Archive / Papers / Gwynn Papers: Box 3


Extracts from J.T. Gwynn’s letters copied into notebooks.

(These fill the gaps in the first list: the numbers refer to the original letters.)


Book 1

  1. 6 May. Tindivanam. Going into camp.
  2. 15 May. Gingee. 37:54.
  3. 16 June. Chengam. Been walking in jungle in Javadis. Visited Tiruvannamalai temple. Comments on Hindu religion, and religious authorities.
  4. 18 June. Chengam. Would like course on practical engineering; minor engineering works in incompetent hands. Near Pondicherry, Hyder Ali country.
  5. 22 June. Tiruvannamalai. Annual settlement just finished; cites examples of petitions – comments on litigation, and on the police.
  6. 7 July. Madras Club. Comment on landlord class of west coast. Meets Cowie, I.G.P. Examples of Divisional work.
  7. 15 July. Tindivanam. Been to stay at Cuddulore; good country. Quarrelsome place: describes members of the European and Indian society in detail.
  8. 5 August. Kottakuram. Near Pondicherry. Going to call on British consul. Describes scenery and birds. Meets German and American missionaries.
  9. 25 August. Tindivanam.37:55.
  10. 15-16 September. Shernthamur, Villupuram. Variety of crops and vegetables possible to grow. Going to Kolianur and Valananur – a wicked town. Describes 17 mile ride from Karai to Villupuram and all mishaps. Brings rain to village.
  11. 29 September. Tindivanum Account of magistrates’ work and status. Attitude towards Indian politics; south untouched by Bengal. Possible Press censorship. Village cases.
  12. 8 October. Gingee. 37:57.
  13. 12 October. Devanur, 12 miles north of Gingee, very beautiful. Introduced first budget to Taluk Board.
  14. 25 October. Kandamangalam. 37:58
  15. 3 November. Tindivanam. Going to Trichinopoly.
  16. 21 November. En route for Madras and Trichinopoly. Difficulties of parting. Describes Trinomalai Festival. 40,000 attend. Comment on railway travel.
  17. 20 November. 37:59

Book 2

  1. 1 December. Trichinopoly. Staying with Butterworths, the Collector. His syce and father have died of cholera. Social obligations of large station. Starting magisterial work.
  2. 10 December. Trichinopoly. Features of Collectorate. Attached to Padukkottai State. Catalogued confidential papers of Collectorate, describes some background incidents. Stories of an eccentric Collector.
  3. 16 December. Gets own bungalow. Has been Acting Collector. for three weeks. Going to Pudukkottai State.
  4. 23 December. Trichinopoly. No interest in arranging house, furniture etc. Compares with Hindu frugality. Economies by Municipality – Brahmin clerks’ economics, and way of life. Plethora of social obligations.
  5. 25 December. Hears of Tindivanian riot, 4 shot. Describes in detail disputes which are the cause and background of the riot: ill feeling between R.C.s and Hindus in a street in Villapuram. Discusses handling by D.M.
  6. 30 December. New District Medical and Sanitary Officer: Chalmers. Railway just extended to South Canara, brings the first cholera. Large number of Eurasians in Trichinopoly – personal analysis of characteristics.


