Bellary District

J. J. Cotton’s (1894) List of European Tombs in the Bellary District with Inscriptions Thereon (pdf).  Collectorate Press, Bellary, pp. 41. – An excellent list of inscriptions organized by date within each of the Bellary cemeteries up to the early 1890s.

The following list covers pages 159-164 of Cotton’s (1905) list of tombs and inscriptions in the Madras Presidency.

Bellary Cantonment Cemetery

Cotton No. Date Name Inscription


10 Feb 1808 Shaw Hector Shaw, Esq., of the Honorable Company’s Madras Civil Service.
He joined the service as Writer in 1801 and, at the time of his death, was Collector of the Zillah of Kodicondy, now an insignificant village in Anantapur, but formerly a flourishing head-quarter town.


4 Oct 1808 Dodsworth Lieut.-Colonel George Dodsworth, of H. M.’s 34th Regt., aged 46 years. Erected by his widow.


3 Dec 1809 Campbell Captain John Campbell, 12th Regt., N. I., aged 26 years. Deputy Judge Advocate of the Ceded Districts.


10 May 1813 Ferns Lieut. John St. George Ferns, of the 2nd Batt., 13th Regt. Erected by his surviving friends and brother officers.
He married Miss Irwin, May 1811.


6 Dec 1813 Trapaud Lieut. Cyrus Edward Trapaud, of Engineers, aged 24 years.
Superintending Engineer of the station and only son of Major-General Elisha Trapaud, Chief Engineer to the Madras Government. Cyrus Trapaud, his uncle, was Colonel of the 52nd Foot.


3 April 1815 Birkett Lieut. John Birkett, of the 1st Batt., 7th Regt., N. I. Monument erected by his brother officers.


16 Sep 1816 Fordyce Lieut. William Fordyce, aetatis suae xxviii. This pyramid was erected by his brother officers.


10 May 1819 Wilkinson Henry Wilkinson, Captain in H.E.I.C.’s Service, and Major of Brigade in these Districts, aged 33 years.


10 Nov 1819 Travers Caroline, eldest daughter of the late P. Travers, Esq., aged 19 years. Tomb erected by her uncle Capt. J. J. A. Willows, 2nd Batt., 16th Regt., as a memorial to her many virtues.
P. Travers was Surgeon to T.R.H. the Dukes of Kent and Clarence.


15 Dec 1825 Perks Lieut. George Perks of the 23rd Regiment, W.L.I., aged 23 years. He married, July 27th, 1824, Rose Eliza, youngest daughter of the late Charles Boddam, B.C.S.


5 April 1826 Ibbetson Samuel Ibbetson, Esq., of H.E.I.C., Madras Civil Service, aged 39 years.
He joined as writer in 1802, was Sheriff of Madras in 1819, and subsequently Judge of Bellary.


12 Nov 1826 Raye James Raye, Paymaster, H. M.’s 41st Regiment, aged 66 years.


17 Feb 1827 Browne Captain N[icholas] Browne, H.M.’s 41st Regiment, aged 39 years.


20 Oct 1828 Fraser Lieut. James Fraser, Quarter-master, Paymaster, and Interpreter, 11th Regiment, N.I., who was killed in a duel at Bellary. He was brave, generous, and sincere, and much liked and esteemed by his brother officers, by whom this tomb was erected. This tribute to his memory was placed here by his friend Major-General Hugh Fraser, commanding the Ceded Districts, 1832.


10 Aug 1829 Taylor Lieut.-Colonel James Taylor, H.M.’s 48th Regiment, aged 46 years.


4 Apr 1831 Snow Colonel Edward Winterton Snow, Companion of the Bath, an officer eminently distinguished for high military bearing and gallantry. He commanded and led the Rifle Corps to the charge at the memorable battle of Mahidpoor, and was conspicuously engaged in the battles of Assaye and Argaum. Ob. Iv April mdcccxxxi. Act xlix.
This monument stands in a line with the memorials to Lieutenant-Colonel Taylor (1829), Captain Browne (1827), and Paymaster Raye (1826). This row of obelisks is the most conspicuous object in the cemetery (See No. 2000).


8 Feb 1833 Campbell Alexander Campbell, Esq., of Ballochyle, Argyleshire, Ensign H.M.’s 55th Foot, died of spasmodic cholera, aged 20 years and 6 months. Tomb erected by his mother.
Edward de Warren, his brother officer (see No. 2181) describes his seizure at the mess-table in a most romantic way in his book ‘l’Inde Anglaise.”


5 Mar 1834 Thomas Captain George Huddlestine Thomas, commanding 7th Regt., Light Cavalry, who was killed by a fall from his horse on the morning of the 5th March, aged 37 years. This tomb was erected over his remains by the officers of the Regt., as a mark of their esteem and regard.


