Greyfriars Church and Graveyard

India-related Sites at Greyfriars Church

Inside the Church

A memorial window [1st IN SOUTH EAST WALL] of three lancet lights is dedicated to the Reverend John Inglis (1762–1834) showing a view of St Paul preaching in Athens. This window depicts St. Paul preaching in Athens in the centre medallion. Except for this central medallion, the windows are of a grisaille design. This window was donated by the Lord Justice Clerk and Mr. H.M. Inglis in memory of their father, John, who was Minister of Old Greyfriars and a pioneer in establishing missionary schools in India. Inglis died in 1834 at the age of 74.

A second India-related memorial in the church [2nd ON LEFT AS YOU COME IN] is to Colonel Thomas Forsyth Tait, CB and ADC of HM Indian Forces. Born 20 August 1803, died 16th March 1859. Erected by his brother officers.

India related graves in the cemetery.

In total 280 plots have an out-of-Scotland connection (42%! of the total 670) Of those with non-Scottish-connections, 21.4% mention India, 27.5% England (including London), Wales, Channel Island, Isle of Man, 15.5% white Anglophone settler regions (Canada, New Zealand etc.) 9.6% West Indies & Guyana plantation economies. Consequently, of the 670 grave plots listed, 60 plots (8.9%) have an Indian connection, which is the usual rate we find in other Edinburgh institutions such as schools.

A listing of graves with a mention of India, with a map of the graveyard

Some individual graves provide a good understanding of the breath and diversity of Edinburgh’s India links.

An engineer

Robert Law, M.I.C.E. engineer Great Indian Peninsular Railway .3.1840 to 19.5.1891

To be found as plot 005 - 1 division - from gate at Greyfriars’ place going north parallel along Candlemakers Row (INSIDE FIRST MAUSOLEUM) (MITCHELL, 2003, p. 3)

Death in an out-of-way station

Thomas Sibbald, assistant surgeon Bengal Army d. 27.8.1837 aged 25 at Arracan (now Burma’s West Coast)

To be found as plot 190 - 4 division -  north wall from staircase westwards (SMALL, RIGHT AT THE BEGINNIG OF THE TERRACE) (MITCHELL, 2003, p. 14)

‘Nabobs’ in the family?

Lewis Mackenzie 16.2.1779 to 4.8.1800 H.E.I.C.S. buried in Calcutta

William Gordon Mackenzie Lt.-Col E.I.C.S. born 9.5.1785 died at Cape Town 29.7.1842

Henry Holt Mackenzie 27.8.1787 to 31.3.1876 in H.E.I.C.S. 1807 to 1833 he had several high offices in Calcutta and was secretary to the Governor-General in 1826.

All three to be found at plot 185 - 4 division - north wall from staircase westwards (HENRY MACKENZIE ‘MAN OF FEELING’ WITH GREEN BAND) (MITCHELL, 2003, p. 13).The above are all sons of Henry Mackenzie, author of 'The Man of Feeling' who had devoted several essays in the ‘Lounger’ to the ‘nabobs’, men who had made incredible fortunes out of trade in India and came back to lord it over the traditional Scottish gentry with gold and rubies and fiery curries.  (CAIN, 1986, p. 13)

Prisoner-of-War in Ceylon

Adam Davie, Major, HM Service, prisoner of war for nine years in Kandy Ceylon, died there 7.1812

To be found in plot 142 - 3 division - below the terrace west from stairway entrance STELE IN FRONT OF THREE OTHERS (MITCHELL, 2003, p. 10)

Died in a shipwreck

Isabella Hope 26.4.1760 23.5.1842 widow of Col. William Cullen of Parkhead and one of the few who survived the shipwreck of the Winterton, an East Indiaman (ship) off Madagascar in 8.1792

To be found as plot 162 - 4 division -  next north wall from staircase gate westwards (ON WALL RIGHT NEXT TO THEFLAMBOYANT MONUMENT) (MITCHELL, 2003, p. 11)

The resident councillor of Malacca

Major Ilay Ferrier of Belsyde, 48th Regiment, Madras Native Infantry, resident Councillor Malacca, died in Pringit 24.7.1854 aged 42

To be found as plot 200a - 5 division - from east end of terrace going westward (CELTIC CROSS IN IVY IN FENCES) (MITCHELL, 2003, p. 15)

Hong Kong

Archibald Dunlop, esq. died at Hong Kong 23.10.1851

To be found as plot 201 - 5 division - from east end of terrace going westward (MITCHELL, 2003, p. 15)

The Judge

1829 William Forrester esq. judge and magistrate at Cuttack

To be found as plot 204b – 5th division - from east end of terrace going westward  (ON BASE OF LEFT TOP OBELISC) (MITCHELL, 2003, p. 15)

Servant of the Honourable East India Company

Lt Col Wm Cunningham HEICS died 23.4.1851 aged 87.