  1. 2 January. Praise of his butler. Two questions of etiquette.
  2. 7 January Alternative reasons for rise in rice and grain prices; possible riots. Soccer matches by SPG Schoolboys, very good. P & O and Japanese competition.
  3. n.d. Description of scenery from Trichinopoly Rock Amusing sidelights. Pudukkottai State affairs.
  4. 28 January. Account of case of fraud and trickery. Remarks change in attitude towards Government.
  5. 5 February. Trichinopoly. Hierarchy of servants. ‘Witness depot’ in town.
  6. 4 February. Trichinopoly. To be sent to Tinnevelly as Chadwick’s Assistant on Settlement duty. Describes settlement work, and Chadwick’s character and ability. Also describes a D.O. named Jackson, up to date – gave first D.O.s Indian garden party. Says everyone knows change (in British India) has to come, but Anglo Indians will put up a fight. Pros and cons of British leaving India. Swadeshi maxim of denationalizing.
  7. 8 February. Trichinopoly. Describes waste land round Trichinopoly. Comments on the Collector and his wife.
  8. 10 February. 38:60
  9. 19 February Bangalore. On eight day SPMR camp. Comments on high quality of ICS representation.
  10. 28 February. Bangalore. 38:61
  11. 1 March. Tinnevelly. Missionaries. Describes characters at school sports.. Comments on jewelry. Strike riots at Tuticorin. Administrative changes; describes newcomers Forestry Service.
  12. 3 March. Background to Tuticorin strikes at Harvey’s cotton mill. Swadeshi tactics; Collector’s method of dealing with it. Discussion of problems connected with administering law and order. Comments on Government of India class representation scheme by Provinces.
  13. 10 March. Ambasamudrum. Missionaries and the club. Converts – sketches of individual administrators.
  14. 13 March. Palamkottai. Strike over, rioting continues by Swaraj agitators in Tuticorin and Tinnevelly. Description of riots and control. Missionary attitude.
  15. 14 March. 50 police sent to Tinnevelly – Tuticorin mill hands striking again. Troops going in. Forest officers bring news of widespread unrest.
  16. 15 March. All quiet again: Attitude of Moderate member of Legislative Council Honorary Magistrate Annadurai Aiyer sent up, interviews Collector. Report of .Interview – Rangasami Aiyer.
  17. 16 March. European and Indian reaction to riots. Gives sketch map of locations of police posts, officers, houses in Palamkottai
  18. 20 March. Ambassamudrum. Punitive measures and attitudes after rioting. Description of taluk and settlement work.
  19. 22 March. Chadwick has arrived. Has seen Tenkasi taluk very attractive.
  20. 25 March Chidambaram Pillai in jail.
  21. 3 April. Kuttalam. Description – Litigation over Europeans bathing in a caste pool. Has visited an old coffee plantation now fruit farm. Attitude towards Indians.
  22. 5 April. 38:63 Part II.
  23. 12 April. Tinnevelly. Camping with Chadwick on Tenkasi Ambasamudrum. Wallace trying sedition cases. To take charge of Ambasamudrum and Nanguniri taluks Inner history of the riots beginning with Tuticorin Steam Navigation Co. – Chidambaram Pillai.
  24. 20 April. Cannicattee. Describes the Kanis, tribal people.
  25. 27 April. Ambasamudrum. Accounts of Jackson at one time District Officer and other stories.
  26. 1 May. Nanguniri. Attitudes of Indians to foreigners and British rule. Educated classes and nationalism. Sedition trials and hopes of Japanese invasion.
  27. 5 May. Shermadevi. Mentions Castle Stuart Stuart, Member of Board of Revenue, Madras Presidency.
  28. 18 May. Sivasailam. Amusing description of settlement work.
  29. 29 May. Shirmadevi,
  30. 31 May. Palamcottah. In for meting of Officials Saturday District Board Meeting with civilians in district. Aftermath of riots. Syro-Chaldean Church v. RC Church. Comments on Wallaces, Bishop and Sir Ralph Benson.
  31. 15 June. Palamcottah. Hunt silver fox without killing it. Monsoon after forest fires. Pinhay trying Chidambaram Pillai.
  32. n.d. n.p. Still on Settlement work which drives off isolation. Considers subordinate staff and settlement problems. Visits Zemindar of Singamputti who runs successful Swadeshi tile factory. Account of training by Scots manager. Criticism of Government Home for orphan Zemindar boys. Attitude of average ICS to sedition.
  33. 21 June. 38:67
  34. 29 June. Nanguneri. Nationalism and the Madras ryot, and in the whole country. Attitude to measures against sedition from England and in Indian Government. Morley, Minto and the Press. Attitude of moderate Indians, and Indian officials; proposed preventive measures, comment on Press Act – Legal cases; Subromanim Siva, Krishna Iyer and Chidambaram Pillai.
  35. 15 July. Alwarkurichi, Ambassamudrum. Pinhey’s judgment on Subramanim Siva and Chidambaram Pillai and others and effect. Necessity of both Liberal policy and repression. Problems of Indian representation on councils. Tilak’s arrest.
  36. 21 July. Sivasailam. Camp on settlement work. Stories of individual Indian clerks.
  37. 38:68
  38. 38:69
  39. 38:70
  40. 16 August. Palamcottah. Snake-bite incident. Repercussions about Pinhey’s judgment, by Sir Henry Cotton et al in England. Reputation of Cotton’s son. Anecdotes. Case between French RC priest and his parishioners.
  41. 38:71
  42. 31 August. Idaihal, Tenkasi. Rough Patta hearings described.
  43. 22 September. Pampuli: Tenkasi. Brief note in midst of petitions. Examples of petitions.
  44. 38:72
  45. 6 October. Tenkasi. Brief note – Petitions continue.
  46. 38:73
  47. 18 October. Palamcottah. Promotions and changes. Dutt Sessions Judge.
  48. 38:74