3 Apr 1834 Babington Ensign C[harles] D[ouglas] Babington, 31st Light Infantry, who fell at the assault on Buck in Coorg, aged 22 years. Tomb erected by the officers of his Regiment.


9 Oct 1839 Lewis Captain W[illiam] G[eorge] T[redennick] Lewis, 46th Regt., N.I., and Deputy Assistant Adjutant-General at Bellary, who died of Cholera at Kodanoor with the field force under Major-General Wilson, C.B., leaving a deeply afflicted but resigned widow to mourn his loss. This tablet is erected as a mark of respect by his brother Staff Officers in the Ceded Districts.
Brigadier John Bell, Commanding Bellary, and Assistant Surgeon Robert Martin Davis died at the same camp, but have no monuments to their memory.


14 Sep 1844 Considine Lieut. James Considine, only son of Major-General Considine, K.H., aged 24 years.


18 Mar 1846 Morris James Morris, Esq., cotton planter of Natchez, Adams County, Mississippi, U.S.A.
The condition of cotton was so serious in 1838 that, in order to improve the quality of the crop, twelve experienced planters from the Southern States of America were located in the Western Presidency and supplied with seeds and agricultural improvements. Morris was probably one of these. The experiment did not prove successful.


16 Feb 1852 Fenning Lieut.-Colonel Daniel Alexander Fenning, 1st Regt., L.C., aged 59 years. This tomb is erected by the Officers of the 1st, 3rd and 5th Regts., L.C., which corps he severally commanded, as a token of their respect.


4 July 1856 Horsley Ralph Horsley, Esq., of the Madras Civil Service. Born at Courtallum on the 4th July 1831. Murdered at Bellary, where he was Acting Head Assistant Collector.
He was the twin son of John Horsley, M.C.S., 1817-51. The murder took place in the whist room of the present Bellary Club, then a private house, into which the deceased and his younger brother, W.D. Horsley, a student at college, had recently moved. The situation was lonely, the house standing by itself and being commanded on three sides by hills. On the night of the July 4th, at about half past twelve, Mr. Ralph Horsley was heard to call to his servants sleeping in the verandah, and was found a few minutes later lying dead in his writing room, which opened out of the bed room. An office box was then missing from its usual place under the cot, and was subsequently discovered broken open on the rocks some 300 yards away, the only object stolen being the silver handle of a seal. On an examination of the deceased’s body, it was seen that the wound, a stab in the back, must have been sufficient to cause instantaneous death. No trace of the murderers was discoverable. The peons and servants had apparently heard nothing to attract their attention, although four of them were sleeping in the front verandah of the house. An inquest was held and an exhaustive enquiry instituted by Mr. C.R. Pelly, the Collector, but the crime long remained a mystery. It seemed probable that robbery and not murder was the motive of the intruders, and that Mr. Horsley was stabbed while endeavouring to prevent the theft of his month’s pay. Several persons were arrested at the time on suspicion, but were subsequently discharged. At last in 1864, a man, about to be hanged at Delhi for another crime, made a full confession of Horsley’s murder, giving such details and so correct a description of the treasury then in the Fort and of Horsley’s house that the Collector and Horsley’s brother William had no doubt that his statement was true and had cleared up the whole secret.


6 Nov 1856 Brown James Brown, Lieut.-Colonel, H.M.’s 43rd Regt. and Brigadier Commanding Bellary, aged 59 years.


28 July 1858 Lewin Richard Cotton Lewin, Madras Civil Service.
There were four other Lewins in the Civil Service: Thomas, 1770 to 1792; Malcolm, 1815 to 1846, died March 5th, 1869; Frederick Mortimer, 1818 to 1847, died June 17th, 1877; and Richard, B.C.S., 1809-17.


