India 

A Hindu Devotee 

A Christian Teacher 

Mateer Memorial Church 



14, 15 






















> Students 
Naobrcoil Church 
A Christian Church . 
Naoercoil Seminary and College 
The Scott Christian College 
Group op Mission Wobkkhs . 
Group or Siholars 
Medical Mission Staff, Travancoi 
Mission Hospital, Nevooh 

Do. Operatind Room 
Branch of the Medical Mission 
Martandam Mission Hospjtal 
The Leper Settlement 
Mrs Thomson and Bidlewomen 
Lace Workers, Naoercoil 
Embroidery Workeiis, Nevohr 
Nkyoor Boarding School 
Group of Schooj 
Travancore Laci 
Village Congrfx; 



A Self-supporting Church 
Members of the Travancork 

, Thai 

—No, 1, A Beginning 
No. 2. An Improvement 
No. 3. Stitt Advancing 
No. i. Further Growth 


and Improvement 


Travaiicore. Au Ancient and Sacred Land. Size. Population. Reasons of its Isolation. Social 
System. Brahmans. Nayars. Traders. Shanars. Ilavas. Other Castes' History. First 
part of India which received the Gospel. Early Syrian Church in Travancore. Portuguese 
Power. Francis Xavier. Influence of Rome upon Syrian Christian Community. Present 
extent of the V^ndon Missionary Society. 

Travancore, where the London Missionary Society has now completed 
one hundred years of missionary labour, is one of the most prosperous native 
States in India. Its ancient name is Kerala, from the forests of cocoanut 
palms which constitute a considerable part of its wealth and form a great 
feature of its landscape. It is one of the sacred countries of the Hindus, 
having been reclaimed from the sea, according to mythic legend, for the 
sole use of the Brahmans. Kerala was one of the fifty-six kingdoms into 
which India seems to have been divided in ancient times, and under this 
name it holds a high place in Puranic literature, besides being mentioned 
in the two great Indian epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabarata. 
Malayalam, i.e. hill and dale — to denote the undulatory nature of the land, 
so different from the vast plains of British India — is another of its numerous 
names, and Malayalam is the name given to its language, which is a mixture 
of Tamil and Sanskrit. It is a native State having its own king (Maharajah), 
who has his own administration, postage, customs, coinage, and although 
tributary to the British Government, has perfect freedom in the manage- 
ment of his own affairs. The population of the country is about two and 
a half millions, of which three-quarters of a million are Muhammadans or 
Christians of various denominations. Of the remaining one and three- 
quarter miUions only half a million are in the Brahmanical caste system ; 
and the rest, more than one and a quarter millions, having no place in the 
orthodox castes of Hindus, worship what are called inferior divinities. 

Travancore is in a wonderful manner isolated from the rest of India, 



by a range of mountains, which in the north attains an altitude of nearly 
9000 feet, and includes the highest peak south of the Himalaya. All down 
the western coast it is washed by the blue waters of the Indian Ocean, and 
the shores are fringed almost to the water's edge with forests of cocoanut 
palms. Its extreme length is 174 miles from its northern frontier to Cape 
Comorin, and its greatest width is 75 miles, while its area is 7091 square 
miles, being somewhat smaller than 
Wales, In the north the country 
has its greatest width, and here the 
rivers, which have their rise in the 
mountains of the upper range, spread 
out in the lower country into vast 
lagoons, dotted with islands which 
bear immense groves of cocoa palms. 
The forests which clothe the moun- 
tains to their very summits are still 
to a great extent unexplored, but 
are known to contain vast quantities 
of valuable timber and abound in 
the wild animals for which India is 
famous, such as the tiger and leopard, 
the elephant and bison, and many 
varieties of deer, and among them, 
almost as wild as they, are tribes of 
aborigines called Kanikars, Further 
south the land narrows between the 
sea and the mountains. The lagoons 
which lie near the coast have been linked together by canals, and 
form a water-way which stretches from the capital northwards to 
beyond the borders of the State, and forms a means of easy and cheap 
transit, which during the whole of the nineteenth century effectually 
prevented the introduction of the railway. In the extreme south, from 
the capital to Cape Comorin, where the London Missionary Society has its 
chief work, the land is rich and thickly populated. The mountains fall away 
into a series of low rocky hills, which cease near the Cape. The country 
stretches out into wide fertile levels till the famous Naujinad rice region 



is reached, which supplies a large portion of the grain raised in the 

The social system obtaining in Travancore differs from the orthodox 
Hindu order in some interesting particulars. The Brahman is regarded 
as a foreigner, but nowhere in India holds a higher rank than here. He 
is considered by the orthodox to be the actual lord of the soil, inasmuch 
as Raja Marthanda Varma, by a religious ceremony in 1750, is said to have 

made over his kingdom to Sri Padmanahha Swami, the patron deity of 
Travancore. and succeeding sovereigns are supposed to hold it only as 
stewards of the deity, and servants therefore of the ministering Brahmans. 
The Nayars are next to the Brahmans, the supreme class, but separated 
from them by a long interval, as they are religiously only Sudras, the lowest 
class of the orthodox Hindu order. Below the Nayars, and classed among 
those outside the pale of orthodox Hinduism, are the two great classes 
called Shanars and Iravars, the former of whom are found in South and 
the latter in North Travancore. The Shanars of Tinnevelly were among 



the first to accept Christianity in large numbers, and their fellow class- 
men in South Travancore followed their example during the first fifty years 
of the history of the London Missionary Society. The Shanar imder Christian 
influence has shown himself capable of development in a high degree. He 
is industrious and frugal and fairiy enterprising, and some of them, as 
opportunity has served, have risen to a good position in the service of the 
State. Those opportunities have been few and far between, for the upper 
ranges of Government service are still closed to Christians of this class. 

Below these again are many classes, out-castes, true children of the soil, 
chief of whom are the Pulayas and Pariahs, whose near approach, even 
long before contact is reached, is sufficient to pollute the high castes. These 
classes, until within the memory of men still living, were the slaves of the 
land-owner, and were bought and sold with the land. To this day, though 
the letter of the law is on their side, custom and popular prejudice deny 
them the free use of the public roads, bridges, and ferries, and the law itself 
is not strong enough to secure for them free access to the law courts and 
schools. Tliese rigid rules of caste demarcation must of necessity closely 
influence the spread of the Gospel, and any church which resolutely teaches 
and practises the equality of all within its fold must be prepared for pre- 
judice and difficulty from within as well as without. 

Travancore enjoys the distinction of being the first part in India to 
receive the Gospel. In the Syrian Church of North Travancore we have 
evidence of the early spread of Christianity to lands in the Farther East. 
That Church claims St Thomas as its founder, and though that claim lacks 
indubitable proof, vet it is certain that as early as the sixth centurv 
Syrian Christianity had estabhshed itself here. The study of the history 
of that Church is a fascinating one and has attracted many minds. Its 
ancient and impressive liturgy, the picturesque dress of its priests and 
bishops, and its long and steady witness in the midst of idolatrous sur- 
roundings, are all points which arrest and retain attention. All down the 
Malabar coast, as far south as the capital of Travancore, these churches 
are found remarkable for their peculiar architecture. But Syrian 
Christianity has from the first held aloof from the poor castes as resolutely 
as the Brahman and the Sudra. Caste and sacerdotalism liave hedged 
it about and have dried up the fountain of simple brotherly love, so that 
its witness to the saving and elevating power of the Gospel has been, to 


say the least, defective. The land has suffered from this, but the Church 
has suffered too, and no doubt this caste exdusiveness is the reason to a 
large extent why missionary zeal is not a note of the Syrian Church, and for 
all its fifteen hundred years of existence it has not crossed the borders of 
this Uttle country and gone abroad to evangelize India. The Sjoian Church 
numbers 226,619. 

With the discovery by the Portuguese of the over-sea route to India 
at the end of the fifteenth centiuy came also the Roman CathoUc Church, 
and the Malabar coast from 60a right down to Cape Comorin, and round 
again to the eastern Coromandel coast, witnessed the fiery zeal of Francis 
Xavier and his disciples. The Portuguese power took all CathoUcs under 
its protection, and Xavier went armed with royal powers to defend as well 
as to punish his converts. Dming the three centimes of its history the 
Roman Church has gathered into its fold converts by the hundred 
thousand, most of them being of the fisherman class. A large section also 
of the Syrian Church has become reconciled to Papal rule. In the last 
census Roman Catholics in Travancore numbered 377,560. It was not, 
therefore, into purely virgin soil that the first missionaries of our Society 
cast the seeds of the Gospel. In the extreme south the Syrian Church was 
almost unknown and the Roman Catholic Church was weak, and confined 


almost entirely to the fisher class. Yet there must have been some know- 
ledge of the truth in South Travancore, for just beyond the AramboK Pass 
in Tinnevelly there were hundreds of Protestant Christians, and in the family 
of Vetham€Uiickam. himself the first convert, there were some who had 
embraced the truth before him. But when the missionary turned his eyes 
northwards to the new country he had entered he was faced by a compact 
kingdom dominated by an intolerant Hindu hierarchy, and the various 
classes of the population were held relentlessly within the lines of orthodox- 
social demarcation. The area of the present field of the London Mission- 
ary Society's operation extends from Cape Comorin to Quilon, comprising 
the south half of the State of Travancore. 




Kiii^eltaube's Diary. Political Condition of Travaneore. Ringeltaube's Personality. Vethamanickani 
his first Convert. Ringeltaube's Arrival and Reception. Christians among^ the Hills and Caves. 
The first Church at Mylady. State of first Converts. Ringeltaube's Methods of Work and 
Discipline. Colonel Munro's Help to the Mission. Ringeltaube's Illness. He ordains 
V'^ethamanickam. Gives him C-harge of the Mission. Leaves the Country. The lost Leader. 
Estimate of Ringeltaube's Character and Work. 

April 25, 1806. — '' Set out at dawn and made that passage through the 
hills which is called the AramboH Ghaut about noon. ... As soon as we 
entered the Ghaut the grandest prospect of green-clad precipices, cloud- 
capped mountains, hills adorned with temples and castles and other 
picturesque objects, presented themselves. A noble avenue of immense 
banyan trees winding through the valley adds greatly to the beauty of the 
place. My timid companions trembled at every step, being now on ground 
altogether in the power of the Brahmans, the sworn enemies of the Christian 

Such is the account given by the first missionary of the London 
Missionary Society of his entry into Travaneore a hundred years ago. 
Tlie scenery is the same now as then, and the landscape spreads out, a 
garden of delight, to the traveller coming from the burning plains of 
Tinnevelly. Now, as then, the dominant race oppose themselves to the 
Gospel, but the band of timid and trembhng companions, who guided 
the intrepid Ringeltaube into the land, has become an educated, prosper- 
ous, law-abiding Christian community of over seventy thousand souls. 

Travaneore at that time was just settKng down into the orderly 

little kingdom which it has been during the last century. The EngKsh had 

come into intimate relations with the Raja during the last quarter of 

the eighteenth century, when Hyder Ali, and after him his son Tippu, 

threatened to overrun the whole of South India. In the face of this 



common foe an alliance was entered upon which resulted in the appoint- 
ment, in 1800, of Colonel Macaulay (uncle of the great historian) as 
British Resident. This alliance, made in days of stress and danger, soon 
began to be felt as irksome, and finally, in 1808, the Dewans of Travancore 
and Cochin united in the hope of expelling the foreign force. Colonel 
Macaulay was suddenly attacked at Cochin, and with difficulty escaped 

to a British ship, and the whole country blazed up in rebellion. In 
February 1809 a British force attacked and captured the fortifications 
which barred the Aramboli Pass, the southern gateway of Travancore, and 
a second battle, near Nagercoil, put an end to the rebellion. Velu Tampi, 
the master-mind behind all this turmoil, eventually committed suicide, and 
his body was exposed to public execration on a lonely hill at Cannamoolay, 
2 miles from the fort, where, strangely enough, tliirty years afterwards 
the London Mission House was erected. 

An atmosphere of romantic interest surrounds the person of our 


first European missionary to Travancore. The Rev. William Tobias 
Ringeltaube seemed to sum up in himself the missionary zeal of 

European Christianity. A 
Prussian by birth, Lutheran 
by religion, he came in a 
Danish vessel to Tranque- 
bar, the cradle of Protest- 
antism in South India, one 
of the iirst three missionaries 
of the London Missionary 
Society to India. His two 
companions, the Rev. G. 
Cran and Augustus Des 
Granges, elected to study 
Telugu and go northward, 
but Ringeltaube was drawn 
to the southern country 
and gave himself to Tamil 
under the guidance of Kohl- 
hoff at Tranquebar. It was 
there he met with the 
Travancore pilgrim Vetha- 
manickam, the real founder 
of the Protestant Church in Travancore. Before Ringeltaube came 
into the country, Maharasan (as he was then called) with his nephew 
had set forth from his home in Mylady, near Cape Comorin, to seek 
in the Hindu shrines of South India that enlightenment and spiritual 
peace denied him in the crude demon-worship of his own country. 
He passed from temple to temple till he reached the great shrine at 
Chidambaram, which was the goal he had set before him, and to which 
he had brought his offerings from his village house. But here he found 
wickedness and impiety rampant, and the worship was as crude and un- 
spiritual as any he had ever seen. Here, as he slept in the temple com't, 
he is said to have had a dream of one in white who rebuked him for coming 
there. He ordered him the next day to return southwards, where he would 
receive enlightenment. He set off homewards, and at Tanjore stayed with 


some Christian relatives, and here he found the Gospel, which was to liim, 
as he said, " like the sudden shining of a star to one wandering in thick dark- 
ness." Instructed by John Caspar Kohlhoff, the adopted son of the saintly 
Swartz, he was baptized by him and named Vethamanickam, and with 
his nephew Masillamani soon after returned to their native village. They 
were hailed with delight on their arrival, and when asked for the prasadam 
and the vibuthi (the sacred rice and holy ashes) which they had gone to 
fetch from Chidam- 
baram, Vethama- 
nickam held forth his 
Tamil New Testament 
and said, *■■ Here is 
the holy gift of the 
Lord of all worlds." 
work among his rela- 
tives and immediate 
neighbours was carried 
on without rousing at 
first more than local 
notice. They lived 
not far from the sea- 
shore, where the 
Romanist faith was 
well known, but yet 
petty officials and 
meddlesome neigh- 
bours gave a good 
deal of trouble, and 
Vethamanickam was 
often tempted to leave 
his little flock and go 
back to the protection 
of the missionaries in 
the East. He seems to have had communications with, and occasional 
visits from, the catechists in Tinnevelly, and to have been encouraged by 


them. In 1805 he again made a visit to Tanjore to Mr KohlhofE, and 
then heard that a European missionary had arrived who was destined for 
Travancore. At Tranquebar Vethamanickam found Ringeltaube hard at 
the study of Tamil, and then was begun a friendship which was never 
broken till death divided them. 

On April 25th in the following year, 1806, Ringeltaube passed through 
the Aramboli Ghaut, the great green doorway into Travancore from the 
south, and was taken with fear and trembling to meet the little flock at 
Mylady. The Brahman official at Aramboli had forbidden him to rest 

in the ordinary 
rest ■ house, and 
the missionary's 
first days were 
spent in the huts 
of Pariahs with 
only such com- 
forts as they 
could provide. 
letters and re- 
ports are refresh- 
ing reading. He 
saw things as 
they were and 

described them in plain terms. Of his first visit he says, " I spent here 
the Lord's day very uncomfortably in an Indian hut in the midst of a 
noisy gaping crowd which filled the house. Perhaps my disappointment 
contributed to my unpleasant feehngs. I had expected to find hundreds 
eager to listen to the word, instead of which I had difficulty in making 
families collect for an hour." But he took the people under his care and 
appointed Vethamanickam as their catechist. He wrote a request to the 
magistrate to treat the people with justice, and entered into negotiations 
with the Dewan (the renowned Velu Tampi) through Colonel Macaulay, 
the British Resident, for permission to build a church. It was in March 
1809 that the order came, and on a piece of Vethamanickam's land, from 
which the coming crop of rice not yet ripe was hurriedly cut, the founda- 


tion of the first Protestant Church in Travancore was laid. In September 
it was finished and dedicated, and at its opening service many converts 
were baptized and the Lord's Supper was celebrated. 

During the years from 1806 to 1809 Ringeltaube only visited 
Travancore occasionally. He was stationed at Palamcottah, and super- 
vised the great and growing work in Tinnevelly now under the C.M.S. and 
S.P.G. societies. That work had been supported by the Society for the 
Propagation of Christian Knowledge, and when Ringeltaube handed it 
over, at the end of 1808, he seems to have devoted himself entirely to 

During the troubles attending the revolt of the Dewans in the early 
part of 1809 the Christians of My lady suffered grievous persecution, and, 
like the old Covenanters, had to take to the hills and hide in caves and bamboo 
brakes, from which they only returned when they saw the white tents of the 
English attacking force on the west of the Aramboli lines. The next seven 
years were years of peace, and the work prospered. The times were pro- 
pitious. The fear of the British name had fallen on people and officieds. 
The friendship of Colonel Macaulay and Munro, his successor, helped the 
missionary. It is not on record that their influence was exercised in any 
other than a perfectly legitimate way, but the Christian rehgion wants 
only a free field and a faithful witness to win its way to men's heart and 
conscience. So the work grew and prospered. 