Book 3

  1. 38:76
  2. 17 November. Palamcottah. Brahmin comes to lunch.
  3. 22 November. Ponnahaddy. Chadwick and he have heard 10,000 petitions since August. Brief sketch of the taluk.
  4. 30 November. n.p. Governor’s visit (Sir Arthur Lawley): Indians’ placating welcome, received in temple; shown settlement office and agricultural produce.
  5. 38:77


  1. 5 January. Kailpatti-Satur. New branch office opened. Attends ICS dinner Madras; Hammick replaced Stokes, conservative, anti-Reforms. News from Pondicherry.
  2. 39:78
  3. 39:79
  4. 39:80
  5. 10 February. Palamcottah. Shooting – Case of assessment and rights in Adaichani tank. Assessment difficulties in Tiruvaliswaram. Attitude and opinion of Hindus through contact with individual landowner and villagers. Difficulty of false evidence. Assessment economics and policy. Land Tax controversy. Injustice in division of grain between Hindu landlord and tenants.
  6. 39:82
  7. 39:83
  8. 26 March. Kopera Topi. Brief notes on settlement work to come.
  9. 4 April, Easter Sunday. Palamcottah. Changes in staff. Character sketches of Peddie Exec. Engineer, McIvor Collector, Davidson new Collector, Mullins, Judge Spencer and his wife. 6 April. Kailpatti. On assessment work again.
  10. 39:86
  11. 39:87
  12. 39:88
  13. 39:89
  14. 39:91
  15. 5 June. Srivikuntam. Palmyra tree count begins. Going on leave.
  16. 3-18 September S.S. Staffordshire (Bibby Line). Describes incidents on voyage.
  17. 22 September. Arrives Tinnevelly Bridge.
  18. 39:95
  19. 7 October. Iruvappuram. Two trustworthy native assistants. Settlement and work – Irrigation supervision -Properous SPG Christian village – well mannered.
  20. 39:96
  21. 26 October. Pudukudy. Developed methods of Land Settlement inaugurated and carried out by Collector.
  22. 39:97
  23. 18 November. Still very hard work on RP work.
  24. 20 November. On boat to Ceylon to play cricket. Brief notes on names and marriage customs.
  25. 39:99
  26. 18 December. Halfway through villages in RP work. – Anomaly of pay between himself and subordinates.
  27. 24 December. Mudittanandal. Village produced 957 petitions – very hard work. Results of first elections under Morley reforms. Guruswamy Iyer defeated. Incident indicative of.ignorance of villagers about elections.


