Madras 1901. An amusing insight into the social world of senior Indian officials


A humorous manuscript letter one side of a bifolium watermarked Southern Cross Superfine congratulating The Hon Mr Thomson on his elevation to the position of Member of the Executive Council of the Governor of Madras, dated 1.6.01. The verso has seven signatures of other members of the Card Room. Thomson was to eventuallhy serve at even higher levels as Acting Governor himself. A little careful reading of the signatures will no doubt repay the effort in finding out the other members of this card room [presumably at a clun] were. We recognise two as being high ranking Lieutenant Colonels in the Indian  Medical Service. Another bifolium in Thomas’s hand seems to be a draft of an amusing reply, mainly written in Latin. These papers were kept with his official appointment letters so were important keepsakes to Sir James.      jul28/1    RESERVED 16th December  2021

Sir James Thomson, K.C.S.I. [1848-1927] held this post from 1901 to 1906 and was Acting Governor of Madras between April and December 1904. He was a Scot, educated at the Grammar School and University of Aberdeen, going out to India in 1871 serving first at Godavari becoming Collector & Magistrate there in 1885. From 1889 he was Resident to the rulers of Travancore and Cochin before occupying senior posts in the revenue and salt departments of government. As a member of council he was appointed C.S.I. in 1902 and in 1902 advanced to the honour of Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India.

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