In June 1810 Ringeltaube says, '' I sat in the door of my first chapel, 
and six other chapels are almost built." He had no mistaken ideas as to the 
people who came to him for baptism. In the same year, in a Hvely letter to 
his sister, he makes her ask, " My dear brother, how many have you baptized 
in Travancore ? About four hundred. What do you think of them ? 
Not much for the greatest part. About forty of them may be the children 
of grace." 

Two years later, early in 1813, he says, " My poor ragged and small 
congregations are still existing, but I don't observe much of the work of 
grace. I have now about six hundred Christians, who are not worse than 
other Christians in India. About three or four of them may have a longing 
for their salvation. The rest have come from all kinds of motives, which 
we can only know after years have passed." He had positively no illusions 
as to the natiu-e of the people who came to him. In August 1814 he says, 


^^ You cannot have any confidential intercourse with many of the people. 
They are great rogues. The poorest of them consent to become proselytes 
for money and good words, and afterwards they deavc to you like leeches. 
I have about six hundred of them, and therefore I am quite poor.^' 

No wonder that knowing his flock so well he spared not the truth to 
them. On one occasion he says, ^^ I took occasion to exhort the people 
to be obedient to their masters, and particularly to the magistrate, and to 
waive aU views of temporal advantage by professing Christianity and not 
to imagine they would be exempt from the cross or discharged from the 
obligations of their relative duties." And not with words only did he correct 
them, for if tradition can be reUed on he did not spare the rod. 

Yet there was another side to the shield, and his devout spirit readily 
responded to true religion even in the most ignorant. " This amiable 
family," he writes of some, '' has often been my comfort. They lived near 
to the church and near to God. They were often tried by illness and prose- 
cutions in consequence of debts contracted by their co-partners. These 
circumstances seemed to draw them nearer to God." His manner of life 
had laid him open to the invidious charge of eccentricity. His house at 
Udiagiry he thus describes : " Do you see the house thatched with straw 
and provided with ten pillars at the foot of the rock ? That is my dweUing- 
place. Well, what is to be seen here ? Four broken chairs, two old couches 
made of wood and reed, and a rope tied from one wall to the other on which 
a coat, gown, and some boots are hanging. Well, and what more ? Shelves 
with books, two tables, and one lamp. Why do all these things look so 
dirty and in such disorder ? Because I am an imfortunate bachelor." But 
the little house, " with ten pillars," did not see much of him. He seems 
to have spent his time in a truly apostoUc fashion in traveUing from place 
to place, mostly on foot, but also on horseback, and in palanquins — where- 
ever he went, preaching, exhorting, rebuking, and even punishing his flock. 
His benevolence has passed into a proverb. He was careless of his own 
comfort, regairdless of his dress, so that when he ventured into civilised 
society at Trevandrum or Falamcottcdi, his friends sent out servants to meet 
him and give him decent raiment. This poverty was in part due to the 
policy of missionary societies at that time, for missionaries were expected 
to support themselves in part or wholly by engaging in trade or educa- 
tional pursuits. Some in other parts of India might be able to do this 



but poor Ringeltaube among the outcasts and slaves in South Travancore 
had to manage on the pittance which the directors allowed him. 

His method of work among the people was pretty much what long 
experience has shown to be still the best. Little huts were erected with 

roofs of bamboo and palm leaves and 

walls of mud, and there the people 

gathered after the day's toil to listen and to sing the praises of God. From 

the first Ringeltaube set himself to dispel the darkness of ignorance, and 

his early catechists were also schoolmasters, and from his little village 

schools went forth the first gleams of Ught and learning in this dark land. 


The six little churches of which he spoke as being in course of erection in 
1810 were at Tamaraculam, Puttalam, EattamboU, James Town, Athicadu, 
and Covilvilei. At the end of that year the number of baptized members 
in good standing in the churches was 394. Vethamanickam had been duly 
appointed catechist and was Ringeltaube's right-hand man. Masillamani, 
nephew and fellow-pilgrim of Vethamanickam, was made catechist of 
Tamaraculam and Eattamboh, and Vethamanickam's eldest son, 
Devasagayam, was first catechist of Puttalam. 

In 1810 two events of importance to the infant mission occurred. They 
were the retirement of Colonel Macaulay and the appointment of Colonel 
Munro and the accession to the throne of Travancore of H. H. Lakshimi 
Bai. From this date began the strenuous rule of Colonel Munro. He seems 
to have taken a lively interest in Ringeltaube's work, and to have had a great 
personal liking for the man himself. One of Ringeltaube's early difficulties 
arose from the fact that his converts sought to use his influence with the 
Resident to gain special privileges for themselves, especially remission of 
State labour and taxes. But the missionary would have no converts on 
these terms, and actually went so far as to appoint one of his Christians 
to superintend the payment of Poll tax and services by his Christians. In 
1814, however, when very severe famine reduced the people to a state of 
starvation, Ringeltaube appealed to the Resident and secured the exemp- 
tion of his Christians from the operation of the Poll tax. His honesty, 
however, is shown in that he engaged to give to each of his Christians a 
certificate which was to be held to exempt him for one year only. With 
a sane man at the head of the mission such as Ringeltaube, there was not 
likely to be a rush of converts eager only to secure release from taxation. 
That such a rush did take place we have evidence in Ringeltaube's own words. 
He says in a report to Colonel Munro in 1813, and speaking of 1810, '' There 
was a rush of five thousand Shanars upon me who had been long waiting for 
an opportunity to shake off the Poll tax and service attached to their caste, 
and which they hoped to effect by connecting themselves with me. All my 
solemn declarations to the contrary were of no avail, until that sovereign 
instructor, painful experience, convinced them of their mistake. As soon 
as the people were convinced that no temporal advantages were to be 
obtained, their zeal for the Protestant religion collapsed " ; and yet in 1811 
we find he baptized nearly four hundred persons, including children. 


Among them was a new convert reported to have been the brother of the 
then Dewan and was known as Samuel Teimpi. He was deprived of his 
property, and lost his caste privileges, but remained faithful, and so late as 
1840 was known to the Rev. J. Cox, then stationed in Trevandrum, as a 
consistent, unobtrusive Christian man. 

No unusual events mark the years 1811 and 1812. In the year 1813 
Colonel Munro made official enquiries into the state both of the S3nian 
Church of North Travancore and the mission under Ringeltaube. These 
questions and answers, though very interesting, are too long to be inserted 
here, but Ringeltaube's report is marked by the same downright plainness 
as has been seen on other occasions when he speaks of his work. One of 
the results probably of this enquiry was the grant to the mission of the 
mission paddy lands at Tamaraculam and Vayilakulam, which were after- 
wards added to by Mr Mead, and have been of great benefit to the Christians 
of the district. In 1813 a severe drought visited South Travancore, 
and Ringeltaube exerted himself to relieve the poor. He begged money 
from friends in Quilon and Palamcottah, and then set the people to work 
at a well and a tank for which he paid them. During 1814 and 1815 his 
health seemed steadily to decline, and a long visit to Tranquebar hardly 
seemed to do him any good. He seems to have written home urging that 
help should be sent, and even to have applied to the Tranquebar missionaries 
to reheve him of his burdens. As we know, help was being sent to him from 
England, but he did not know it, and at last, early in 1816, he felt he could 
no longer stay. The constant moist heat, the frequent exposure, and the 
rough life steadily told on his constitution, and induced that liver trouble 
with its attendant melancholy which is so well known on this western coast. 
He had been more than ten years hard at work in loneliness and privation, 
and he began to feel he could no longer continue. There was no European to 
succeed him, so he finally entrusted his work to the faithful Vethamanickam, 
whom he arrayed in his surphce and solemnly ordained as his successor, 
by the laying on of hands. The written certificate given to Vethamanickam 
at the time, which is still preserved in the family, is a witness both to 
the confidence Ringeltaube had in his assistant and to his own business- 
like, practical mind. Just before he left, he wrote to the directors a letter 
in which these pathetic sentences occur : '' I am fast decaying and am unfit 
for active service. My work is done and finished, so as to bear the stamp 



of permanency. Your money cannot be said to have been lost. You will 
find it in heaven and in the annals of the church of Travancore." He was 
heard of again at Madras and Colombo, and finally at Malacca, where he was 


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the guest of WiUiam Milne, one of the pioneer London Missionary Society mis- 
sionaries to China, and then he disappears from view, a lonely and insignificant 
traveller ; he may have died and been buried at sea, or alone and friendless 
expired in some foreign port. But his work on earth was finished, and the 
annals of a hundred years show that it " bears the stamp of permanency." 
Of all that have written of him, few, until late years, seemed to estimate 


him truly. He was an odd man unused to courts, and life for him flowed 
in a narrow but deep worn bed. To men of action, like Macaulay and Munro 
of Travancore, and Colonel Trotter of Palamcottah, he was always a welcome 
guest, and in them he found that Christian companionship his soul craved. 
A recent writer, himself a British resident, htis well summed up his char- 
acter when he says, " The eccentricity of Ringeltaube jarred upon the de- 
corous chaplains, yet the legends that have come down to this day among 
the Christians of South Travancore show that he was of the stuff of which 
apostles are made, and that the shabby German missionary without a coat 
to his back had something of the spirit of St Francis Xavier, in whose country 
he worked." 

But the Roman " saint " and the Protestant missionary, like as they 
were in zeal and devotion, were poles asunder in character and life. The 
one swept along the coast preceded by the symbols of his faith and 
protected by all the panoply of Portugal. Impatient of delay, he 
refuses to learn the common tongue, but contented himself with com- 
mitting to memory the formulae of his faith. Eager to proselytize, he 
baptized wholesale by the hundreds and the thousands and soon passed 
away to other fields. Ringeltaube was the opposite of all this, and if 
he is to be canonized it will be because in loneliness, in patience, and 
often in deep suffering, he gave himself, body, mind, and soul, to the 
poorest of the poor in the name of 
his Saviour Jesus Christ. 


A Lonely Flock. Visit of Bishop of Calcutta. Charles Mead's Arrival. Nagercoil made Head 
Station. Gift by llaiiee of Travancore. Foundation Stone of Nagercoil Church laid. Richard 
Knill. Nagercoil Seminary. First Printing Press. Mr and Mrs Mault Arrived. Quilon 
Occupied. First Deputation from Board visits Travancore. Their Report. Formation of 
Neyoor District. Raman Thampi. His Liberality and Suffering. Opposition. Pareychaley 
District started. Mr and Mrs Abbs. Mr Roberts and the Rajah's College. Mr Mead's return 
from Furlough. Reinforcements. Commencement of Trevandrum District. Mr VV'hitehouse 
and Seminary. Influence of English Education. Slavery in Travancore. Lace-making and 
its Results. Mr Lewis and Santhapuram. Dr Leitch and the Medical Mission. Arrival of 
Mr Baylis. Retirement of Mr and Mrs Mault. Results of their Work. 

1816-1826. — For two years after the departure of Ringeltaube the burden 
of the mission rested on the shoulders of the catechist Vethamanickam, 
who faithfully fulfilled his trust. He took over from the missionary seven 
churches, with 747 baptized members. There was in addition to himself 
a staff of twelve workers, including seven schoolmasters (one at each church), 
who had 188 boys under their charge. '' Girls never come to school in 
Travancore, which is a great loss,'' Ringeltaube had said. During these 
two years Vethamanickam had the usual troubles of a missionary, and 
seems to have dealt with them with courage and faithfulness. He was 
ably assisted by his nephew Masillamony, his eldest son Devasagayam 
and his son-in-law Pakkianathen, and other members of his familv. In 
March 1816 Dr Middleton, the first bishop of Calcutta, passed through 
Travancore on his first tour through India, and near the Aramboh Pass 
was met by Vethamanickam, who brought up his catechists, schoolmasters, 
and leading Christians for review. The good bishop seems to have treated 
the little company with Christian kindness, and his visit greatly encouraged 
them, and no doubt added to their importance in the eyes of their heathen 

In the directors' general report for 1814 occurs this paragraph r " The 
directors intend if possible to strengthen the hands of Mr Ringeltaube by 




sending another missionary to labour with him, as they conceive there are 
many people in that quarter disposed to listen to the truth." In pur- 
suance of this 
Charles Mead 
arrived in 
August 1816 at 
Madras, and 
with him came 
Richard Knill, 
so well known 
afterwards as 
tlie pastor of 
the church at 
St Petersburg. 

Mr Mead was detained a considerable time at Madras by his wife's ill- 
health, and eventual death, so did not arrive at Colachel till December 

1817, where he 
was heartily 
welcomed by 
and his little 
flock. Mr Mead 
was a man in 
some respects as • 
far as the poles 
removed from 
He had a keen 
and alert mind, 
was as full of 
physical energy 
as he was of 

courage. He very early saw the need of removing from the Uttle village of 
Mylady, and when Colonel Munro offered him for his occupation his own 
circuit bungalow at Nagercoil, Mr Mead gratefully accepted, made his head- 


quarters there, and received as a grant also from the Ranee of that time 
the pieces of land around the mission bungalow on which the Church, 
the Press, and the Scott Christian College now stand. As early as 
April 1818 Mead writes that he is removing to the bungalow at Nager- 
coil, and that he has been appointed to the office of Christian judge at 
that town. This was due to the British Resident, who insisted that one of 
the two judges at Nagercoil should be a Christian. Mr Norton of the Church 
Missionary Society was made judge at Alleppy in North Travancore. In this 
year the Ranee of Travancore gave a donation of Rs. 5000 to the mission (a 
sum of Rs. 20,000 was given at the same time to the Church Missionary Society 
in North Travancore), which Mr Mead added to the lands and put aside a 
portion towards the erection of the Nagercoil church. It was during the 
first year of Mr Mead's service that great numbers of Shanars were added 
to the church, as many as three thousand in one year. We have seen how 
Ringeltaube refused to accept five thousand people of this caste when they 
came to him, as he plainly saw, from interested motives. It is doubtful if 
in Mr Mead's time their motives were more worthy. At any rate their 
accession is important, as this marks the beginning of the predominance of 
this class in the London Mission of South Travancore. 

On New Year's Day, 1819, was laid the foundation-stone of the great 
Nagercoil church. Mr Mead was able to employ a good deal of convict 
labour on the preparation of the massive stone foundation and plinth of the 
building, and during its erection, which extended over several years, large 
donations were received from the Maharajah of Tanjore, the Raja of Cochin, 
and also members of the royal house of Travancore. The erection of so large 
a building, 127 feet long by 66 wide, capable of seating two thousand people, 
exhibited a large amount of faith in the purposes of God, and in the cer- 
tainty of the development of the mission, but recent history has proved 
that Mr Mead's estimate was rather under than over the mark ; and although 
the Nagercoil church is still one of the largest places of Christian worship 
in South India, it is at times not large enough. 

For some four or five months in 1818 and 1819 Mr Mead enjoyed the 
companionship of his fellow-traveller, the Rev. Richard Knill, who came to 
Travancore to recover his health, which had failed in Madras. During 
his short stay he seems to have entered heartily into Mr Mead's plans of work, 
and to have greatly cheered and helped him. Mr Knill suggested and 


assisted at the building of the church at Tittuvilei. Mr Mead's marriage 
to Miss Horst, daughter of one of the Tanjore missionaries, resulted in the 
transfer to Nagercoil of a number of trained catechists fi-om the Danish 
mission. At the same time, and from the same place also, Mr George 
Harvey Ashton joined Mr Mead as his assistant. Mr Ashton was a European, 
bom in India, and served the Society faithfully and well for over forty years 
in various parts of the field, chiefly in educational work. He died in 1861 
on the backwater, and lies buried in the mission compound at Cannamoolay, 

In October 1819 Mr Mead commenced the mission seminary at Nagercoil. 
His plans for this seminary were of the same ambitious order as char- 
acterised his church building ideas. English and Sanskrit as well as the 
two vernaculars were taught, and several European youths, sons of factors 
in the neighbourhood, were among the first students. Mr Mead had for his 
assistant Mr M'Ally as well as Mr Ashton, and a number of native teachers 
from Tanjore. Of this, the first English educational institution in Travancore, 
Mr Mead spoke these prophetic words : " This will give rise, we hope, in 
time to a mission college for the south of India, on the liberal principles of 
the London Missionary Society." At this time Mrs Mead commenced a 
school for girls, the first of its kind in Travancore. 

In the following year, 1820, Mr Mead, on a visit to Tanjore, obtained 
a printing press, which he set up in his own house at Nagercoil, securing 
at the same time a trained native printer from Tranquebar. This was 
the first printing press ever introduced into Travancore, preceding the 
Kottayam press by about a year. It is interesting to notice that the paper 
sent from England for this press, being presented by charitable persons, 
was admitted to the country by the Travancore Government free of duty. 

