Thursday, April 17, 2014

Evolution of Fort St.George 1710 (As Documented by Col.DM Reid)

1710 Map Prepared by Col. D.M.Reid
St.Mary's Church, the oldest Anglican church East of Suez and also the oldest British building in India
Thomas Pitt, the governor of Madras
Fort St.George - Map in 1710

At the Fort Museum, Fort St.George, Chennai, one can see maps and illustrations which documents the evolution of the fort and settlement over the centuries. Col. D.M.Reid (Douglas Muir Reid) prepared drawings of the fort with Madras volunteers. These drawings describe the evolution of this fort. He has also written a book title: 'The Story of Fort St. George.'
The map shows a private Mint, a hospital, a storehouse, a Town Hall (next to St. Mary’s Church, besides mentioning the names of roads within the Fort and in the Black Town.
1680 -- St. Mary's Church, the oldest Anglican church East of Suez and also the oldest British building in India, built within the Fort. The construction of St. Mary’s Church was funded by public contributions through a concept mooted by the then Governor of Fort St. George.

1684 -- Madras was elevated to a Presidency and remained so until 12 February 1785. Elihu Yale became the first president  (Serving Period: 8 August 1684 to 26 January 1685)

1688         Madras City Municipal Corporation inaugurated.
 
1693 -- Old Fort House was demolished and replaced with new fort structure. This Fort structure still forming core part of the present Secretariat building.

Egmore, Purasawalkam and Tondiarpet annexed to the City.

1701 -- Tower of St.Mary's Church was constructed.

1700-07 -- A protective mud wall built around Old Black Town.

1708 -- Thiruvottiyur, Nungambakkam, Vyasarpady, Kottivakkam and Sathangadu  -  Five neighbouring Villages annexed.

1710 Thomas Pitt  (1653-1726) was appointed as the governor of Madras (Serving Period: 7 July 1698 18 September 1709). . Pitt brought to completion the early fortifications by enclosing the Black Town with a strong wall to counter the threat from a local ruler, a system that lasted until 1742. The plan of the Fort will also be understood by reference to Thomas Pitt map of about 1710. It shows a private Mint, a hospital, a storehouse, a Town Hall (next to St. Mary’s Church, besides mentioning the names of roads within the Fort and in the “Black Town”.

The Fort had filled up with proper houses, all of them organised in neat streets to the north and south of the main building.

The spire of St Mary's Church was completed.

A bridge was cosntrcuted to connect Egmore and the Fort. People used this bridge to move towards (present) Moore Market area.

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