Saturday, 27 October 2012

Mr Bailie's Bungalow Tellicherry, Circa 1790.


In the collection at the British Library is a fine water colour of Tellicherry painted in about 1790. Please click on the image for a larger version. [1]

The picture is accompanied by the following description and a request for further information if possible.

"Water-colour painting of Tellicherry from the island of Darmadam, or Darmapattam, by an unknown artist, c.1790. The inscription, overwritten on the reverse reads: 'Tellicherry from Durmapatam. Hills round Mahe. Charles Point. P[...] Church. Telly Fort House. Ghauts Calick Wells. A Bungalow built by Mr Falconer. Cochin Cundy Fort ditto by Mr Bailie. Codoly Fort. The entrance to the Dumapm & Codoly rivers'.
Tellicherry, founded in 1683, was the first regular settlement on the Malabar coast. The fort was completed in 1708 by the Kolattiri Rajah and handed to the East India Company for the protection of their factory. In 1776 the factory was reduced to a Residency and in 1794 the factory was abolished by Sir John Shore. It has not been possible to identify Falconer and Bailie with certainty; an Alexander Falconer was in the Madras Civil Service at this period."

So I have set about finding out who Mr. Bailie was.

In 1801 Edward Moor published a compilation of all the orders issued in Bombay between 1750 and 1801. He had done this at the request of Governor Duncan who wished to consolidate all of the many standing orders that had been issued over than period to the Bombay Army.

At that time Tellicherry and the Malabar fell within the Bombay Presidency, although it was moved into the Madras Presidency shortly afterwards.

Moor records on page XXXIII that in 1794

" The commandant of artillery thinks it his indispensable duty to acquaint the military board that he has received a letter from captain Bailie, commanding officer of the artillery in the province of Malabar, mentioning that all ordnance and stores wanted for the 'artillery department, are, without his approbation or knowledge, indented for by the deputy commissaries of stores, and that consequently no degree of responsibility can rest with him respecting the state and condition of the ordnance and artillery stores of the different stations on the coast-: as this practice, in his opinion, militates against the spirit of the regulations, .he wishes to suggest to the board the propriety of explaining the relative connexion betwixt the artillery officer and the deputy commissaries: particularly in the present situation of the troops on the coast, as all the field train ought to be immediately under his charge and he ought to be answerable that they are in good condition, and fit for immediate service: and he further wishes, as the officer in command of the artillery is the first and immediate check, of the commissariat department, that he should inspect all repairs to gun carriages, and the making of every description of ammunition and artillery stores."


A private letter arrived in the Seahorse, an East India Ship from Madras that was published in the Exeter Flying Post dated Thursday the 14th of October 1802. It gives a great deal of news about other events in 1801 in the South of India before saying…

"The Factory at Tellicherry has suffered by a most dreadful fire.  The greatest part of the Bazar was destroyed.  The native Merchant Bandary, and Mr. G. M. Baillie have experienced the greatest loss."

Although the spelling of the two names are different, Bailie and Baillie, it is quite possible that it refers to the same person.






[1]  http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/onlineex/apac/other/019wdz000004355u00000000.html

1 comment:

Kallivalli said...

I've been following along the Malabar Days blog since 2006 and got inspiration to dig outthe unknown histotical links to my own land. Presently you seems not active and no blogs or posts in SkyScaperCity forums.
We need your valuable insights and experience