It was during this period of strenuous and soHtary service, extending over 
two years, that the large accession of over three thousand Shanars took place. 
At the end of 1819 Ringeltaube's seven congregations had increased to 
fifteen, each with its church and school. In the end of 1819 arrived the Rev. 
Charles and Mrs Mault at Nagercoil to be the colleagues of Mr and Mrs Mead, 
and then was begun an association in service which, with unbroken harmony, 
lasted for over thirty years. Mr Mault's simple piety and patient service 
were joined to Mead's energy and enterprise, and resulted in the consolida- 
tion of the various branches of work estabUshed. 


With the arrival of Rev. John Smith in 1821 a new station was opened 
at Quilon. This meant a new language, practically a new mission. Between 
Nagercoil and Quilon stretched 80 or 90 miles of country with few roads, 
and those of a very bad kind. The ques- 
tion might be asked why, if a mission 
was desired in the Malayalam country, 
wliy not at Trevandrum, to which the 
reply must be given that Hindu, and 
especially Brahman, influence was so 
strong that no permission could be ob- 
tained to settle so near the central 
pagoda. Attempts were made by Mr 
Mead in 1824, by Mr W. Miller in 
1827. and again in 1828, but it was 
not till 1838, under the influence of the 
British Resident, General Fraser, that 
a mission was opened at the Capital. 
Mr Ashton accompanied Mr Smith to 
HK\. <n,\Hi.F.s juiLT QuiloH and proved a useful assistant. 

Mr Smith's health unfortunately broke down, and he had to retire from the 
mission in 1824, after only three years of labour. In 1821 Messrs Mead 
and Mault agreed to divide the land between them, and formed the mission 
into tlie western and eastern divisions, both of them residing at Nagercoil, 
Mr Mault occupying the southern bungalow, which he himself erected. 
So early as 1822 the difficulty with regard to Christians wearing an upper 
cloth arose. Caste laws forbade low-caste people, women or men, to wear 
any clothing beyond the waist-cloth. Christian women, under the instruc- 
tion of the missionaries' wives, began to develop a sense of decency and 
dressed themselves in small jackets. The usual assaults took place, and 
Mr Mead, after repeated attempts, at last secured a favourable decree from 
the magistrate at the southern court at Palpanabhapuram. This did not 
prevent the terrible outbreak of persecution which took place from this 
cause some years afterwards in 1828-30 and 1856. 

In 1825 Mr Mead's health failed, and with a view to finding rest in a 
variety of work, he went to Kumbaconam, where he stayed some two years, 
and was instrumental in opening mission work in that town. 


1826-1836. — The chief event at the beginning of this decade was the 
visit to Travancore of the first Indian deputation of the Society, consisting 
of the Rev. Dr Tyerman and George Bennet, Esq. They reached Nagercoil 
in July 1827, just four months after Mr Mead returned to his old station. 
The deputation found that at the time of their visit, viz. at the end of the 
second decade, there were in the two divisions of the mission 26 churches, 
34> readers or catechists, 59 schools with 1891 children and 95 teachers, and 
other 2851 Christians. They spent a fortnight in close inspection of the 
work and sent home an enthusiastic report : " Tliere is nothing, so far as 
we have seen, hke it in India." One result of the visit of the deputation 
was the formation of the Neyoor and Nagercoil districts, and another was 
the union of the Travancore missionaries into a separate committee. At 
Madras the deputation met and welcomed three new missionaries for 
Travancore — William Miller, wliose short life of ten years was spent at Neyoor 
and Nagercoil ; James Charles Thompson, who for more than twenty years 
laboured in the most trying station of Travancore, Quilon ; and William 
B. Addis, who spent only a short time in Travancore, finally going to 
Coimbatore, where a long life of faithful service awaited him. 

The foundation of the Neyoor mission owes much to an enlightened 
Hindu Sudra, Raman Thampi, who gave land near to the old capital of 
Tiruvithancodu, about 2 miles from Neyoor, and befriended Mr Mead 
and other missionaries in many ways. Raman Thampi was employed as 
Mr Mead's Munshi, and soon became a marked man. Eventually, just before 
the persecution 
of the Chris- 
tians broke " ''. 
out, Raman 
Thampi was 
put under 
arrest, and on 
various pre- 
texts was kept 
in prison for 


more than two 

years, the only reason being his favouring the Christian mission. This 

friendship to the mission has become a tradition in the family, and from 




the first time till the present, members of this family have befriended 
the mission and helped it in its work, especially among the poor classes. 
N. Nanoo Pillay, the first student of Nagercoil to be made Dewan of 
Travancore, came from this family. 

The removal of Mr Mead to the new station at Neyoor seemed to arouse 
all the slumbering fires of persecution. Occasion was taken to object to 
the wearing of upper cloths by Christian women, but there is no doubt the 
better classes looked with great disfavour on the steady advancement of 
the Shanars and Pariah converts of the mission. From persecution of 
individuals they went further, and riotous bands attacked and burnt the 
houses and chapels of Christians. An attack was even made upon Mr Mead. 
Early in 1829 news of a plot to assassinate him came to Mr Mead's ears, 
and he had to obtain military protection from Fort Udaigiri, and for a fort- 
night was under the care of British troops. The official enquiry made by 
the Dewan and other officials into these riots was remarkable for the fact 
that the sufferers (the Shanar Christians) were treated as the culprits, and 
were chained, flogged, and imprisoned, and many of them sent to the central 
prison at Quilon. The enquiry was distinctly unfavourable to the Christians. 
The favourable order as to women's dress made to Mr Mead in 1823 was 
cancelled, and Christians were ordered to respect the ancient caste customs, 
especially those inculcating submission to the higher castes. The proclama- 
tion is remarkable also for the first appearance of the order pecuUar to 
Travancore that no place of worship should be erected without Govern- 
ment permission being first obtained. This order has within recent yesu'S 
been revived, and is now added to the statute book as a regular law. The 
persecution seems to have worn itself out and to have gradually subsided, 
Mr Mead counselling submission and diligently exercising himself in getting 
condemned Christians liberated. 

In 1831 the humble founder of Government higher education in 
Travancore joined the Nagercoil mission. This was Mr John Roberts, 
formerly an army schoolmaster in Quilon. He was a godly man, and bemg 
deeply interested in mission work he was appointed to take charge of the 
Nagercoil seminary soon after Mr Addis removed to Coimbatore. For three 
years he laboured faithfully, and when, in 1834, the Rajah of Travancore 
visited the institution he was at its head. Tlie Rajah, much struck with the 
institution, invited Mr Roberts to Trevandrum, a request to which he ac- 


ceded on one condition — namely, that he should be allowed to give Scripture 
teaching in the Government school. His request was granted, and the 
good custom he commenced was carried on until quite recent years. The 
free school begun by Mr Roberts has now developed into the large college 
at Trevandrum, with its splendidly equipped buildings and highly quali- 
fied stafi. At the same time also some of the workmen from the 
Nagercoil Press were taken to Trevandrum, and there commenced the 
Government Press. 

On Mr Roberts' departure the seminary was removed to Neyoor, when 

Mr C. Miller took charge of it, Mr Mault being then alone in Nagercoil. Mr 
Charles Miller was the first purely educational missionary in the mission, 
for when the seminary was again removed to Nagerc:oil, in 1839, he went 
with it and worked in it till liis death in 1841. 

About this time Mr Thompson too had had his hands strengthened 
by the appointment of a colleague, William Harris, who, however, had to 
leave the country within a year with broken health. 

Thus the third decade of the mission had been a period of consolidation. 
Mr and Mrs Mault's steady and unobtrusive labours in Nagercoil had been 
ably seconded by Mr W. Miller and Mr Roberts. The persecution in the 
Neyoor division had tended to the purification of the church, and though 


some departed from the truth, those that remained had a more reasonable 
and durable faith. 

1836-1846.— Mr Mead took his first furlough to England in 1836, after 
nineteen years' absence. These must have been stirring seasons of " deputa- 
tion work," for along with 
Mead, John Williams of the 
South Seas and Dr Phillips 
of South Africa were firing 
the enthusiasm of the 
English churches. All three 
returned to their fields with 
a band of recruits, and 
early in 1838 Mead arrived 
at Quilon in company with 
Messrs Abbs, Cox, Russell, 
Pattison, and Dr Ramsay, 
tlie first of the noble band 
of medical missionaries who 
have made the medical 
work of this mission famous 
throughout India. Mr Abbs 
took up his residence at 
Neyoor, and the western 
portion of the district was 
put under his charge. This 
latter developed into the 
present Pareyehaley dis- 
REv. JOHN (OX trict, the largest in our 

mission, and the end of the decade saw the bungalow erected there and 
Mr Abbs regularly established in the midst of his work. 

The commencement of the Trevandnim district owed very much to 
the friendship of Lieut.-Coi. J. S. Eraser, who was then British Resident. 
The opposition to the settlement of Protestant missions in the capital was 
overcome, and a grant made of a piece of land to the north of the Fort, 
and about 2 miles distant from it, consisting of a devil-haunted hill near 


Ctmnamooiay. Here Mr Cox erected a bungalow and founded a mission, 
which from very small beginnings has grown to be second only to Parey- 
chaley in the number of its adherents. Mr Cox was a man of unusual energy 
and independence of character. Blessed with a splendid physique, he 
entered on his work and carried it forward with great ardour. Difficulties 
seemed only to inspire him with fresh courage, and he has left an enduring 
mark upon the annals of the mission. 

The eastern part of the Nagercoil district was made the iield of Mr 
Russell, and in 1840 he formed a new station, which he called James Town, 
and where for more than twenty vears he carried on a most fruitful and 
enduring work. Dr Ramsay commenced his 
medical work at Nagercoil. He was the second 
medical missionary ever sent forth from England 
by the Society, and made a splendid start. Great 
numbers of people crowded to him, and a small 
hospital was erected, but in 1842 Dr Ramsay 
left the mission for other work, and for ten years 
medical work lay dormant. 

Mr Pattison went to join Thompson at 
Quilon, but was soon called to take charge of 
the Nagercoil seminary from Mr C. Miller, wlio 
died in 1 841 . Mr Thompson's solitary and 
faithful labour in Quilon had not been without 
fruit. In 1837 he formed the first church, though with only six members. 
Sepsirated by a long distance from the rest of the field and from the com- 
panionship and support of his brethren and the more successful churches, 
he had a lonely and hard task. Colleagues joined him, hut only for a short 
time — Mr Harris, M.A,, fora year in 1831, and Pattison for only a brief period. 
When he ended his long life of faithful service after twenty-three years 
of toil, a community of only two hundred Christians remained to keep his 
memory green. This contrasts strongly with the thousands of the south ; 
but Thompson's name is still a name to conjure with in Quilon. 

In 1842 John Owen Whitehouse arrived in Nagercoil and took over 
the work of the seminary, and specially concerned himself with education, 
both secular and reUgious. Under him the seminary became famous as 
an educational institution, and two of the pupils — T. Rama Rao and Nanoo 


Pillay — became Dewans of the State. He was no less energetic in providing 
for the training of preachers and catechists. His predecessors had had 
large ideas, as we gather from evidence furnished by the Right Rev. Dr 
G. T. Spencer, Bishop of Madras, who visited the seminary in 1840. He then 
fomid the native lads, pupils of Charles Miller, reading Greek ! " They 
read me a few verses of the Iliad and also of the Greek Testament, and 
their knowledge of the Greek Testament and of the Greek language is really 
very respectable and does credit to their instructor. They also read me in 
English a chapter of the Bible, which they translated readily, and I was told 
very accurately, in Tamil. Deeply interested as I am in the progress of native 
education, I was delighted with all I saw and heard ; indeed, I have seldom 
had a greater treat." 

In 1845 the jubilee of the London Missionary Society was celebrated 
at Nagercoil, and a significant event in that jubilee celebration was the 
estabhshment of a native Society for work among the slave population 
in Travancore. It was about this time that the missionaries of both the 
societies (the Church Missionary Society and the London Missionary Society) 
at work in Travancore took up the question of the liberation of slaves 
in Travancore. In 1843 slavery had been abohshed in British India, 
and it was reckoned that there were 165,000 slaves in Travancore, who were 
liable to be bought and sold like cattle. Of the reality of this slavery the 
following extract from a letter by Mr Mault will bear witness : — " An in- 
teresting girl, apparently about eleven years of age, was discovered near my 
premises in a state of exhaustion from hunger. She was brought in and 
supphed with food, and as soon as she recovered strength she told us she was 
a slave, but owing to her master denying her sufficient for sustenance and 
severely flogging her, she had run away ; her emaciated frame and the marks 
on her body abundantly confirmed her statements. It was with the 
greatest reluctance she informed us where her owner resided ; even the 
mention of his name seemed to make her tremble. In eight or ten days 
a stern-looking man made his appearance and demanded his slave. The 
girl, who had heard of his approach, had hid herself, but when she foimd 
she could conceal herself no longer she came and begged in the most feeling 
manner that he might not be allowed to take her away. Every effort 
possible was made to induce him to give her up, and a sum more than her 
estimated value was offered him, but in vain ; he was unmoved, his iron 


heart had no relentings : " I want, not your money, but my slave," said he 
as he walked away with her. 

Mrs Mault and her successors taught little slave girls to make lace, and 
by their earnings to purchase their freedom. Mr Mead paid his teachers 
a fanam a piece for every slave child they induced to come to school. The 
efforts of the missionaries in this direction were slow in bearing fruit, and only 
gradually were slaves freed. First the slaves of the Government were made 
free, and then gradually private slavery gave way to the stringent rules 
passed as to the treatment of slaves ; but it was not until 1855 that a final 
proclamation was issued liberating all slaves. Government and private. 
At the time of issue it was estimated that there were 136,000 persons set free. 

In this decade the mission spread itself out and possessed the land. 
Now, after sixty years, the hmits of the districts are pretty much as they 
were, except that the gap between Quilon and Trevandrum has been filled 
up by the districts of Attingal, and extensions have taken place in every 

1846-1856. — In the first years of this decade came Ebenezer Lewis 
to Nagercoil, after six years spent in Coimbatore and Madras. He, Mr 
Russell, and Mr Mault divided the extensive district of Nagercoil between 
them, Mr Lewis settling at Santhapuram, and occupying himself in the work 
of the revision of the Tamil New Testament. Mr Lewis devoted liimself 
to his station, and exercised a considerable amount of mechanical skill in 
the erection of the buildings and the fitting up of their various parts. Here 
is a picture of the station as drawn by Dr Mullens, who visited the place 
in 1853. " The ' City of Peace ' hes opposite a noble hill which stretches 
far into the well-tilled plain. Its pretty parsonage, its neat church already 
too small for the demands of the Christian population, its flourishing girls' 
school containing more than a hundred girls, its lace establishment, its 
almshouse for poor widows, its well-planned village and huge well, all re- 
flect much credit on the perseverance and energy of Mr Lewis, by whom it 
was founded. I shall never forget the happy faces of the Shanar girls at the 
station as they plied their spinning-wheels and sang with glee, 

' Oh ! that will be joyful, 

When we meet to part no more.* " 

In 1852 came Dr Leitch to revive the medical work which Dr Ramsay 


let fall ten years before. He began work at Santhapuram with Mr Lewis, 
but in 1853 he went to Neyoor and took over charge of the whole of that 
great mission on the retirement of Mr Mead, and for a year and a half 
laboured with the brightest of hopes. But in August 1854, while bathing 
at Muttam, a small fishing village about seven miles from Neyoor, death 
rode in on a wave and bore him out to sea. Tliis was a terrible calamity 
to his fellow-workers and to the 
people, and for another seven 
years the medical mission was 
without a missionary. 

The retirement of Mr Mead 
was a painful event. A man .so 
strenuous, so self-denying, and 
so eminently successful in God's 
service one cannot but admire, 
and bis marriage to a Christian 
native would not now be viewed 
in the same light as then. 
Whether his retirement was due 
to the views of his European 
brethren or to the vigorously 
expressed feeUngs of a section 
of the native Church, it is im- 
possible now to decide ; but he 
kept the respect of the Society, 
and during the remaining period 
of his life (he died in 1873) he 
resided in Trevandrum, and he remained on friendly and brotherly terms 
with the missionaries. 

His place was taken in Neyoor by the Rev. F. Baylis, on whom also 
fell the care of the medical work left by Dr Leitch. Hardly two months 
in the State when his colleague was taken from him by death, Mr Baylis 
took up the burden manfully and for many years served the Society in 
Neyoor, witli a resolute courage and steady faithfulness, which found their 
reward not only in the wide growth of the work, but in the deep affection 
of the people of the neighbourhood. 


This decade is marked by the retirement of Mr and Mrs Mault, which 
took place in 1854. They had served since 1819, and their service had been 
eminently fruitful. Less in the public eye than his colleague, Mr Mead, 
Mr Mault was none the less a devoted and successful worker. Mead 
was full of ideas, courageous, self-reliant, and enterprising, and Mault 
patiently and with the utmost care and pains built on his colleague's 
wide Toundations. 