5 July 1872 Baird Lieut.-Col. James Smith Baird, Major, Royal Madras Artillery.

Tomb at the East Fort Gate, Bellary

Cotton No. Date Name Inscription


1769 Tomb of an
Under the wall of the East Fort Gate stands a tomb, said to cover the remains of a French Engineer. The tradition is that when Hyder Ali took possession of Bellary from its Poligar in 1769, he employed the services of this man to build the upper and lower Fort, but after the completion of the work, hanged him near the Fort Gate, because it was discovered that the opposite rock was the higher and commanded the Fort. A few years ago, when a new road leading to the gate was under construction, the Mahomedans of Bellary made a successful appeal for the preservation of this grave, saying that it contained the remains of a saint of their own faith. The tomb is certainly built in Mussalman fashion, and some doubt is thrown on the legend of the French Engineer’s fate by the fact that a similar story is told of other fortresses built by Hyder or his son. For instance, the tale connected with the fort at Hosur in Salem district may be cited. It runs as follows: Captain Hamilton (or according to others Stevenson), a British officer, then in captivity, is said to have been employed by Tippu Sultan to construct the fortifications, with the assistance of a midshipman, also a captive. Unfortunately, the position chosen happened to be overlooked by a neighboring hill, and Tippu, on learning of this mistake, at once issued orders for the execution of the two prisoners. The Englishmen had, however, during their stay at Hosur, been on very friendly terms with the inhabitants of the place; and so great was the sympathy evinced for them that no one could be found willing to put them to death, or even to lend a weapon for the purpose. After much difficulty, the only implement that could be procured was a small shoemaker’s knife, and with this instrument the prisoners were beheaded, Hamilton, stipulating that the younger man should die first. Tradition adds that, at the time of execution, a native maistry, who had long worked under Hamilton, begged him to leave him some memento. Hamilton had nothing to give the man but an old pair of compasses. Some thirty years ago an English officer, while visiting Hosur, was struck by observing a native carpenter at work with a pair of compasses (an unusual circumstance) and asked him where he had obtained them. The workman answered that the compasses were an heirloom in his family, and had been given to one of his ancestors by some European officer, pointing in proof of his assertion to the letters J. H. scratched on one side. The story goes on to say that in a field named by this workman, two skeletons were found, which bore marks of decapitation. It is a historical fact, as narrated in Thornton’s “History of India,” volume II, pages 439, 440, that Hamilton and two other prisoners were massacred at Hosure on the approach of Lord Cornwallis’ army in 1791. A thrilling tale on this subject under the title of “A Pair of Compasses” appeared under the pen of Mr. D. S. White in the “Madras Athenaeum” about the year 1875. It may be of interest to add that the bridge in Madras known as Barber’s bridge was originally named Hamilton’s bridge from the Engineer who built it. The natives called it Ambuton’s bridge, and, in course of time, the name being supposed to be synonymous with “Ambattan,” the Tamil word for barber, the title was transferred into the present one of Barber’s bridge.


Cotton No. Date Name Inscription


1854 Clavering William Clavering, aged 22 years.
The circumstances of his death are as follows: He landed from England in May 1853, and, in the latter part of 1854, was engaged in laying the Telegraph line from Bellary to Secunderabad. When on the point of joining the working party, which was spanning the Tungabhadra River some few miles above Hampasaugar, he was attacked by cholera and died in the Hospet traveller’s bungalow. He was a man of good birth, and closely connected with the family of Claverings in Durham, and had he lived a few months longer, would, it is said, have succeeded to a Baronetcy. A short time after his death, a Government enquiry was instituted and a report sent in by Mr. Brunton, at that time Superintendent of Telegraphs. Mr. Jones was present at the time of the death; and Mr. C. Dawson, lately store-keeper at Kurnool, was also a member of the working party. An old man of the Korava caste, who dug the grave, was alive at Hospet in 1894. According to him, four Europeans, who were staying at Hospet, went to Huligi (in the Nizam’s dominions) to see the shrine of the deity. While there, one of the party was attacked by cholera, and returned to Hospet very ill. He died at one o’clock in the traveller’s bungalow and was buried in his hat and clothes under a banyan tree. Local rumour has it that he tried to prevent the hook-swinging festival at Huligi, and was visited by the wrath of the goddess in consequence. In 1893 a slab was placed over the spot indicated by the grave digger, in an open piece of ground some 40 yards to the south of the traveller’s bungalow, beneath two banyan trees.


Cotton No. Date Name Inscription


27 Jan 1717 Pereira Em nome do Ns. Sr. Amen. Aqui jaz Theolinda de Matos mulher que foy de capităo Joaquim Jozee Pereira de naçao Portugueza, hoje 27 de Janeiro de 1717 annos. Pede-hum Padre Nosso e euma have Maria pela sua alma.
“In the name of our Lord Amen. Here lies Theolinda de Matos, who was wife to Captain J. J. Pereira, of the Portugese nation. (Buried) today January 27th, 1717.” Portugese ladies on marrying, formerly retained their father’s surname and did not assume that of their husband’s. The practice is still in vogue in remote country places in Portugal and among the natives of Goa.

Reference Cited

Cotton, Julian James (1905) List of Inscriptions on Tombs or Monuments in Madras Possessing Historical or Archaeological Interest. Government Press, Madras. – Apparently an excerpt of his 1894 publication; gives a glimpse only of the graves of the rich, famous, or unusual in the colonial history of the Madras Presidency.