In transcribing the following paragraphs from the Internet Archive online version of The Imperial Gazetteer’s entry on Madras, I have expanded the abbreviations for easier reading and added paragraphing, subtitles, and links. The table is from the original. The title-page bears the date 1856, but internal evidence in various entrees makes clear that the text dates from 1851. This discussion of a major city in British India has particular importance because it immediately precedes the 1857 Mutiny.— George P. Landow]

The Government of the Presidency

The government of the presidency is vested in a governor, subordinate to the governor-general of India. lie is assisted by a council of three members, one being the commander-in- chief, and three secretaries, placed over the revenue and judi cial, political and military departments. In each of the twenty-one districts into which the presidency is divided there is a European collector, who exerts also the chief magisterial power.

The Church of England ecclesiastical establishment consists of the bishop and archdeacon of Madras, and nineteen chaplains in different parts of the presidency. There are nu merous Protestant Dissenting and Roman Catholic chapels, Madras and Hyderabad being the sees also of 11 Catholic bishops.

The Languages of Madras

The languages of peninsular India are Tamil, Teloogoo, Canarese, and Malayim, with some lesser dialects spoken by the more barbaric tribes on the mountains; Mahralhi and Gujerathi prevail in the North and Northwest parts of the presidency; Oorea in the Northeast, and Hindoostani is the language spoken everywhere by the Mahometans. [II, 257]


Blackie, Walker Graham. The Imperial Gazetteer: A General Dictionary of Geography, Physical, Political, Statistical and Descriptive. 4 vols. London: Blackie & Son, 1856. Internet Archive online version of a copy in the University of California Library. Web. 21 November 2018.

Last modified 22 November 2018