Arrival of Mr Dennis. Retirement of Mr Whitehouse. Sir Charles Trevelvan^s Action. Disturb- 
ances. Upper Cloth Troubles. Changes in Trevandrum and Quilon. Dr Lowe reviews 
Medical Mission. Famine and Cholera. Testimony of Dewan to Christian Liberality. 
Accessions. Dr Waring and the Puliyar Caste. Developments. Ordination of Native 
Ministers. Steps towards Self-Support and Self-(iovernment. Dr Thomson and Medical 
Mission. Maharajah's Ward. Church Council organised. Government Census. Formation 
of Pastorates. Six Years' Movement. Changes in Mission. Cholera. Reiuforcements. 
Losses by Death of Native W^orkers. Death of Mr Mateer. Forward Movement, Trevandrum 
Hostel opened. Changes in Staff. Native Evangelistic Society Established. Church Union 
formed. Celebration of Centenary. 

1856-1866. — At the beginning of this decade came the Rev. J. Dennis 
to Nagercoil, who soon had to take the place of J. O. Whitehouse, whose 
work in Travancore was ended through a complete failure of health. He 
left an enduring monument behind him in a thoroughly well-organised 
educational establishment at Nagercoil, which was soon to pass into hands 
destined to retain it for more than thirty years. Mr Dennis was not spared 
to serve long, for the climate proved too much for him, and though he visited 
England for the benefit of his health, he died soon ^ffter his return to 
Travancore, and was buried at Nagercoil in 1864. 

If the progress of the mission is to be gauged by the measiu'e of opposition 
it arouses, then this decade was the most prosperous of all. It was in the 
beginning of this year that the third, last, and most determined persecution 
arose against the Christians, ostensibly on account of the wearing by men 
and women of the upper cloths which were held to mark off the higher castes. 
With this was mixed up also the demands for forced labour and Simday 
work, all of which were resolutely refused by Christians. Much of the blame 
for the distiu'bances has been attached to the British Resident who was 
in office from 1840 to 1860. 

General CuUen, after long residence in Travancore, regarded it as a 


C^^^^"* ' 

■vH^^^^ i ■ 



retreat to be preserved from the intrusive changes of the Western world. 
The agitation against slavery had received no help from him, and he could 
hardly be interested because certain people wanted to wear more clothes 
than the climate demanded or their neighbours thought lawful. But the 
controversy was carried abroad. English newspapers in Madras took the 
matter up. Travancore manners and customs were dragged into the fierce 
light of publicity, and something had to be done. General Cullen's most 
redoubtable antagonist was John Cox of Trevandrum, though Baylis of 
Neyoor and \Vhitehouse of Nagercoil were not less strenuous. Cases of 
individual cruelty were frequent, and armed mobs attacked and burned 
chapels and houses and terrorised peaceful communities. Cases were 
brought forward by the missionaries when Christians were actually beaten 
to death under the orders of minor officials, and all appeals for justice were 
refused or delayed. There is no doubt that the uprising of the higher 
classes was due to a desire to recover by force the authority over the lower 
castes, which they had lost by the abolition of slavery. If the civil laws 
of the realm denied them superiority, then they would insist on caste rule 
and old custom to keep in subjection those who attempted to rise. A 
curious, and to some an inexplicable argument for this oppression, was 
devised from the Queen's Proclamation of Sovereignty which was issued 
at Delhi in 1858. In the course of that document. Her Majesty declared 
her determined neutrality in matters religious. Now to one who knows 
the Indian mind it is a familiar idea that to say that no one is ordered to 
become a Christian is equivalent to say that all are ordered not to become 
Christians. Further, no doubt exaggerated reports of the Mutiny reached 
Travancore, and the idea grew that the Enghsh power was on the wane. 
In the end of 1858 and beginning of 1859 the disturbances reached their 
height, and in Pareychaley, Neyoor, and Nagercoil districts, many chapels 
and schools were burnt, catechists were flogged, and Christians' houses were 
pillaged. The Dewan himself proceeded to the district, and a number of 
native troops under Captain Daly were ordered down to ensure quiet. An 
appeal was now made by the missionaries to the British Government then 
represented in Madras by Sir Charles Trevelyan, brother-in-law of Lord 

Sir Charles took very prompt action, and the Raja very reluctantly 
issued an order in 1859 allowing Shanar women to wear coarse upper cloths. 


The recent transfer of authority from the East India Company to the Queen 
is curiously reflected in one sentence of Sir Charles' despatch. He says, 
" I should fail in respect to Her Majesty if I attempted to describe the 
feelings with which she must regard the use made against her own sex of 
the promises of protection so graciously accorded by her." This was nearly 
fifty years ago, and yet to 
this day caste rule and 
common custom have so 
tar prevailed that low- 
caste women still move 
about in the public streets 
in the style of dress re- 
pudiated by Christian 
women so long ago. The 
custom is not so common 
south of the Capital, but 
from Trevandrum north- 
wards the only dress of 
the low-caste non-Chris- 
tian women is the loin 
cloth, and caste rule re- 
fuses them anything 
more. Just as these 
troubles came to an end 
came the Revs. James 
Duthie to Nagercoil and 
Samuel Mateer to Parey- 
chaley, two names closely 
associated with the Tra- '"'''■ *' "''■'^'^" 

vancore mission, one tor over thirty years, and the other to this day, Mr 
Duthie took over the work ot the seminary from Mr Dennis, and under 
his fostering care it remained for thirty-three years, with short intervals 
occasioned by visits home. The seminary, unhke other branches of 
mission work, notably the medical mission, has been fortunate in that 
for hall a century, with only short intervals of less than three years, it 
passed from one strong hand to another, and to this continuity of control 


it no doubt owes the great measure of usefulness £Uid prosperity it has 
enjoyed. Its value to the State has been second only to its value to the 
mission, and to it and to the men who have devoted themselves to its 
work is due in a large measure the intellectual and social progress the 
State has made. 

Mr Mateer was stationed at Pareychaley, but in a short time had to take 
charge of Trevandrum from Mr Cox, whose cormection with the Society 
ceased in 1861. Mr Cox took up coffee-planting in South Travancore, and 

a quarter of a century or so later was instrumental in bringing the Salvation 
Army into Travancore. 

Quilon, since the death of Mr Thompson in 1850, had had no regidar 
resident missionary. Mr Harris had charge of it for a time, and then Mr 
Cox undertook to supervise it. It was during this period that negotiations 
were begun with a view to hand over the station to the Church Missionary 
Society. There was an English church there and a resident military chaplain. 
As it was found, however, that the Church Missionary Society could not 
locate a European missionary there, it was decided to retain the work and 
supervise it from Trevandrum. This Mr Mateer faithfully did, till at the 


end ot the decade in 1866, the Rev. J. Wilkinson, who arrived in 
Travancore in 1860, was appointed to reside at Quilon. 

In 1861 came Dr John Lowe to take up the medical work which had 
fallen from the hands of Dr Leitch seven years before. He laboured faith- 
fully for eight years, and settled the work on a broad foundation. A hospital 
was opened at Neyoor and three branch dispensaries outside. Better still, 
he opened a training class for medical evangehsts, and this secured the con- 
tinuance of the work to some extent, when he was forced to retire in 1868. 
The Government was interested and gave aid to the work, so that during 
the five years that separated Dr Lowe 
from Dr Thomson, the medical evan- 
gelists, under the Rev. F. Baylis, were 
able to keep matters going. One cannot 
but contrast the fortunes of the medical 
mission with its record of broken service 
with the splendid continuity of the Nagcr- 
coil seminary. Had the same measure of 
support been extended to the former as 
to the latter, how much more far-reaching 
and beneficent would its effects have been ! 

The troubles over the upper cloth 
controversy might have been expected 
to hinder the progress of the mission, 
but those who understand the spirit of 
Christianity will not be surprised to 
hear that the opposite was the case. 
Long before the dispute was settled, large numbers of Shanars round 
Neyoor and PareychaJey joined the mission, as many as three thousand 
being received during these two years. In many cases whole villages put 
themselves under Christian instruction, and, destroying their heathen shrines, 
erected for themselves sheds for preaching which were later replaced by 
substantial churches. In 1860 South Travancore was visited by a severe 
famine. The monsoon failed, the stock of food grains was soon exhausted, 
and the people died in great numbers from starvation, many bodies being 
left by the roadside. The famine brought disease in its' train, and dysentery 
and cholera reaped a second harvest of victims. The missionaries begged 


help from England and from other parts of India, organised reUef works, 
and put up feeding houses, thus being instrumental in saving many poor 
helpless creatures who woiJd otherwise have inevitably perished. The then 
Dewan Madava Rao bore liberal testimony to the help which came through 
the missionaries from English Christians. " Nothing," said he, " can be a 
nobler spectacle than that of a people thousands of miles removed from India 
contributing so liberally to the reUef of suffering here." 

The years from 1861 to 1866 were years of great ingatherings to the 
Christian fold. Baylis at Neyoor, Mateer at Pareychaley, and after him 
G. O. Newport, received thousands who pressed forward for instruction. 
In 1861-62 some four thousand Shanars were added to the chiu'ches in the 
Neyoor and Pareychaley districts. In 1862 began a most remarkable work 
among the Pariahs and Puliahs of Neyoor and Pareychaley. They literally 
crowded to the mission. Mr Mateer, touring among them, found a remarkable 
spirit of earnestness, diligence, and attention. He was hardly given leisure 
to eat by the people who crowded for instruction. This movement continued 
unabated for years, so that in 1867 alone one thousand were added to the 
Neyoor district and three thousand to Pareychaley. Mr Newport, who was 
then in Pareychaley, threw himself into the work with discretion as well as 
zeal. The new converts were formed into congregations and erected their 
own places of worship, and they supported their own catechists in part and 
in some cases entirely. Their example in this respect stimiJated the old 
congregations, and Mr Newport records a gratifying increase of Christian 
liberaUty among them also. The accession of these out-caste classes is very 
remarkable. Up to this time the London Missionary Society converts had 
been drawn principally from the Shanar or toddy-drawing caste, who were 
confined to the country south of the Neyyar River. Ringeltaube's earliest 
converts had been Pariahs, but not of the lowest caste ; and for some reason 
difficult to understand, it was the Shanar caste which for the first half- 
centiu'y of the mission were attracted to the Gospel. This movement 
among the Pariah and PuUah out-castes synchronises with work done 
amongst them in other parts. In 1859 the Rev. J. Hawkesworth of the 
Church Missionary Society in Tiruvalla, North Travancore, began preach- 
ing to the Pulihas of that region, and formed them into congregations. 
In Trevandrum Mr Mead, after leaving the London Missionary Society, 
had shown interest in these poor people. He held services for them and 


formed a school for their children. During the famine of 1861 he joined 
with Dr Waring, the Durbar physician of that time, and secured help from 
Government in the shape of a daily dole of rice, which is continued to this 
day. Dr Waring gave and collected a fund of Rs. 6800, which he put into 
Government securities, and left to a small committee, consisting of two 
London Missionary Society missionaries and a Christian layman, to be 
administered for the education and Christian instruction of these poor 

■■■■;■•■■: >■••..■ ■■/^-■■••-■'-r-'m 


people. Mr Mateer himself took the greatest interest in these people, and 
at the risk of offending and estranging the more respectable converts from 
the Shanar and Iruvar castes, he formed them into congregations and 
devoted a great deal of time and labour to them, so much so that he was 
called, partly in derision, the Puliyar Padre. 

At the end of this decade came J. F. Gannaway, who spent but three 
years in the mission, and the Rev. G. Mabbs transferred from Salem, but 
at the end of a year he had to retire owing to ill-health. The Rev. WilUam 
Lee, who came to JEunes Town in 1865, spent sixteen most useful years in 


the mission. He was never in any one station more than three or four 
years, but served all the districts except Quilon, and wherever he went the 
savovu* of a life devoted to Christ went with him. 

1866-1876.— The second half of the mission's history had begun in trial 
and persecution, and the first decade had ended in a marvellous increase 
of the number of those who turned to the Gospel and found in it that their 
souls needed. At the beginning of the new decade a most important step 
was taken towards the development of the infant Church. There were 
now Christians of the third generation, and the time had come when the men 
who had been trained should assume the burdens and receive the honours 
of high service. In 1866 the first four pastors of the Church were ordained, 
the Rev. N. Devadason, ordained pastor of the Nagercoil Home Church, 
the Rev. S. Zechariah, pastor of the Neyoor Church, the Rev. C. Masillamoni 
pastor of Dennispuram, and the Rev. C. Yesudian, to be in charge of the 
Tittuvilei district, a Uttle to the north of Nagercoil. Of these Mr Devadason 
was in some senses the most remarkable, though not the best educated. 
He was originally a Brahman, and a teacher in the seminary. Convinced 
by reading the Bible of the truth of Christianity, he deliberately broke his 
caste, snapped his Brahmanical cord, and then sought for and received 
baptism. His Brahman wife refused to join him, and he married a Pariah 
convert. Ten years afterwards, on the death of this wife, his first wife 
became a Christian and joined her husband. He was a man, as may be 
judged from this, of great force of character, and served the Church wisely 
and well. The Rev. C. Masillamoni was a grandson of the first convert, 
Vethamanickam, and had a good share of the mental ability for which his 
family is remarkable. He was a writer, and a poet of some repute among 
his own people, and served for twenty years in the place to which he had been 
called. The Rev. S. Zechariah lived to serve nearly forty years as pastor 
at Neyoor, and was thus, near the end of the century, a living link joining 
the present missionaries with Mead and Mault. 

At the same time an order of evangelists was instituted, who were de- 
signed to be in charge of circles of churches. Both pastors and evangelists 
were appointed by the Committee and held their office from them. 

In the next year, 1867, it was arranged that each chiu*ch should elect 
for itself deacons to be entrusted with the care of secular things. Thus 


were the first steps taken towards the establishment of an independent, 
self-supporting, and self-governing Church. In this year, too, seven other 
ordinations took place, chiefly of assistant missionaries, men designed to 
share the growing burdens of the extensive districts now under the charge 
of the European mission- 
aries, for the hurden was 
growing to be a large one. 
In 1870 the Christian ad- 
herents numbered 30,969, 
with 210 preachers, besides 
161 schools and over 5000 
scholars. In Pareychaley 
alone there were over 1000 
Christian adherents. The 
nmnber of church members 
or communicants was 2331. 
In 1868 the Rev. James 
Emlyn came to take charge 
of the Pareychaley district, 
and the Rev. S. Jones was 
transferred from Coimba- 
tore to Nagercoil, there to 
take charge of the semin- 
ary from Mr Newport, and 
afterwards of the district. 
In 1873 Dr Thomson was 
appointed to the Neyoor 
medicfd mission, and at last 
began a chain of medical 

missionaries unbroken up to the present time, Dr Thomson was a man of 
singular devotion and earnestness, and simply lived in and for his work. 
He erected the second hospital at Neyoor, which was in reality a gift of the 
Maharajah. Dr Thomson says, " I made a subscription Mst and sent it to 
the Maharajah, asking him kindly to head the list with a subscription. To 
my gratitude and delight, he wrote through his Dewan requesting to know 
the cost of the proposed buildings. I replied Rs. 2000, and he at once sent 


an order for the whole of the money to be paid, while at the same time 
he desired the Dewan to express his great satisfaction at the good done 
to his people by the medical mission. The nmnber of patients had 
increased from 6684 in 1866 to 15,916 in 1876. 

Quilon district was, during this decade, for half the time under Mr 
Mateer's charge in addition to the large district of Trevandrum, and partly 
in charge of Mr Wilkinson. This district, estabKshed so early as 1821, was 
still only temporarily served. During many years Mr Mateer, over-burdened 
with a large district, was obliged to add this also, and indeed bore the whole 
burden of the Malayalam work of the Society. 

In 1874 was estabUshed the South Travancore Church Council, consist- 
ing of all the ordained native ministers together with selected representatives 
from the churches in the mission. This council meets annually and dis- 
cusses such topics as affect the life and discipline of the Church, and it has 
been a useful means of bringing to the notice of the European missionaries 
the unfettered opinions of the Christian community concerning many things 
affecting the welfare of the Church. 

The extent of the work had already begun to assume those great pro- 
portions which are matters of surprise and congratulation to-day. The 
great accessions in the districts of Neyoor and Pareychaley to which re- 
ference has been made had increased the number of Christian adherents 
to a great extent, so that at the end of the decade there were nearly 40,000 
enrolled Christians under 194 native workers, and over 8000 children were 
in the schools. 

1876-1886. — In 1875, the first Government census of the population 
was taken. This numbering of the houses and people was viewed by the 
poor classes with the greatest alarm. All kinds of absurd rumours spread 
among them, such as Government was trying to find out the number of able- 
bodied men to ship them off into other lands for service. They did not trust 
their high-caste rulers, but felt that the Eiu'opean missionaries would be 
their friends and protectors, so they flocked in himdreds and thousands 
to place themselves under Christian instruction, and the churches and 
schools were crowded with people anxious to be enrolled as Christians. 
It is estimated that from 1875 to 1877 nearly nine thousand people placed 
themselves under the care of the mission. When the excitement died 


down a proportion of these people went back, but the bulk of them 
remained and became fully incorporated in the Christian community. 