To be found as plot No 380 – 9th division-south of gate that leads to Heriot’s school (MITCHELL, 2003, p. 29)

Principal of the University

Robertson, William (1721–1793), historian of India, principal of the university and Church of Scotland minister

William Robertson Principal 1763-93 Professor of History. His 1791 “An Historical Disquisition Concerning the Knowledge which the Ancients had of India” was one of the earliest European texts to take interest in Indian commerce and culture

To be found as plot 388 - 9 division-south of gate that leads to Heriot’s School in the Adam family ONE MAUSOLUEM BEFORE THE ADAM MAUSOLEUM (inscriptions in Latin) (MITCHELL, 2003, p. 30)

Acting Governor-General

John Adam H.E.I.C.S. acted as Governor-General in India in 1823 b 4.5.1779 died on the voyage home 4.6.1825.

To be found as plot 389 - 9 division-south of gate that leads to Heriot’s School in the Adam family Mausoleum (MITCHELL, 2003, p. 30)

Donor to the University

Andrew vans Dunlop M.D. 8.2.1805 - 27.2.1880, erected by sister, wife and cousin Jane Ferguson 18.1.1879 69 for good work in Scotland and in India. 

To be found as no 576a - 12 division - around the outside of the church (a plaque UP ON WALL IN CORNER) (MITCHELL, 2003, p. 42)

Vans Dunlop had been a surgeon in the H.E.I.C. Bengal Medical Service. When he died in 1880s he left £50,000 pounds for sixteen University scholarships at £100 per year each, eight of which were for medicine (BOWNES & GRIER, 2014, p. 109)

The Major’s wife who died at Benares

John Hutcheson Fergusson Home of Bassendean, Maj 33 Regt Bengal Native Infantry 18.8.1831 - 27.5.1881 buried Dean Cemetery, 1st wife Jane Anne at Benares 12.6.1852 (daughter of James Walker of Dalry), widow Dorothea 28.5.1888 buried Dean Cemetery

To be found as plot 576b - 12 division - around the outside of the church (MITCHELL, 2003, p. 42)

The Boswells (8 members of the family with India connections)

Captain John Sandeman Boswell of Bengal Army died in India 29.10.1840 aged 30,

Major William Henry Boswell of Madras Army died in India 7.6.1857 aged 41, daughter Agnes died in Dundee 30.9.1858 aged 52;

Robert Bruce Boswell, chaplain to the Bengal presidency, died London 18.6.1860 aged 56;

Mary Boswell 1774-1859 married to William Roxburgh H.E.I.C.S. died Edinburgh 18.2.1815 aged 64.

John James Boswell of H.E.I.C.S. Bengal Medical Service died 26.8.1839 aged 45;

John James Boswell Maj-Gen of Indian Army, died at Darnfee, Melrose 8.10.1906 aged 75.

James Paoli Boswell, Lt. 10 Regt Bombay Native Infantry born 28.2.1802 died on duty with 2 Regt in Zoar in Arabia 17.2.1821 after service in India, Persia and Arabia;

Bruce Boswell esq. of Crawley Grange Bucks Lt.-Col. H.E.C.S. at Edinburgh 21.10.1855 50

To be found as plot 473 - 11 division - from south ground gate eastwards including open space south of the church INSIDE THE FENCED BIT JUST TO TH SOUTH OF GREYFRIARS BOBBY (MITCHELL, 2003, p. 37&38)

Further reading:

BOWNES, Mary, GRIER, Jean (2104): Private Giving, Public Good. The Impact of Philanthropy at the University of Edinburgh. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

CAIN, Alex M (1986): The Cornchest for Scotland – Scots in India.  Edinburgh: National Library of Scotland.

DUNLOP, A. Ian (1988): The Kirks of Edinburgh 1560-1984. The Congregations, Churches, and Ministers of the Presbytery of Edinburgh, Church of Scotland 1560-1984. Edinburgh: Scottish Record Society.

MITCHELL, John F. (2003): Edinburgh monumental inscriptions (pre-1855). Volume 4. Greyfriars Burial Ground. Edinburgh: Scottish Genealogy Society.

GREYFRIARS (2002): Greyfriars Kirkyard Edinburgh. A short Guided Tour 2nd edition. Edinburgh: Society of the Friends of the Kirk of Greyfriars.

On George Buchanan:

McGINNIS, Paul J., & WILLIAMSON, Arthur H. (eds.) (1995): George Buchanan. The Political Poetry. Edinburgh: Scottish History Society.