  1. 2 January. Vagankulam. Christmas – Story of harsh treatment in Hyderabad.
  2. 15 January. Padukatty. Going to Myanapuram.
  3. 40:103
  4. 20 February. Finished RP work.
  5. 21 February. Pudakatty. More village work. Anecdotes.
  6. 6 March. Accusations by Tinnevelly District Association against the Resettlement.
  7. 40:104
  8. 6 March. Palamcottah. Shooting
  9. 14 March. 40:105.
  10. 14 March. Survey before proposed Resettlement of Northern taluks Bad choice in election to Madras Executive Council. Criticism of Morley’s scheme for executive Councils.
  11. 21 March. Incident of wounding boy and sequel.
  12. 31 March. In the Travancore hills. Incident of Forest guard’s deceit.
  13. 10 April. 40:106
  14. 16 April. Sankaranainarkoil Taluk. Poor country, litigious people for land, religion and caste matters. Example cited between Marovars and Naiches. Taluks of Ottapadaram and Satur – characteristics of people. Deputation from Bengal Government.
  15. 22 April. Koilpatti. Creation of Ramnad District, Bryant first Collector, deputy Ashe, Sessions Judge Sydney Gordon Roberts (Tamil scholar). Opinion of all three. Servants and peons.
  16. 1 May. Visiting high administrative officers – Castle Stuart Stuart Commissioner and Schmidt Inspector General of Registration, both of whom are described in detail. Carry on mock battle with Mounted Volunteers and Police reserve. Character of Zemindar of Singampatti.
  17. 7 May. Tuticorin. Registering unowned land. Attends wedding of a Settlement Tahsildar. Is told history of rise of Muthuswamy Iyer.
  18. 19 May. Suoriskapuram. In remote areas. Toddy juice and beer.
  19. 1 June. Tirikarangudy. Quality of topes.
  20. 7 June. 40:108
  21. 10 June. 40:109
  22. 16 June. 40:111
  23. 16 June. 40:112
  24. 8 July. 40:113
  25. 18 July. Kattaikarungulam. Attitude of Indian Apothecary to Assistant Inspector of Salt.
  26. 24 July. 40:114
  27. 1 August. Going to camp. Census work beginning.
  28. 6 August. Devauallur. Lists the variety of work and projects undertaken by ICS; relationships with colleagues in District and outside; constant interest in Indian subordinates. Lists individuals who particularly interest him – their characters and characteristic incidents particularly of Brahmins.
  29. 6 September. 40:115
  30. 9 September. 40:116
  31. 12 September. 40:117
  32. 19 September. 40:118
  33. 7 October. Sketch of social tensions and individual characteristics.
  34. 5 October. 40:121 (very reduced from original)
  35. 18 October. 40:122
  36. 29 October. 40:123
  37. 5 November. RC village asking for more European officers to counteract bribery. First RC village he has heard RPs. Paravars, very poor. Attitude.of priest. Caste within the church.
  38. 11 November. 40:124
  39. 21 November. Takes over from Chadwick who becomes Director of the Agricultural Department. Settlement work continuing – short handed.
  40. 3 December. Idayankurdy. Last RP camp. Difficult mission centre. Describes society in the District.


  1. 23 January. Palamcottah. Describes new assistant Matheson.
  2. 41:127
  3. 41:128a
  4. 8 February. Transferred to Madras on six months’ probation, as Revenue Under Secretary at very short notice.
  5. 10 February. Under Secretary’s work; sorry to leave Settlement.
  6. (Index at back of Book 3 referring to individuals mentioned in the diary)