The important work of developing a self-supporting ministry had long 
enjoyed the thought of the missionaries, and in this decade new pastorates 
were formed. In April 25, 1879, in the Nagercoil district, Mr Nathaniel, 
evangelist, was ordained as the pastor of Santhapm^am, Mr Samuel, evangeUst, 
was ordained for Zionpuram, and Mr Solomon, evangelist, was appointed 
as the second pastor of Agasteespuram, which became a pastorate in the 
year 1867. On May 19, 1879, in the Neyoor district, Mr Jacob and Mr 
Manasseh, evangeUsts, were ordained as the pastors of Devikodu and 
Kadamalakuntoo. In the year 1878 Mr Joseph Sylaim was ordained as 
the pastor of Neyyattingarei, in the Trevandrum district. In this way 
thirty-nine churches, containing eleven thousand people, were placed out 
of direct missionary care and organised into self-supporting and self- 
governing churches. 

A remarkable movement among the Christian people, called the '' Six 
Years' Movement," took place about this time. How it began cannot well 
be traced, but its central place in Travancore was a small village near 
Mavelikarai, and the leading spirit of the movement was one Justus 
Joseph. He proclaimed in 1875 that he was commissioned to declare that 
the second coming of Christ was to take place in six years' time, in October 
1881. During the last three years of his supposed prophecy the movement 
spread Uke wildfire, and many of the established churches were disorganised. 
Some people sold their little bits of property, threw their money into a common 
fund, and devoted themselves heart and soul to the proclamation of what 
they believed to be the truth of God. When 1881 ended the movement 
collapsed, and most of the people returned to their respective missions. 
Notwithstanding many extravagances, this movement showed the capa- 
bility of these people being stirred up to a great enthusiastic eifort in a 
spiritual cause. 

In 1882 another deputation, in the persons of Rev. R. W. Thompson 
and Albert Spicer, Esq., visited India. They spent the month of December 
1882 in Travancore. Enthusiastic meetings of welcome were held in all 
the districts, and their visit was productive of much stimulus and strength. 
The need of means to educate the native ministry, and to facilitate higher 
education for our Christians, were greatly felt by the deputation, and in 



1885 a catechist's theological class was started at Nagercoil, and a few years 
later the seminary at Nagercoil was raised to the second-grade college. 

Amongst the missionary workers many changes took place this year. 
On the 12th June 1876 Mrs Thomson, the wife of Dr Thomson, the then 
medical missionary, passed away after three years of devoted and conse- 
crated service. On the 17th of May 1877 Mr Baylis died. He was a strong 
man of a high order, who, in addition to his work as district missionary, as 

editor of Tamil magazines., as one of the committee on the Tamil Bible 
revision, wielded great influence in the field of Tamil Christian literature. 
In the same year Rev. S. Jones of Nagercoil died in London. He had done 
good service in South India missions hetore he came into Travancore, and 
his loss was greatly felt. On the 5th Novemher 1882 Mrs Emlyn passed 
away, after fourteen years' work at Pareychaley, where her sweet womanly 
Christian influence will long abide. In the year 1884, July 31, the good 
medical missionary, Dr Thomson, passed to his rest and reward. He will 
be remembered in Travancore as the beloved physiciaikwho widened the 


boundaries and influence of the medical mission, taught a band of students, 
and opened up dispensaries in various parts of the country. On April 1, 
1885, Mrs Hacker of Neyoor died at Muttam. Her short life of five and a 
half years at this station was full of the sweetest usefulness and blessing. 
The extension of the boarding school for girls at Neyoor, and Biblewomen's 
work at Attoor, one of the out-stations, still remain as monuments of her 
sweet and consecrated Uf e to her Saviour. In the same year, July 31 , there 
died at Tittuvilei, Rev. C. Yesudian, who had been appointed as the native 
missionary of the Tittuvilei district, and he very faithfully and nobly fulfilled 
his trust. All these died in faith. Their memories still abide, and their 
silent graves still bear testimony to their devotion and love for their Saviour. 
To fill up these vacant places Rev. William Lee was transferred to 
Nagercoil to take the place of Mr Jones. Mr Lee was at Nagercoil till 1884, 
when, on account of his wife's ill-health, he had very reluctantly retired from 
a service he loved so much and in which he was so eminently useful. In 
January 1884 Mr A. L. Allan came to Nagercoil in place of Mr Lee. In 
July 1878 Mr I. H. Hacker came to fill up the vacancy made by the loss of 
Mr Baylis. In 1880 Mr. J. Knowles arrived for work at Quilon, which was 
then without a resident missionary, under the care of Mr Mateer, and in 


1886 Dr Fry came to take the place of Dr Thomson as the medical mission- 
ary of Neyoor. Notwithstanding all these changes of the decade, a survey 
of the mission finds Christian churches being developed, larger accessions 
from the non-Christians, and the whole work consolidated upon broad and 
deep foundations. 

1886-1896. — ^The early years of this period under review were times 
of great distress to the poor classes in Travancore. Owing to the failure of 
rain for several years there w^ere no crops, and many were reduced to the 
verge of starvation. At the close of 1888 a great epidemic of cholera swept 
over the southern part of the country. Within a radius of 5 miles from the 
Neyoor mission hospital in two months more than twenty thousand people 
died. Christian congregations of the mission lost over two thousand 
members. These afflictions brought out the preciousness of the Christian 
faith among the poor people and the heroic conduct of many Christian 
teachers, whose devotion to the sick, suffering, and dying of their flock 
produced a great impression. 



In consequence of the large extension of the work of this mission, the 
few European workers were overwhelmed with their responsibilities, and the 

Forward move- 
ment inaugurated 
by the English 
churches in 1891 
was hailed with 
gratitude in many 
a lonely mission 
station as an 
answer to prayer. 
As a result of 
this movement, 
in December 1892 
there arrived Mr 
H. T. WiUs, M.A., 
to be the city 
missionary at 

Trevandrum, the capital of the State, Rev. J. W. Gillies for Quilon, Miss 
K. Derry to be a zenana worker at Nagercoil, Miss Macdonnell for 
women's work at the medical mission hospital at Neyoor, and Mr J. E. 
Dennison for special educational work at Nagercoil. With the exception of 
the Quilon missionary, all were appointed for new work, and their arrival 
was the cause of great rejoicing. Mr Dennison's arrival completed the 
staff necessary for Government requirements, and from January 1893 the 
Nagercoil seminary was advanced to the status of a second-grade college 
afiihated to the Madras University. 

In 1895 the centenary of the work of the London Missionary Society 
was celebrated, and the Travancore mission was not behind in testifying its 
gratitude for the work which had been done amongst them by the Society 
during the past ninety years. The South Travancore Church Council 
arranged that collections should take place Jn all the churches connected 
with the mission in South Travancore. With this fund as a nucleus, they 
founded the native Christian Evangelistic Society, its object being to preach 
the Gospel in unevangelised parts ; a Society to be managed entirely by 
native funds, under native direction. A small executive Board consisting 


of native ministers and laymen was formed, a few special agents were 
appointed, and this native Home Missionary Society started on its work, 
which is full of encouragement and promise. 

During these ten years several very useful and honoured native workers 
passed away after a Ufe's faithful service. Rev. Gnanabaranam, who worked 
in connection with the medical mission, died on November 26, 1888. Rev. 
WilUam Fletcher, assistant missionary in the Pareychaley district, and the 
Rev. Sathianathen, the first pastor of the Amaravilei pastorate in the 
Pareychaley district, died on the 4th November 1892 and in the month of 
December 1893 respectively. Rev, Joseph Sylaim, Ncyyattingarei, died 
in the year 1892. Rev. Arumanayagam of Attoor died on the 15th May 
1895. Under the influence of Christ these men developed faithful, beautiful 
characters, full of useful influences, and they have left fragrant memories 
of consecrated lives as the heritage 
of the Christian Church. 

In addition to the changes which 
were brought about by the new re- 
inforcements, several changes took 
place among the European mission 
staff. On April 7, 1888. Rev. and 
Mrs Alfred Thompson came to 
Nagercoil. and about them clustered 
much promise of usefulness ; but 
after three years, owing to the ill- 
ness of Mrs Thompson, they were 
obliged to retire. In the year 1888 
Mrs Knowles, a lady of great talent 
and devotion, died at Quilon. On 
February 11, 1886, Dr Fry with Mrs 
Fry came to take the place of Dr 
Thomson. For seven years they did 
very useful work at Neyoor ; a new 
hospital was built, a fresh band of 
students trained, and the influence of 
the medical missionary considerably widened. But in 1893 Dr Fry resigned 
the work at Neyoor in order to take the superintendence of the Medical 


Mission College at Edinburgh, in the place of Dr Lowe, who died on May 8, 
1892. In May 1890 Rev. James Emlyn retired from mission service. 
For twenty-three years he had done service in the Pareychaley district. 
The death of his wife some years before had been a great blow to him. But 
although he retired from active service in connection with the mission, he 
still lives amongst us honoured and respected. In the month of March 
1891 Mr S. Mateer was obliged, on account of ill-health, to return to England, 
and he died at Hastings on December 25, 1893. Mr Mateer's thirty-three 
years of strenuous labour will not soon be forgotten. Interested in every- 
thing connected with Travancore, devoting his literary gift to the publica- 
tion of works connected with the country of his adoption, incessant in his 
travels amongst the poor people of the congregations, he was respected by 
all classes in the State. The Mateer Memorial Church, lately erected in 
Trevandrum, is a fitting tribute to his devoted hfe. In 1894 Rev. T. W. 
Bach came to fill up the vacancy left by Mr Mateer. But his useful and 
promising missionary career was shortened owing to the illness of his wife, 
which obliged him to return to England. In December 1893 the mission 
was again strengthened by two new missionaries who came out under the 
Forward movement — Rev. W. D. Osborne and Mr H. Hewett. Their coming 
enabled the missionaries to form a new mission district at Attingal, midway 
between Trcvandrum and Quilon, 20 miles from each of these stations, 
in a very needy part of the country, and the blessings which have followed 
their labours fully justified their appointment. The close, therefore, of 
this decade finds the mission better staffed, more able to cope with increas- 
ing responsibilities, with the hearts of all the missionaries strengthened with 
great hopes of future extensions. 

1896-1906. — The effect of the reinforcements soon became apparent 
in all parts of the mission. Mr Wills, in addition to evangeUstic work amongst 
the educated classes in the city, found a wide sphere of usefulness amongst 
the students who came for higher education to the Maharajah's College. 
The need of a hostel for Christian youths had long been felt, and by help 
obtained from the Board at home, and his own personal friends, Mr Wills 
was enabled to caiTy this work to a successful issue. In 1899 this was 
finished and opened for the use of students. It is a handsome building, 
capable of accommodating sixty students, with a large assembly hall and a 


library. In Nagercoil extensions were needed for the college, and through 
the munificence of Mr Septimus Scott, one of the directors of the home 
Board, this building was erected. It was opened in August 1899, and is 
known by the name of the Scott Christian College, which will long keep 
green the memory of a noble-hearted Christian gentleman. A large new church 
was erected in Kadamaleikunto, one of the pastorates in the Neyoor district, 
mainly through the liberaUty of Rev. J. Law of Tasmania, in memory of 
his son, who died on the threshold of manhood. This chm-ch is called the 
" Law Memorial Church." In 1900 the Leper Asylum, begun in Dr Fry's 
time, was extended by the erection of a special home for women. This work 
amongst the lepers in the east, and mainly by the Christian bounty of Mrs 
Pease of Dublin, is a great blessing to some of the greatest sufferers in the 
world. A house was built for Mr Osborne at Attingal, and around him is 
gathering a very thriving mission. Mr Hewett, after various changes, under- 
took the opening of a new mission station at Ncdungolam, and under his 
care a new house was built for the Quilon missionary, now occupied by 
Mr Edmonds. 

Changes in the staff during tliis decade were numerous. Mr Bach 
retired from the work of the Trevandrum district in March 1900, and in his 
place came Mr A. Parker from Benares. Mr GilUcs retired from the work 
of Quilon, and his place was taken by Mr Edmonds. Mr Foster arrived 
in 1899 to take the place vacant by the retirement of Mr J. Knowles, on 
account of his wife's ill-health, after fourteen years' work in the country. 
Mr G. Parker came in 1900 in the place of Mr Dennison and Miss Blanchard 
in the place of Miss Deny. In 1902 Dr Bentall arrived to reinforce the 
medical mission. He took up his residence at Neyoor, and a new bungalow 
was built at Martandam, 10 miles away, for Mr Hacker. In 1903 Miss 
Macdonnell retired from mission service and Miss Wilson Greene came in 
her place. In 1905 Rev. A. L. Allan resigned his work after twenty-one 
years' service at Nagercoil, and in the same year Dr Fells, after thirteen years' 
service, on account of his family circumstances retired. His retirement 
was felt greatly by the Christian community. His skill as a surgeon became 
widely known, and his consistent Christian character gave him a widespread 
influence amongst the higher classes in the country. During Dr Fells' 
furlough, Dr Davies of Samoa came for two years, and did a useful work. 
On November 23, 1905, Dr Davidson came in the place of Dr Fells. 



Amongst the native brethren the mission suffered loss in the death 
of Rev. J. Joshua, Nagercoil ; Mr James, medical evangelist, Neyoor : Rev. 
Devalam, Trevandrum ; Rev. P. Yacob, Devikodu ; and Rev. S. Zechariah, 
at Neyoor. These men all had done many years of very faithful service, 
and the Christian Church in Travancore owes to them a debt of gratitude. 

To fill up these vacancies, 
Mr Yesudian, evangelist, 
was ordained in place of 
Mr Joshua, Mr K. P. 
Thomas in place of Dev- 
alam, and Mr John M. 
Kesari for Trevandnim 
pastorate in the place of 
his father, who retired. 

Important develop- 
ments in the life of the 
native Church took place 
in this decade. In 1901 
the native Evangelistic 
Society began its work. 
In 1904 there was formed 
the South Travancore 
Church Union. The ob- 
ject of this union was to 
unite all the pastorates in 
bonds of mutual service, 
its work being to arrange 
for ordination, removal, 
discipline of pastors, and 
members of sell-supporting pastorates. The whole of the work of the 
pastorates has thus been given out of the hands of the European missionaries 
into those of the native community. The future of this Union will be 
watched with the greatest interest. 

In 1906 the centenary of the mission in Travancore was celebrated 
with great joy and gratitude throughout all the districts. To complete 
the joy of the people another deputation from England visited Travancore 



this year. This deputation, consisting of Dr R. W. Thompson, accompanied 
by Mrs Thompson and Miss M, Wills of Bristol, Rev. J. W. Bolton and Mr 
A. W. Whitley, spent the whole month of December 1906 in Travancore. 
They received a hearty welcome wherever they went, and, in addition to their 
reception, a free-will thank-offering was presented to them by the people 
of every district through which they passed. In the Trevandrum district 
they assisted in the ordination of a pastor and opened the Mateer Memorial 
Church, a substantial and beautiful structure equal to any of the buildings 
in Trevandrum, the capital of the State. Moving on from Trevandrum to 
Piu*eychaley, Neyoor, and Nagercoil, their visit was one triumphant pro- 
cession among grateful people. At Nagercoil the meetings had a shadow 
cast over them by the illness of Dr Duthie, who for fifty years of the 
century has been doing service at that place. The centenary meetings at 
Nagercoil will long be remembered. Representatives from all the missions 
in South India were present, and after three or four days of united meetings, 
in which gratitude and praise to God and honour and love to the London 
Missionary Society for all the benefits the Christian community had 
received were the predominant notes, the centenary of the missionary effort 
of the London Missionary Society in Travancore closed. So the centenary 
passed, leaving a luminous track in its wake ; and looking into the second 
century, hope Ues bright before us, that the light which dawned on 
Travancore in the past century may shine in noontide glory during the 
next. The Lord has been mindful of us ; He will bless us. 


Missionaries Educational Pioneers. Changes in Missionary Position. Present Conditions. Village 
Schools. Girls' Schools. Need of Seminary. Ringeltaube's Letter. Mead and Mault's 
Efforts. Object of Seminary. First Seminary Teachers. Mrs Roberts' Use and Development 
of Seminary. Distinguished Students. Seminary affiliated to Madras University. Scott 
Christian College. Present Conditions of Villages and Churches. Special Need for Theo- 
logical Instruction. Opinions of Leading Missionaries. Divinity School for South India. 
Extension and strengthening existing Training Class. Rise of Christians in Educational Status. 
Prayer for Skilled Labourers. 

The London Missionary Society has reason to be proud of its record 
in the cause of education in Travancore. Their missionaries were the pioneers 
of modern education, amongst the poorest in teaching them the simplest 
elements, and amongst the higher classes in teaching English and modem 
science. The Travancore Government, recognising the good work they were 
doing, gave them a grant in aid of their work, leaving them unhampered 
by any restriction. Some years ago, followng the lead of the British 
Government, Travancore took up the responsibiUty of the education of 
the people, gave grants in aid, and asked the missionaries to assist them. 
This change altered the position considerably, and grave doubts were enter- 
tained by the missionaries as to the wisdom of being in a sense Government 
servants. But as freedom was allowed in religious teaching, the position 
was accepted, and for some years all went on well. A few years ago, however, 
orders were issued that no reUgious education should be given in school 
hours, and various restrictions were placed on the text-books used in the 
schools. As the missionaries are working amongst the poorest classes of 
the State, a people who, according to Government officials, will ever remain 
unraised except by Christian effort, because the caste-people will not touch 
the out-caste, these unnecessary restrictions are greatly deplored. The 
missionaries, however, by developing better the Simday schools and having 
their religious teaching before and after the school hours, are trying to 



face these difficulties and work harmoniously with the Government. In 
this chapter the past efforts and future needs of the mission along educa- 
tional Unes are described by Dr Duthie : 

" And first a word in regard to village schools. At the outset these schools 
were very few in number, with only a few children under very poor teachers, 
struggling to master the alphabet and short words written on sand or olei 
books. Even after half the century progress in this line had been but small. 
Fifty years ago a start was made in the villages, and schools under better 
teachers were estabUshed. One or two schools in various districts for Hindu 
boys were set agoing, and in the Nagercoil division of the Sirkar we had a 
sympathetic Hindu magistrate who encouraged such schools and procm^ed 
for us a grant in aid. The first grant-in-aid school was in this town, and so 
favourably was it reported upon, that the Dewan of that time offered grants 
to all our village schools on a fairly liberal scale, and on very easy conditions. 
The impetus thus given to the schools was immense, and in not a few places 
excellent results were produced. Unhampered by numerous rules, and free 
to make the best use possible of the aid given, the schools flourished. But 
rules in due time were multiplied, restrictions of various kinds were imposed, 
inspectors were not always sympathetic ; and so it happens that while 
to-day we have more children on our rolls than before, and in many places 
better teachers, the lessons allowed to be taught in our village schools are 
so elementary as to be, in the opinion of many, practically useless. One 
of the greatest developments of the work here, as elsewhere, in recent years 
is that amongst women. Of girls' day schools we had none forty years 
ago. But some years back, as the outcome of zenana work, such schools 
began to spring up, and good progress is being made, hundreds of both 
Christian and Hindu children being under instruction. Zenana work 
was begun in 1872, and now we have 2300 women learning in the various 
towns and villages throughout our field. But boarding schools for girls 
have from the very first been a very marked feature of this mission. The 
first such institution in Travancore was begun here by Mr Mault, and 
gradually, at all our head stations, similar schools were established by 
the enterprise and devotion of the wives of the missionaries, who had to look 
to friends at home for support, the directors of the Society being unable 
to render money help, and making it clear from the outset that all 
financial responsibility must rest with the ladies themselves. To the necessity 



for thus raising funds, and as an elevating employment for the native 
Christian women themselves, is to be ascribed the commencement and 
development of the lace and embroidery industries of the mission. Tlie 
importance of raising up a native agency was felt at the very beginning 
of our mission. Under date llth September 1806, Ringeltaube, writing 
to a friend in London, has these words : — 

" ' Represent if you please over to the directors, and if possible obtain 

the sum of £100 for me towards building a church in Travancore and 
erecting small buildings for a seminary. 1 have now two Christian boys 
training up for preaching the Gospel, and they give me much satisfaction. 
In a short time they will be useful. A hundred more miglit easily be got 
up if I had the means of educating them.' Then followed a definite pro- 
posal to the Board — ' a seminary of twelve youths to be educated and 
maintained, these youths when fit to be employed as itinerant.' 

" Such was the thought of Ringeltaube five months after arrival in 
Travancore, and such the very modest request. So far as known, however, 


it was not granted. Nevertheless men to carry on the work were raised 
up ; and when Ringeltaube left, on the 23rd January 1816, twelve native 
agents were in the service of the mission. 

''This question enjoyed the earnest consideration of Ringeltaube's 
successors. Mead and Mault. In October 1819, two months before Mault's 
arrival, a small boarding school for boys had been started. The plan at 
first was to establish a school of thirty boys, and an inexpensive building 
was erected which stood for forty years, and continued to be the dormitory 
for the seminary students up to the time of my arrival here in 1859. In 
1862 a new dormitory was built. The plan for a training school, drawn 
up by the successors of Ringeltaube in a letter to the directors, is in these 
words : — ' The great object of this school is the communication of religious 
and useful knowledge. When a boy leaves our seminary we shall be able 
to say, '' From a child thou hast known the holy scriptures." The next 
object is literature and languages. The languages to be taught are the 
English, Tamil, Malayalam, and Sanskrit. Should any of the boys 
manifest suitable dispositions and qualifications for the ministerial office, 
they will be placed under the charge of one of the missionaries and a course 
of study that will qualify him for the work, to include an acquaintance 
with classical and theological knowledge on a respectable scale. This 
will give rise, we hope, in time to a mission college for the south of 
India, on the liberal principles of the London Missionary Society, which 
shall be open to all who give satisfactory evidences of genuine piety.' 
If Ringeltaube's plan for his seminary was on a very humble and un- 
pretentious scale, that of his immediate successors did not err in that 
direction. One, indeed, is tempted to regard it as little less than 
Utopian ; but, for my part, I have liked to think of it as a bright vision 
of men of faith greeting from afar what would in due time be felt to be in- 
dispensable. The idea expressed in the letter to the directors of the 
London Missionary Society above quoted, of a united Theological College or 
Divinity School for the whole of South India on an undenominational basis, 
with a liberal curriculum of studies, is not a little remarkable. It is one 
which at this hour presses on many minds as of urgent importance, and 
whose realisation ought not to be much longer deferred. 

"The first teachers for our seminary had to be imported from 
Tranquebar and Tanjore, and gradually instructors from amongst our own 


people were raised up. That encouraging progress in the training of agents 
had been made, appears from the report of the deputation of 1827, in which 
the men then employed are spoken of as on the whole ' Pious and con- 
sistent men ' ; and with the seminary the remark is, ' In good state.' The 
importance of this department of work was increasingly felt, and in 1831 
the services of W. Roberts, who had been an army schoolmaster, were 
engaged. For two years he worked here, after which, with the approval 
of the missionaries, he was, at the earnest entreaty of the Mtdiarajah of 
that time, transferred to Trovandrum, where he commenced the ' Free 
School,' as it was 
called, the seed 
from which the 
large coUege at the 
Capital has sprung. 

"In 1834 the 
institution was re- 
moved from Nager- 
coil to Neyoor, 
where W. Charles 
Miller was sta- 
tioned, who thus 
became the first 
principal of the 
school, devoting 
himself with rare 

ability and enthusiasm to the work. Two of his pupils in particular 
deserve here special mention — one, C. Yesudian. for many years head 
native teacher in the institution, afterwards ordained to the ministry, the 
first native agent so set apart, a man of marked ability and scholarship in 
the classics of his native speech, the acknowledged leader in his day of 
the native Christian community here ; the other, a Hindu pupil, N. Nanoo 
Pillai, who became Dewan of the State, and, in token of indebtedness to 
his early training under Mr Miller, founded annual prizes for students in 
our college, 

" In 1839 the institution was transferred back to Nagercoil, and in 1842 
came under the superintendence of 0. Whitehouse, a trained teacher and a 



man of high attainments and striking personality, who impressed his mark 
deeply upon many young men, some of whom, no longer young, are still 
with us, holding honoured positions in the mission. It is worthy of 

mention also that 
one of Mr White- 
house's scholars 
rose to the high- 
est official posi- 
t i o n in the 
country, whose 
name is per- 
petuated in the 
annual prize in 
the college, 
known as . the 
Rama Rao prize. 
" For more 
years than I can 
now mention it 
was my privilege to be in the succession of these honoured men. Affiliation 
with the Madras UniverMity was obtained under the name of the Scott 
Christian College, so called in memory of Mr Septimus Scott, for many 
years a highly honoured director of our Society, by whose generous gifts 
large and important additions have been made to our buildings. 

'"In 1900 Mr George Parker, B.A., became principal, whose efforts on 
behalf of the college are very fully appreciated. The institution had then 
been in existence for eighty-seven years of the century now being com- 
memorated, springing as we see from very small beginnings, exposed to 
many vicissitudes during these years, a place in which thousands of youths, 
both Christian and Hindu, have been taught, disciplined, moulded for 
service of various kinds in the mission, in the State, in agricultural and 
industrial pursuits in places both near and far off, and who look to the 
Nagercoil school as their Alma Mater, where new aspirations, new thoughts, 
new purposes were formed, and where not a few, it may well be believed, 
gave their hearts to the Lord Jesus. And it may further well be believed 
that, known by its new name, with its missionary principal and Chris- 



tian teachers, with its Bible lessons and range of studies widened 
and adapted to growing needs, a future of extended usefulness lies 
before it amongst all classes of the community, both Christian and 

" Meanwhile the condition of our numerous village churches in urgent 
need of better educated catechists and pastors has to be earnestly con- 
sidered ; and to meet this growing necessity, special arrangements separate 
from the college for theological instruction in the vernacular has to be 

"This question of special training for mission service is one to which, 
as has been said, much attention lias been given from the beginning, and 
now, with the experience of a century behind us, where do wc stand ? The 
kind of men needed for our congregations and for evangelistic work, the 
preparation required, the studies suitable, the salanes to be given, and 
so forth — these are the problems here and in missions all over South India 
at this hour. 

" I have before me the matured opinions of leading lieads of 
theological semin- 
aries in South 
India, from whose 
words a few brief 
quotations may be 

" One wxites : 
'The work requires 
a well-trained and 
well-paid agency. 
The material for 
our workers must 
be young Christian 
men who have an 
experience of their 
own of the saving 

grace of the Lord. Our people are mostly as yet from the down-trodden 
classes, and our agents, if they are to do effective work, must not estrange 
themselves from their congregations by Western ways of living and dressing.' 


" Another says : ' A training institute common to all our missions is in 
these times a necessity, and we are working towards the common seminary. 
The language in which all lessons should be taught, except in certain cases 
— an English language lesson — should be the vernaculars of our students.' 

" A third says : ' In regard to curricula of studies it will never do to 
copy that of American and European training schools.' 

" Writing from an extended experience, one says : ' No department of 
mission work to-day is more urgent than this of training preachers. The 
character of the training should be spiritual, biblical, modern, oriental. It 
should be thorough ; and missions should unite more than they have in 
promoting this training. Kindred missions can save in means and 
multiply their efficiency by union in this effort. And only those who are 
spiritually fit should be chosen for this training.' 

"Such utterances sufficiently set forth the views of leaders amongst 
South India missionaries on this all-important question at this time. 

" In regard to Travancore, experience at the close of our centenary ye€ir 
leads us to emphasize two points : 

" 1. That the time has come for the establishment of a divinity school 
for South India. There is no such institution at present, and it is a lament- 
able fact, mourned over by many missionaries of the day, that when 
vacancies in the pastorates at large centres occur, suitable men to fill such 
vacancies cannot be found. The scarcity of agents for village work is 
deeply felt in our mission, as in most other South India missions, but for 
large and more advanced congregations there is an absolute lack of men 
qualified by spiritual endowment and liberal training to take the pastoral 
oversight of such churches. It is urgently necessary to look this fact 
fairly in the face, and to pray and work that means for the establishment 
of such a school of the prophets may be devised without further delay. 

" 2. The second point to be also thoroughly emphasized by ourselves 
is the importance of strengthening and extending arrangements at present 
existing for the training of catechists at Nagercoil. For our village con- 
gregations, now numbering nearly four hundred, our pastors and catechists 
must be men of the people — trained in the vernacular in our own field — able 
to meet the current needs of the time, and satisfied with such salaries as the 
people can give. Since the visit of the deputation twenty-three years ago, 
systematic efforts, though on far too limited a scale, to provide such men 



have been made. But needs now are more urgent than ever before. The 
condition of not a few of our congregations is viewed with much concern, 
mainly, as I beheve, owing to the fewness of better-quahfied, spiritually- 
minded workers. We have many in the mission able to profit by the studies 
of our catechists' class, and many congregations are ready to welcome 
and support any such when ready for service. 

"The education and intelligence of the Christian community are 
rapidly improving, and the Christian ministry amongst us is not keeping 
pace. The pulpit must lead ; and if it cannot do so, it may as well be silent. 
This question of training is vital not only to progress, but to the very 
existence of our congregations. Never were strong, capable, spiritually- 
minded men more needed in our pulpits, in our lecture halls, in our bazaars 
than at this day, and this need will increase as the years go by. The 
harvest is great, but the skilled labourers are few. May the Lord of the 
harvest raise up and thrust forth labourers into His harvest ! " 



lojinieiit lit' Mi-ilical MiNiiuiis. 'I'lieir I'oKitimi and l'ou'i>r iti .Missionary Kiiterprise. Cci-uperation. 
History. Kamsay. I)r Uitcli'i^ first llcpiirt, l)r l^«e. Training Class for Medical Evaii- 
(tcliats. Ur 'riiomson'B A<:tive Years. Krectioii of Central Hospital, Neyoor. Tmineil 
Nurses. Great Increase under Ur Fells. Testimony to Christian C'harauler. Present Staff. 
Kcoiioniy in Expenditure. Cliarf;eH for Medicine. 'Die Question of Result. The Converted 
Fakir. A Grateful Patient. A Village Opened. Native Medical Kvsii^lists. Iiifluenee of 
tlieir U'ork. Ilupe for tlie Future. 

In the missionary enterprise, which commonced with this century, the 
medical mission was for some time a neglected arm of the service. The 
pioneers of the movement were preachers, men of the Book, who felt that, 
by knowing absolutely nothing amonj^ men hut Jesus Christ and Him 
crucified, the world would be won for Him. Accordingly they chose what 
they beUeved wotild be the most direct method. They brought no 
science, relied upon no art : but, with the simplicity of consecrated lives. 


they laboured to translate the Bible, and lived and died amongst the 
people, giving them, as directly as possible, the great message of recon- 
ciliation. It was not until the first generation had passed away that the 
question of medical work as a distinct branch of missionary effort rose 
into prominence, and became important enough to be earnestly acted 

Such, at all events, was the case in the history of the Travancore 
mission. Ringeltaube, the first missionary who came into Travancore, 
began his work in 1806. He was followed ten years afterwards by John 
Smith, Charles Miller, William Miller, Charles Mault, and others. For 
thirty years these men laboured on, teaching and preaching, and, by God's 
blessing, laying strong and permanent foundations for the establishment 
of the Gospel. It was after this that the question of a medical mission 
was discussed, and pressed home, as likely to be an important auxiliary 
in the great work of reaching the hearts of men. 

Dr W. C. Bentall gives the following history of the development of the 
medical mission in Travancore : — 

" The work of a mission may be compared to a man growing from the 
feeble efforts of childhood to the vigorous activity of healthy manhood. 
Tlie head and body may be regarded as the Church — in the widest sense 
of that word — the right arm to the educational department, the left arm 
to the medical department, and the legs by which he stands and walks to 
the industrial work of the mission. At the end of a hundred years we are 
a fully-developed man, but still a bit weak on the legs ! This means that 
just as in a healthy body there must be harmonious co-ordination of every 
part, so in a mission there must be co-ordination and harmony, and all 
is a matter of rejoicing that the whole history of oiu* work has been marked 
by perfect co-operation with other branches of the work." 

An extract from the report of Dr Lowe in 1863 is applicable to 
all stages of our development : '^ While devoting the greater part of the time 
at my disposal to the work of the dispensary, 1 have felt it to be a privilege 
no less than a duty to co-operate with my dear fellow-labourer, the Rev. F. 
BayUs, in the general missionary work of the district. And although the 
tendency of an advanced medical work is to render this principle more 
difficult in detailed practice, I think I may say that to-day we recognise 
it increasingly as in our thirteen branches we come into joyful fellowship 


with every district missionary in South Travancore." No feeling has 
given me more joy than the constant realisation that we are all heartily 
engaged in the same work with one aim, spirit and purpose. 

The History and Development of the medical mission in South Travancore 
is not without marked points of interest. As the address of welcome pre- 
sented by oiu* medical evangeUst to the deputation says, " There have been 
eight medical missionaries, and the work of each has had its unique and 
special characteristics." 

In 1838 Ramsay, a medical man, came out to Nagercoil, and in three 
months had treated 1500 cases, but in a year he retired from mission work, 
and it was not till thirteen years later, in 1852, that our work was started on 
a good basis by Dr Leitch. The first annual report of the mission 
dispensary at Neyoor (1854) speaks of 5318 patients having been treated. 
Dr Leitch was drowned while bathing at Muttam a few years after, and 
in 1862 John Lowe took up the work, and his first report in 1862 shows 
2629 cases, and annual expenditure of Rs. 835. His work was marked 
by the commencement of our medical school, and when work was press- 
ing heavily on him and people all around calling for help, it shows the 
strength of his purpose and the greatness of his foresight that he could 
in some measure resist the calls and tftke up the work of training men. 