Book 4

  1. 41:129
  2. 22 February. Contrasts of Under Secretary’s life – more comfortable, but does not meet Indians.
  3. 41:130
  4. 8 March. Overwork in Secretariat – Scandal of Surgeon General.
  5. 18 March. Opium Revenue, opium growing and its abolition. Secretariat work, very hard and long. Considers two members of Governor’s. Council very weak. Krishnaswamy ablest of four. Acting Revenue Secretary, Butterworth, outline of character, and of Cardew, Revenue Secretary who returns.
  6. 28 March. 41:131
  7. 12 April. Brief note on way to Ootacamund.
  8. 18 April. Brief description.
  9. 23 May. On flowers.
  10. 23 April. Gives list of individuals in Ooty Society.
  11. 8 May. 41:132
  12. 4 June. 41:134.
  13. 20 June. Work easing. Hunting and society described. Zemindars’ school.
  14. Very abbreviated excerpt from 41:141
  15. 41:142
  16. 7 October. n.p. Profile of Professor Rudolph of Indian Institute of Science. More on Krishnaswamy.
  17. 26 January. Camp Kottisa. Describes countryside. Mentions pay
  18. 10 February. Berhampore. Labour Battalions.
  19. 16 February. Camp Surada. 60 years old Sugar factory at Aska still running.
  20. 19 February. Camp Pondukhul. Describes countryside. Ooriyas – trade with Khonds – wild life, destruction of crops by elephants. Characteristics of khonds.
  21. 23 February. Camp Aska.
  22. 27 February. Camp Kondukerla. With Settlement Officer, Buckley.
  23. 3 March. Camp Lingurazapalam. Buckley sharing wide District experience – beautiful market.
  24. 12 March. Waltair. Epidemic of plague. Description of Eurasian woman inoculating people.
  25. 15 March. Camp Garabanda. Description of place and collector, R.W. Davies.
  26. 20 March. Camp Kallikottai. Describes place and Calcutta Madras road. Village HQ of Zamindar a minor, with Guardian called Didsworth and Eurasian wife. Arrangements for Zemindar’s marriage. Ugly temples
  27. 27 March. Palkonda. Prevalence of tigers.
  28. 3 April. Waltair. Pleasant account of Vetinerary Hospital and elephant being treated and crows drinking toddy juice. Going on tour by bicycle in Gol
  • TS story told to P. Gwynn by the Tahsildar, Chandragiri in 1964, about an astrological prediction. 2pp.
  • TS article Memories of Nagarjuna Konda., published in the Sunday Standard, 12 October 1969, includes brief memoir of A.H. Longhurst, but concerned with a number of visits made to the site. Visits site in 1951 and 1957 and after the site had been covered by the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam. 5pp.
  • Accompanying article from the Sunday Standard Magazine Section, with photographs.
  • Talk: The Service in Retrospect, delivered on 21 October 1967 to the Andhra Pradesh Regional Branch of the Indian Institute of Public Administration. 11pp.
  • Autobiographical background, including memory and opinion of Subas Chandra Bose who visited his father’s house in Dublin in 1935, and early contact with India.
  • The importance of informal teaching and example in ICS and IAS. Anecdotes illustrative of this, as well as ICS attitudes and methods by characteristic incidents involving Norman Marjoribanks, J.F. Hall, Frederick Nicholson, F.J. Chadwick and G.F. Padison who was the first ICS officer to meet a Congressman as a working partner. Forest Panchayats. Lionel Davidson. Difference in volume and variety of work since the end of World War II.
  • Letter from Michael Mason, Producer, Talks Department, Radio BBC, 14 April 1969 rejecting the script of a talk written 12 March 1969, together with the talk itself which describes the tribal people of Vizagapatam Agency, their administration and way of life. Gwynn’s opinion of tribal development in modern India. 13pp.
  • Envelope containing 17 photographs of Sikkim, views, houses, people, etc.(b) Photograph of the Dalai Lama at tea, Nagarjunakonda, 12 December 1956.(c) View of Darjeeling.(d) Seven small snapshots of the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama on visit to Nagarjunakonda, December 1956.(e) Photographs from a magazine of a palace monastery, Gangtok; Jawarlal Nehru with the Dewan of Gangtok; the Maharaja of Gangtok, and his palace.
  • Three letters written from Sikkim, during a walking and camping tour in the State.
    1. 18 November – 3 December 1956 Letter describing walk from Dikchu to Thangu, Gangtok and Lachen. Descriptions of the people of Sikkim and Tibet. Monasteries. Change in administration of the area. Encounters with Tibetans. Meets Tulji Rimpoche from Tibet. Description of walks and the beautiful scenery. 13pp.
    2. 1-14 November 1957 Sikkim. Descriptive letter of walking round Sikkim in the mountains and visiting monasteries (Pemionchi, Yoksam, Longri, etc.) camping, effect of altitude on companion; description of scenery and people. 10pp.
    3. 16-21 November 1957 Darjeeling. ‘Planters’ Club and Nagpur. Gangtok and Talimpong: Description of the towns, inhabitants and surroundings.