After Lowe came Thomson, a man of indomitable energy and 
mighty evangelistic fervour. He gave himself to the people, and his memory 
is still fragrant in their midst. In his hand there was much advance : 
branch hospitals were opened, and two more classes of students trained and 
sent forth, and many of them are amongst our best fellow-workers to-day. 

In 1885 came Fry, who inaugurated another advance in the erection 
of our central hospital at Neyoor, of which we are justly proud, well built 
throughout, and showing no dilapidation after twenty years of hard 
work in it, a monument of his skill in design, and in the rarer art of carrying 
out the details to completion. Another class of students was trained by 
him. Towards the close of his time another forward step was taken in 
the appointment of Miss Macdonnell as lady superintendent, and she, 
quickly finding the need of trained nurses and midwives both at the centre 
and the branches, trained a class of such women, who have proved in- 
valuable in the work. Our fine maternity block was also the result of her 




^^^'~^:^^„ ,:i 



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Then came Dr Fells, under whose hands the annual number of patients 
went up from 26,000 to 70,000 and the expenditure from Rs. 6000 to 

Rs. 20,000, while the 
branches increased 
from seven to thirteen. 
These are mere figures 
which we all recognise 
are not a complete in- 
dication of the progress 
and condition of that 
side' of the work which 
we put first. Fells was 
an ideal medical mis- 
sionary ; his practice 
preached and his hfe 
made an indelible im- 
pression on the higher 
clawsos of Hindus. Not a tew such with whom 1 have come in contact 
have told me that his work has made them believe in Christ, though their 
family relationship prevents their open confession of faith. 

To-day there are two of us in charge, and a temporarily vacant post 
of lady matron. A staff of seventeen trained assistants, who in many cases 
should be called " fellow medical missionaries," all passed through our 
school, six native nurses, a school of nine students taking a five years' 
course based on the lines of the Edinburgh school, and being examined 
annually by outside examiners. The annual list of sick treated numbers 
79,000, with 5000 surgical operations, and we read in Prof. Currie Martin's 
book on Foreign Missions that this is the largest medical mission in the world. 
Expenditure. — The cost of each patient, calculating all expenditure 
save that of the missionaries' salaries, works out at 2?,d. per head, and of 
this only |d. comes from the Board at home. Our expenses are kept so 
low by what I would call a method of self-supply, sawdust, coming as 
packing for the drugs and costing nil, taking the place of expensive wool, 
by being made into small bags or pads ; expen.'iive hot-water bottles are 
I'cplaced by the tins some medicines come in ; our compounder is a boy 
trained from our orphanage ; our hospital painter (a very necessary agent) 


and tailor likewise ; the whole staff is trained within the mission, and 
therefore salaries are not high, and the men better known and more re- 
liable. The income is largely kept up by the charge of small prices for 
medicines to those who can afford it — the poorest getting food, medicine, 
and everything absolutely free. No fee for operation or consultation is 
ever charged in the mission hospital, though we charge for outside visita- 
tions, otherwise folks would always fetch us to their homes, and we should 
have time for naught else. We are here in the hospital to give our know- 
ledge and time freely and gladly for the extension of Christ's kingdom — 
that is our first object ; and by means of the small charges for medicine, 
a plan first suggested by one of our Indian fellow- workers, we have been 
able to bring some twenty thousand more people under the sound of the 
Gospel, by opening branches, which would have been impossible without it. 
I conclude with a word as to Results. What is looked for under this 
head ? Is it definite conversions ? This is. in my opinion, a very limited 
view of the subject, but we are grateful to say these are not lacking. A 
fakir came to hospital once with long ropes of matted hair, necklaces of 
beads, and all the other appurtenances of his craft ; he was converted, and 
to-day, with hair cut 
so as not to be mis- 
taken for a Hindu, he 
sells Gospel portions 
as the hospital colpor- 
teur. Six months ago 
a Brahman woman 
had come in to the 
maternity ward with 
her old mother ; she 
was better, and had 
a fine baby boy. On 
a quiet Sunday morn- 
ing, in the absence of 
the staff, I went to 
say good-bye to them ; I wish some of you could have seen the light 
in the face of the old woman and young mother as they told me they 
had learned to love Jesus since they had been in. These instances 



could be multiplied did space permit. I had an interesting illustration 
of the medical mission being the left arm of the missionary enterprise. 
A few months ago, while touring in the Quilon district with Mr Edmonds, 
we visited many villages in which he had not been able to commence work, 
owing to Hindu prejudice. But sick people were in them needing help 
— the left arm lifted the curtain and the right arm got to work ; for three 
schools were opened after the medical tour, and a work has been begun 
which we trust wUl long continue and be a blessing to the coming time. 

Thus the results of the medical mission are wide and far-reaching. 
We all recognise that if India is to be won for Christ, it will be done ulti- 
mately by the Indian evangelising the Indians. This mission has sent out 
between twenty and thirty Indian medical workers, who have with few excep- 
tions laboured loyally for years, and their character and beneficent work 
claim a large share in the supreme task of Christianising the sentiment and 
thought of Hinduism. Who can measure the result of consecrated service? 
Work like that of Thomson and Fells, and work that some of our Indian 
fellow-workers are doing, is effecting more than we can estimate to leaven 
Indian society and hasten the day when all men shall call Christ their Lord. 




Position of Women in Indian Literature. Present Social Condition. Work of Missionaries' AVives. 
Boarding Schools for Girls. Testimony of Dr Mullens. Financial Responsibility. Lace and 
Embroidery Industries. Caste Girls* Schools. lufluence of Medical Mission. Mrs Thomson's 
School at Eraniel. Biblewomen's AV'ork. How Begun and Maintained. Present Position 
of this AVork. Growth of Friendly Feeling. 

In the ancient and classic literature of India are enshrined some very 
beautiful ideas of womanhood. The faithfulness of Sita to her husband 
in all their wanderings, the constancy of Sakuntala in her desertion and 
vicissitudes, and the devotion of Savitri, form some of the most interesting 
stories to be found in any literature of the world. But these ideals are 
greatly vitiated by the position given to the women in rehgious and social 
customs. Their temporal and spiritual destinies lie not in their hands, but 
in the hands of men. Their husband is their god. From birth till death 
woman is under man's authority ; her one virtue ought to be obedience. 
When a child she should be in subjection to her father ; when married, 
to her husband ; when a widow, to her son ; and when she dies, if she enters 
heaven at all, it is solely by her husband's merits. Within the limited 
circle of her family and household she exerts a very great personal in- 
fluence, and much of the conservatism of the present day may be ascribed 
to the influence of the ignorant women of Hindu households. It has never 
been considered necessary to educate women, for, as one of their proverbs 
says, ''To educate a woman is like putting a torch in the hand of a 
monkey." The consequence of this neglect is that at the present day, of 
the hundred miUion women in India only about one in two hundred is able 
to read. This state of things is being gradually improved, but it surely 
must be apparent that no permanent, substantial progress can be made 
until the women in India are educated. 

In reviewing, therefore, the progress of the mission in Travancore during 



the past century, the work done by missionaries' wives amongst tlie women 
and girls needs special mention. These ladies have not occupied any 
official position in connection with the Society, but the help they have 
given to their husbands' work has been so great that not to recognise it 
with gratitude would be a shame. In the first years of the century nothing 
could be done, because Ringeltaube, as he described himself to his sister, 
was " a poor, forlorn old bachelor." Mr Mead, his successor, went through 






sm^^-sm^ - 

r^^fj^Jffr- ■ - -^ 

the agony of losing his wife even before he reached his appointed 
work in Travancore. It was not until 1819, when Mr Mead had taken 
another help-meet and Mr and Mrs Mault arrived, and the two mission- 
aries with their wives were settled at Nagercoil, that the first small board- 
ing school for Christian girls was established. This innovation of teach- 
ing girls, especially girls of inferior caste — and more especially little slave 
girls — was regarded with the greatest astonishment. Everything had to 
be provided — board, clothes, books, and even a Uttle fee paid to the 
children to induce them to come to school. But a few years of patient 


labour demonstrated the benefits of this female education, and as rein- 
forcements and new districts were opened at Santhapuram, Neyoor, 
Pareychaley, Trevandrum, and Quilon, the girls' boarding school became 
the most attractive and useful part of the work at the head station of the 
district. The girls were for five or six years taken from their non-Quistian 
surroundings, placed in a Christian atmosphere, imder the direct daily in- 
fluence of a Christian lady, and the result is to-day seen in a large niunber 
of educated Christian women, whose refined lite, good manners, and Christian 


character give the tone to our whole Christian community. The iniluence 
of such work even as early as 1853 is shown by the remarks, made by Dr 
Mullens, a late secretary of our Society, when he visited Travancore. 
He thus describes one of the stations : " The city of peace, i.e. Santha- 
puram, lies opposite a noble hill, which stretches ftu- into the well-tilled 
plain. Its pretty parsonage, its neat church, already too small for the 
demands of the Christian popiJation, its flourishing girls' school, counting 
more than a hundred girls, its lace establishment, its almshouse for poor 
widows, its well-planned village and huge well, all reflect much credit on 
the perseverance and energy of Mr Lewis, by whom it was founded. I 


shall never forget the happy faces of the Shanar girls at the station as they 
plied their spinning-wheels and sang, 

' Oh ! that will be joyful, 
When we meet to part no more.' " 

Although the directors of our Society have always recognised girls* 
boarding schools amongst the most valued agencies, they have not ac- 
cepted any financial obligation with respect to them. Missionaries* 
wives therefore have had not only to give their personal service, but 

also have to find the money from personal friends for the upkeep of the 
schools. The Christian women of Travancore owe a great debt of gratitude 
to unknown friends in different parts of Britain, who, being personal 
friends of missionaries' wives, have for so many years cheered their hearts 
by their constant and unstinted help. 

Lace and Embroidery Help. — ^The girls in the boarding school soon 
showed themselves to be apt pupils, and, in addition to all the elements of 
a primary education, needlework was taught. Early in the history of 
the mission, Mrs Mault, who had some knowledge of lace-making, began 
to teach this industry to a few girls, and Mrs Abbs of Pareychaley and 


Mrs Baylis of Neyoor began to teach embroidery work on cambric and 
fine linen. In the disposal of this work many ladies in India, wives of 
military and civil officials, knowing that the needlework was done in the 
interests of the Christian mission, undertook its sale, and as years have 
passed these friends have increased in number, and means for its disposal 
have been developed all through India. Dr Mullens, in his visit, also mentions 
this lace-making industry as follows : " Instruction in the art is reserved 
for poor but respectable widows or the very best of the school girls. It 
is astonishing what beautiful work they can turn out, and in what comfort 
they are supported. More than this, the respectabiUty and cleanliness 
of the employment react on the mind and character of those who pursue 
it, and tend to preserve their intelligence and self-respect." From the 
very beginning this work was founded in the interest of the mission for 
the advancement of mission purposes and for supplying congenial home 
employment for the women and girls of the mission. It has saved them 
from much slavish drudgery, and has enabled them to support their 
churches with more liberality. At the beginning many a httle slave girl 
was taught lace or embroidery, and by these means was able to do some- 
thing to purchase her own freedom. After defraying the expenses of all 
materials bought, and paying the women for their labour, the profits have 
been the means of furthering many schemes for the bettering of the con- 
dition of women and girls. During the last twenty or thirty years, under 
the influence of Mrs Duthie, Nagercoil, Mrs Hacker of Neyoor, Mrs Foster 
of Pareychaley, and other ladies, this work has been developed to such 
an extent that it is impossible for them to manage it, and the beginning 
of a second century's work has developed the need of a lady to give her 
whole time to superintend this branch of an industrial mission. The work 
has taken gold medals for excellence in several exhibitions, and now has 
a European reputation. 

Caste Girls' Schools. — In 1872, through the influence of the medical 
mission, a school for high-caste girls was opened by Mrs Thomson at 
Eraniel. The commencement of this work is thus described by Mrs 
Thomson : " Shortly after our arrival in Travancore our attention was 
attracted towards the heathen village of Eraniel, which lies about a mile 
from Neyoor. We soon discovered that female education was entirely 
unknown and unthought of there, none of the women being able to read. 


The idea of school for girls was novel to the people, but some of the edu- 
cated and more influential men were convinced of the benefits arising from 
female education, and anxious that I should open a school. Little difficulty 
was felt in getting people to promise to send their girls, and ere our plans 
were fixed a list of forty names was handed to us. Dr Thomson had 
successfully treated some patients in Eraniel, and the knowledge of this 
gave them greater confidence in us than otherwise they would have had. 

They felt convinced that we were acting solely to benefit them, and so 
several fathers came to me with their girls, saying, ' Here are our daughters, 
we give them to you, you will be as a mother to them.' We opened the 
school in the beginning of July, and since that time have had a very good 
attendance of from sixty to seventy girls." Some of the difficulties encoun- 
tered are described as follows in the report of 1874 : " During the year, 
through the ignorance and superstition of two leading men in the town, 
we have lost ten of our best scholars, girls belonging to the Sudra caste, 
and at present they are making efforts to influence the parents of one or 
two little Brahman girls ; but in this I think they will fail. One of these men 


visited us at the bungalow, and said that he had no ill-will towards my school, 
and wished me to have charge of his daughter ; but unless I would use 
three Hindu books, which he and others wished their girls taught from, 
they could not send their children to me. He added that by the perusal 
of one of these their daughters would become wise, the second would make 
them virtuous, and the third pohte and courteous. Of course I declined 
changing my Christian books, and so this man has opened a sort of class 
in his own house, where a few girls meet to be taught wisdom, virtue, 

and poUteness. 
Were it not 
that these 
children are 
now without 
Christian in- 
fluence or 
instruction I 
should wish it 
every success, 
for a point has 
been gained in 
Eraniel when 
fathers con- 
sent to give 
their daughters 
any education 
at all. I ear- 
nestly hope and pray that erelong they and their children may be led by God's 
spirit to choose and value that Book of books which alone can make them 
wise unto salvation, virtuous in their behaviour, and courteous unto all." 

Biblewomen and Zenaria Work. — For more than half a century the 
difficulties in the way of teaching non-Christian women in their homes 
seemed insurmountable. All our Christian women were from inferior 
cartes, whose very presence in the streets and homes of orthodox Hindus 
was considered a degradation. In the report of Trevandnun district, in 
1874, Mrs Mateer says, " At the beginning of the year, Eliza, for 
many years a matron of our girls' boarding school, was appointed a Bible- 


woman. With this exception we have not a single female teacher in 
the whole of the 
district." The 
medical mission, 
in its gracious 
ministry of re- 
lieving the 
suffering, was a 
key which un- 
locked many 
hearts and 
homes. Accord- 
ing to the Hindu 
Shastras the 
doctor, the guru, 
and the visitor 
are to be re- 
ceived courte- 
ously in every 
house. Dr Thom- 
son soon gained 
a name for sym- 
pathy and skill, 
and he often 
was called to the 
house of caste 
Hindus where 
another woiUd 
have been de- 
s p i s e d. He 
trained some 
women in mid- 
wifery, whose 

lives were very useful to their non-Christian sisters, and in this 
prejudice was gradually broken down. In about the year 1872 Mrs 
Ranyard, the secretary of the Women's Bible Society at home and 


abroad, was brought in connection with Mrs Thomson, through the influence 
of Mrs Porter, the wile of a retired missionary in England. Mrs Ranyard 
sent out support for Biblewomen, which Mrs Thomson, in the Neyoor 
Medical Mission Report of 1873 thus acknowledges : " In the month of 
June we received a gratifying letter from Mrs Porter, whose interest in the 
work of Biblewomen is well known, and who, hearing that such an agency 
was much required in connection with the medical mission at Neyoor, 
wrote requesting us to choose women of zeal, conscientiousness, and piety 
tor the work." Accordingly we selected two women whom we thought 
suitable. Both of the women, Devai and Paripuranam, are members of 
Dr Thomson's midwifery class, and so are fitted to attend to cases, where 
they have opportunity of speaking and reading both to individuals and 
numbers of people. In Nagcrcoil and in other districts about this time 
beginnings were made, and since then the work has progressed greatly. 
In 1884, after the death of Dr Thomson, Mrs Baylis Thomson devoted her- 
self entirely to this work, and since then there has been very gratifying 
progress. At the present time we have under Mrs BayUs Thomson of 
Neyoor, Miss Duthie and Miss Blanchard of Nagercoil, and various 
missionaries' wives in connection with the different districts, 107 Biblewomen 
constantly engaged and 26,268 houses visited, and 2365 women annually 
come under definite Christian instruction. The influence of this work cannot 
well be over-estimated. The friendliness which it has caused between the dif- 
ferent classes of women is very great. The enlightenment which is coming to 
many an ignorant heart in secluded homes is full of beneficent influence, and 
of all the work undertaken by the Christian Church, this service of Christian 
women to their non-Christian sisters must be full of wide-reaching power. 



How first Cliristiaiis were fathered. Uilfcreiit Classes of Christians. A Missionary's ^t'ork. Life 
befure Organisation. Neeils of the .Missionary. Urowth seen in Mission Buildinjr^. Changes 
in Missionaries' Duties. Clianfte of I'rimitive Mission into (,'amplex ( )rgantKilion. Supreme 
Object of Mission. How Far this lias been Iteaclied. Self-sup|)ortiiiK I'astiirates. Church 
Council. Native Evaiif^hstic Society. South Trnvaiicore ("hurch I'nion. Object of the 
Mission. A Hiiiiiu^ Criticism rrnil Reply. 

The first Christian.s in connection with our mission 
gathered round the personality of a good man, who, 
filled with the love of 
Christ, -stood for right- 
eousness, juf^tice. and 
Uberty. After him other 
missionaries came ani- 
mated by the same 
principles, and the people 
seeing these servants of 
Christ striving against 
ignorance and evil, and 
fighting against oppres- 


sion, crowded in great 
numbers around them. 
Although they had but crude notions of the nature and spiritual 
demands of Christianity, and regarded the missionary more as a 
piliar of material help than channels of spiritual power, yet they 
had a deep conviction that his new religion was true, and that it 
could help them in higher and better ways than demon-worship. The 
missionaries realising the mixed motives that swayed some, and the 
ignorance that characterised all the people that came to them, divided 


them into three classes. Those who left their demon-worship and 
heathen customs and placed themselves definitely mider Christian in- 
struction were called adherents, those who after a course of instruc- 
tion continued anxious to be taught were baptized, and those who 
grew in grace and in knowledge, and could testify by personal experience 
they had become new creatures in Christ, became church members. Our 
Christian community therefore consists of those who know Christ as their 
Saviour and love Him supremely, those who believe in Him as the Saviour 
and Teacher of the world, but do not rejoice in Him definitely and per- 
sonally, and those who from various motives, such as the beUef that 
Christianity is better than demon-worship, that in Christianity education 
may be obtained for their children, and for innumerable small social reasons 
join the Christian community. Tlie work, therefore, of the missionary is 
by Ufe, example, teaching, and every method that sanctified common-sense 
can devise to lead these people to personal knowledge and whole-hearted 
devotion to Christ. It is here we strike the essential difficulty, and the 
special responsibility of the Christian missionary, life must precede or- 
ganisation. Christian life means Christ-like character. Before a church 
can be developed. Christian hfe must be lived. It is a long stride from 
demon-worship to ripe Christian experience. The environment of our 
people, their ingrained superstitions, their inherited ignorance, and their 
ancient evil social customs, form great barriers to moral and spiritual pro- 
gress, and this makes the strain upon the missionary's Ufe so heavy that 
the Apostle's words, travailing in pain till Christ be formed in them, is the 
only possible expression for the experience. It is comparatively easy to 
gather numbers who will place themselves under Christian instruction, 
but when these people are gathered, and a small congregation is formed, 
to develop these ignorant Uves into true intelligent Christians, involves 
years of patient plodding and unwearying service, and on this account we 
plead for generous judgments from those who criticise our work. Adverse 
criticism has often been directed against the small number of church 
members we have compared with the large number of nominal Christians. 
Their numbers might be increased, but it surely cannot be unwise to be 
careful in this direction. There are many rascals who bear the Christian 
name who only nominally belong to us, and they bring disgrace upon the 
community. There is, therefore, all the more need for a clear and search- 


ing scrutiny of character before we truly give them the Christian name. 
If a church is to be evolved out of oxu- nominal Christian community, Christian 
character must be its foundation, for an organisation called by the Christian 
name that is not founded upon a Christian character formed by living 
communion with the living Christ is a huge organised hypocrisy which must 
fall to ruin. Our church members, therefore, are the tlower and fruit of all 
our efforts. They have an experience that none can deprive them of, and 
they form a nucleus which finds its environment in Christian motive, Christian 
principle, and in 
Christian hope. 
One of these 
good men ex- 
plained his hfe to 
me the other day 
as follows. He 
said : " We re- 
garded the mis- 
sionaries at first 
much as the lame 
man sitting at the 
Beautiful gate of 
the temple re- 
garded Peter and 
John. He looked 

at them expecting to receive a little help that would provide him 
with a day's food, but instead he received from them perfect health. 
So we came to the missionaries expecting a little material assist- 
ance, and instead we have received forgiveness of sins, spiritual life, 
help and eternal hfe." That our mission has ten thousand men and 
women who confess that they have so received Christ and who so live, 
that on the whole they do not give the lie to such a profession, and that 
their numbers are yearly increasing is cause for the deepest gratitude. It 
is in experience like this that the foundation is laid for the evolution of 
church life, and as this hfe multiplies we ground our hope of future and 
permanent success. 

Holding this principle firmly, we may now trace development in ail 



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departments of mission service in Travancore. It may be seen in the growth 
of mission buildings. At the beginning a small verandah of a native house 
furnished all that was necessary for the few people who gathered to hear 
the Gospel. Then a small shed built of mud and thatched with cocoanut 
or palmyra leaves served as a school for the children in the week days and 
as a place for services on the Sundays, As needs grew these places were 
enlarged, and as these small places in the different villages multiphed, one 

village a little stronger and larger than the others began to be the centre 
for special meetings sucli as Sangams {i.e. Harvest Festivals), united 
communion ser\'ices, and other specially important meetings. Thus the 
buildings grew in proportion to the people's needs, and as they rose in 
civilisation and social power, better buildings, always a little in advance 
of their dwelling-places, growing with the growth of the people, were erected, 
and the result to-day is that throughout our mission we have many 
strongly-built, serviceable, and in some cases handsome structures of which 
any mission might be proud. We have therefore in our mission buildings 
in all these stages of development, ranging from the little shed which cost 


five rupees, to the large central churches which cost from ten to twenty 
thousand rupees. The point requiring emphasis here is that these larger 
buildings are not accretions, placed there by the arbitrary will of the 
foreign missionary, but signs of real growth arising out of the increasing 
needs and prosperity of the people. And while there is much in this to make 
us rejoice, there is also much to keep us humble, and make us remember 
our lowly origin. The small shed, where a few children, ignorant and ill- 

clad, gathered at Mylady a hundred years ago. was the mother of the 
Christian college at Nagercoil, and the little meeting of the humble com- 
pany of the first believers at the same place was the mother of the large 
churches now at Nagercoil, Neyoor, Pareychalev, and Trovandrum. 

It will also be manifest that in a growing Christian community the 
duties of the missionary change considerably from simplicity to complexity. 
His very successes change the form of his responsibilities. The first 
missionary was the sole teacher, preacher, and pastor of his little flock, 
and his work though arduous was simple. After a time a congregation 
was formed and other places opened. From this first congregation one 


or two promising men were selected to be trained as preachers and teachers. 
As these congregations increased his responsibiUties lay more in training 
and teaching suitable men than in the simple preaching. Education for the 
young became the first claim on account of their ignorance, and he became 
an inspector and manager of schools. Christian Uterature was needed, 
and the missionary became a writer of tracts and books and the manager 
of a printing press. The suffering of the poor in times of sickness and their 
complete ignorance of medical knowledge pointed out the need of a medical 
missionary. The deplorable ignorance of the women opened up a field 
for all the consecrated energies of missionaries' wives. The needs of 
non-Christian women, and their desire to be taught, opened up the work 
of Bible women, and the result is seen in our mission in vernacular schools, 
boarding schools for girls, the Christian college, the theological class, the 
printing press, the medical mission, the women's work among women, the 
embroidery and lace industries. In these ways our Travancore mission 
is a striking example of how the simple Gospel message carries with it seeds 
of activity which ramify into every department of life if we are to present 
to the people of Travancore all that is meant by Christianity. When we 
consider these varied activities which pervade our mission and contrast 
them with the simple preaching of our first missionary, we can see that he 
laid the foundations of a work the magnitude of which he did not dream, 
could not estimate. He, like all other Christians, by the goodness and 
mercy of God, built stronger than we dream. 

It is evident from the foregoing that the primitive mission of our first 
missionary has developed into a complex, wide-reaching organisation. A 
new society has been formed having Christ for its foundation. The search- 
ing question about this new society is. How far has Christian influence 
changed individual lives, purified homes, elevated women, blessed children, 
and to what extent has the Christian community been founded upon 
principles that will issue in a church, that will ultimately be self-supporting, 
self-sustaining, self-governing, and filled with a sense of responsibihty for 
the spiritual needs of the non-Christian neighbours ? This is the question 
which the British churches after a hundred years have a right to ask, and 
we ought now to give them an answer which should justify them in returning 
a verdict of success or failure. That Christ's truth has changed the lives 
of many in this country is a fact which cannot be gainsaid. In many a 


home Christ is enthroned as King. His law is supreme, and prayer to hve 
a life worthy of His great love is daily made. Amongst our teachers and 
preachers we have on the whole men and women who do their work honestly, 
feeling their responsibilities. In the life and bearing of our Christian 
women we have much reason for encouragement, and in all our churches 
we have an increasing number of men and women whose one aim in Hfc is 

to Hve that Christ may be glorified. Tliey are not so numerous as we could 
wish. They have weaknesses which sometimes depress us, and more than 
outsiders can tell, as we know, the defects of our Christian people, but when 
we remember how poor our own services are compared with God's blessing 
to us, how poor a return we render for all the blessings we have received 
from the Christ, whose servants we are, all censorious criticism is silenced, 
and we magnify the grace of God as seen in the lives of many of our people. 
How we have developed as a church may be gathered from the following 


1. Pastorates. 
The ultimate aim o! this mission is to develop existing congregations 
into self-supporting churches, competent, under the guidance of consecrated 
men, to guide and govern themselves. The method adopted is to group 
round a fairly strong church one or two smaller congregations, form them 
into a pastorate circle, place them in charge of the best men we can find 
amongst our teachers, and having ordained him by a special service, place 


him and these churches upon a self-supporting basis. The two first 
pastorates were formed in 1866. Since then other pastorates in various 
districts of the mission have been founded, and we have now seventeen 
such pastorates, comprising sixty-nine congregations, containing about 
23,000 people, who raised last year 10,097 rupees for their own self- 
support. The missionary of the district is simply the referee of these 
churches, and in many cases, by the wish of the people, the treasurer of these 
funds. These pastorates are the hope and anxiety of the future. They 
are formed from our stronger churches, manned by our best men, launched 
upon their great enterprise, and are watched with much prayer and the 


keenest solicitude. If the church members and the pastors to whom we 
have committed this sacred trust are faithful to their privileges and re- 
sponsibilities, they will be the advance guard of a noble army of Christians, 
fighting for the glory of Christ. But if, on the contrary, they lose touch 
with Christ, their head, and are content with low aims and small desires 
for their own comfort and social advancement, they will fall as other false 
churches have fallen into uselessness and disgrace to the Christian name. 
How much need there is that all Christians should pray for the young 
churches of Travancore. 

2. The Church Council. 

As churches extended from Cape Comorin to Quilon, need arose for 
building them into some form of unity, and in the year 1874 a meeting 
of representatives from all these churches was held at Neyoor, and this 
Society was established. The object of the council was to bring about a 
mutual acquaintance, sympathy, and union amongst all the churches, to 
discuss with freedom the feehng of all our native people on all matters 
affecting the prosperity of themselves and their churches, and to produce 
brotherly feeling amongst all the churches connected with our mission. 
This council has been of great service. It has produced a feeling of sym- 
pathy among the churches, has discussed many questions where difference 
of opinion arose amongst our Christians, and in various ways it has been the 
means of eliciting native opinion upon many important matters, untram- 
melled by European influence. There is still a future of usefulness before 
tliis council, although its form may have to be modified in view of future 

3. Native Evangelistic Society, 

From the commencement of the mission, wherever there was an earnest 
church, voluntary work for the extension of the kingdom of Christ was 
carried on. But nothing was definitely organised until the year 1901, 
when the Church Council decided that such a society was needed in the 
interests of their own church hfe as much as for the propagation of the 
Gospel. Rules were drawn up, directors and a conunittee appointed, and 
in 1901 the society began its work in an unevangelized portion of the 
Quilon district, in the Malay alam country, amongst the backward classes 


of that part of the country. Since then other small causes have been 
formed, and the future looks full of promise. The centenary fund formed 
by native contributions was funded, and the interest formed the nucleus 
of this Societv's income. A missionary Sundav collection is taken from 
all the district churches and sent to the treasurer of the Society, and the 
managing committee, comprised entirely of native brethren, take the whole 
responsibility of working and financing the movement. The movement 
is young yet, and it is not time for seeing much fruit, but from all the signs 
seen in the interest taken by the managing committee, and the men they 
are sending to work, and in the harmony with which these men are w^ork- 
ing with their other brethren, there is much to give encouragement and 

4. South Travancore Church Union. 

This union was formed in 1904 for the purpose of developing the 
pastorates, extending the power and influence of these self-supporting 
chm'ches, and enabling them to bind every pastorate connected with 
our mission into a whole which should learn to exercise all their rights 
and privileges. The union consists of all the male members, missionaries 
of the London Missionary Society in Travancore, all the ordained 
ministers of our mission, and one lay member out of every hundred church 
members. The object of the union is to have the general oversight and 
control over all the churches over which pastors have been appointed ' 
in all matters concerning the call, examination, appointment, ordination, 
discipline, and transfer and dismissal of pastors, and any other matters con- 
cerning the pastors and their churches. This union also is a court of appeal 
in all disputes between the pastors and the churches. Every year at its 
annual meeting the work of each pastorate, its records and accounts, are 
reviewed, and suggestions and decisions made for the spiritual and temporal 
prosperity of the churches, and the extension of the kingdom of God in 
this land. It is premature to ask what tangible results have been produced 
by this union seeing that it has only been established for three years. But 
we already see the benefit of it in working, and there is no doubt but that 
it will be an efficient agent for the development of pastorates and churches 
upon right lines. The responsibilities which formerly lay solely upon 
Em-opean missionaries are now shared by the native ministers and members 


of the different churches. The control of the churches has passed from 
individual missionaries to a body where, at least in number, the laymen 
preponderate. This will, we trust, secure their interest and co-operation, 
and it will not fail to strengthen the position of the churches and the pastors. 
Tlie missionaries say in effect, they must increase and we must decrease. 
As the native church develops, missionaries from a foreign land must 
stand aside, and their joy and crown of rejoicing will be to see the native 
church wliich God has called to witness for Him in this land grow strong 

in wisdom, power, usefulness, and all tliat makes for the development of 
a triumphant church in Travancore. 

A Hindu author, criticising tlie efforts of the different missionary 
societies in India during the past century, with a touch of scorn says, " They 
have made but a faint impression upon intelligent India, witli its keen 
reason and ancient philosopliy, and they have only gathered within their 
fold a small portion of the miserable semi -barbarous starving dregs of 
Indian society, neglected and tyrannized over by an inhumanly worked 
system of caste." Tliat is a description by a Hindu of eighty millions of 
his fellow-countrymen, and his statement is correct, but it does not reflect 
much credit upon those who have been the religious teachers of India' for 


three thousand years ; nor does it dishonour Christ that so many of these 
despised people have found a home under Christ's Gospel, and that so 
many have found in Christ a refuge and strength which enable them to 
confront life in faith and courage, filled with the mighty hope that makes 
them men in India, as elsewhere : men and women through the power of 
the Gospel rise out of much mental and moral darkness into purity, en- 
lightenment, and liberty, and it is surely not without reason that Christian 
workers, when they see a scattered and despised people developing into 
Christians, find a very strong proof of the divine nature of the Gospel 
entrusted to them. Here in Travancore during the last century a miracle 
has been performed, the miracle of the first century, and a people who were 
not a people are being made the people of God, 



t. W. T. Hingeltn 

C. Mea<l 

R. Knill 


G. H. Ashton 


r. C. Mault 

J. Smitli 

W. Crowe 

W. R Addis 

J. C. Thorn [Mo; 

W. Miller 


J, Roberts 


V. W. Hsm- 

n. MiLIer 

J. S. Pnltison 

J. Con 

J, Abbs 

J. Ku»»el 

J. J. ilenni- 
H. M«teer 
J. Tliitliie 
.1. Wilkinsm 

ti li^nnuwa 
G. 0. Kowp. 
W, LcB 
G. Mnhb< 

Died at Trevandruin, 1S73. 

icilut N'iii;i:n'uil.l.<''l 
Sr.6-1!Jr.H)at Madm«. 

3-, H«v. I. H. lln>:k.T 
,, J. Knowles 
,, A. L. Alliin 
Mr* Hnylis Thom^in 

DrSiirK«>il Kry, M.B 

Re». J. W. GiDiCH 

M™ Derry 

.r, E. ItenniBoii. &.J 

DrA. Felk,M.B„C 

Rev. W. D. O«borno 

„ H. Kewett 

„ T. W. Bneh 

.. A, T. FoBWr 

„ W.J.Kdmond 

., A. I'nrkcr 

„ G. Parker. B.J 

ME88 Blanchard 

DrH. H. DttTlea, L. 


Mi»< B. J Dutliie 

DrWCBentuU, L. 

Mixa Wilson Gt^na 

DrJ lla.id8..u M.1 

Mix Maedonnolt