Appendices, Additions

The Nicholas Brothers & A. T. W. Penn: photographers of South India 1855–1885

Appendix C. Missing Photographs as of 15/07/2014.

List of Plates and Figures – View as PDF or Spreadsheet.

Plate 18. Rather than Nicholas & Co. Madura, no. 10 ‘Pillars of the Puthoo Muntapam’, this image is likely to be Madura, no. 8 ‘Carved Pillars, east entrance of Puthoo Muntapam’. Print RP-F-F02156 is captioned ‘Madura carved pillars, east entrance.’

Plate 33. Full caption reads: Falls of the Cauvery at Sivasamudrum, Mysore, no. 8. ‘Ramasawmy’s Bridge at Seevasamudrum’.

Plate 91b Dimensions 16.3 x 12 cm. rather than 12 x 16.3 cm.

The Herklots Folder of Photographs

Detail map of Coonoor.

Herklots’, Stanes’ and Groves’ family trees.

Plate 12, ‘A Sea Inlet or Backwater on the Western Coast of India’ is duplicated on pages 22 and 23 of Sriram V.’s book Friends of the Earth, the Stanes story published in 2012. It carries the caption ‘An early view of Cochin from where most of the coffee was exported’. [Added 15/12/2014]

Plate 36, captioned ‘Dr R [A] Hunter late Principal School of Arts Madras’ shows a man who looks markedly different from Photo 1000/44 (4541) Dr A Hunter in the British Library. There is therefore some doubt whether Plate 36 is correctly captioned and whether the man depicted is Hunter. (The inaccuracy of another caption, Plate 29, suggests that captions to the photographs in The Herklots folder may have been added some time after the photographs had been pasted in or that some time had elapsed between the photographs being taken and pasted into the album and captioned both of which could lead to inaccuracy.) [Added 15/12/2014] Plate 40 is a photograph of Mrs. James Hunter, Dr. Alex Hunter’s sister-in-law, so it is possible if not likely that Plate 36 is a photograph of Dr. Alex Hunter’s brother James.

The following email of 15/07/2015 to Christopher Penn from Rev. Philip Mulley provides a useful balance to British views of the past:

Dear Christopher,

Though I tried to get in touch with you a few times in the near past, I have not been successful. I hope this missive would reach you. Only a few days ago, someone presented me with your Herklots Folder and I enjoyed perusing it. I thought I should add some comments on the book and I congratulate you on the archival value you have added to this documentation.

Since you have specifically mentioned the Plymouth Brethren (Ch.5), I hope the following notes may be of interest to you. A 1881 travel guide to the hill stations of South India makes certain humorous references(pp.63-64) to the Plymouth Brethren at Coonoor. How the PB with their profession to looking for the immediate coming of Jesus Christ were also as keen as other people in buying and owning properties. “Where should people be found when the Master comes but at their own posts and in their own places?” was the mischievous query the scribe was throwing at the Brethren! A.N.Groves, perhaps was no exception to this remark !! He is known to have brokered many a land dealing for early European planters in Nilgiris even while vigorously contesting the rights of the natives. On one occasion, he in connivance with Mr.Conolly, the Collector of Malabar (when portions of Nilgiris formed part of that district) applied for a lease of 2,644 acres of land in Ketti Valley. Conolly and his bureaucracy tried to classify the concerned land as “immemorial waste” and palm it off. Luckily, better sense prevailed at Madras. Conolly in 1855 was assassinated by Muslim insurrectionists at Calicut. The way Groves tried to meddle with the affairs of Tirunelveli Anglican Mission during the Rhenius schism in the 1830s is well known. Nevertheless his zealous missionary projects in Chittoor and West Godavari region in Andhra as well as at Madras cannot be forgotten. Groves’ son Frank Groves was also known for his land dealings and he obtained lands in the distant Kolli hills (Salem) by the same means as his father did. The present day Brethren in the Nilgiris have no historical links whatsoever with Groves’ work and they are a very insignificant constituency and not as stated in your note on them (pg.51).

Jared Schudder (pg.52)’ s anti Anglican attitudes in missionary work are interestingly mentioned in the Minutes of the All Saints’ Chaplaincy at Coonoor. Walter Freeling Herklots (1886-87)’s tomb at All Saints’ churchyard contains a very poignant epitaph ” Go thy way, thy son liveth”. James (Jimmy) Stanes, d 1950, was a staunch Anglican until the last. He was instrumental in erecting the Parsonage of All Saints’ at Coonoor. And I wonder who was Lilly Stanes? Her property at Kotagiri changed hands and was subsequently bequeathed for missionary cause.

I am presently retired and live at Kotagiri. But I am still in-charge of All Saints’ at Coonoor. I would be greatly delighted to hear from you. Prof.Hockings mentioned to me sometime ago about some publication of yours and is it the same as Herklots Folder or something else?

I trust and pray that these lines find you both in the best of your cheers and pink of your health.

God bless you.

Philip Mulley.


Hello Christopher,

How good to hear from you again. Thank you for passing on to me Philip’s most interesting comments.

Hello Philip,

I am a grandson of Jimmy Stanes, by his second wife, Nel Groves, who was a granddaughter of Frank Groves. Jimmy Stanes’ parents were William Henry Stanes and Harriet Scudder. So you will see that I come from an amalgam of various religious backgrounds encompassing all of the families you comment on, except for the Herklots.

Historically, the Stanes family were Anglicans. They worshipped at St Mary’s in Chelmsford, Essex, followed by many years in the parishes of St Lawrence Jewry and then St Botolph Aldgate in London. However, my great great grandfather, James Stanes, d. 1880, being conventional and probably low-church, became disillusioned with the move of his church towards Roman Catholicism as a result of the “parson’s freehold”. So about 1837, the family moved their religious allegiance in the direction of Nonconformity to the King’s Weigh House Chapel in Fish Street Hill, and its energetic and charismatic minister, Thomas Binney. The children of this James Stanes remained Nonconformist, but in various directions. For example, my great grandfather, William Henry Stanes, in marrying a Scudder, had his own family religious views reinforced by the views of the Dutch Reformed Church of America, with Wesleyan and Baptist overtones. Robert Stanes (later Sir Robert), a younger brother of William Henry, became heavily influenced by the Brethren at Bethesda Chapel in Bristol, where his future wife, Harriet Harris, also worshipped. Both were strongly influenced by George Müller. In later generations, most of the family migrated back to Anglicanism.

I have spent a good deal of time researching the Groves family and have written a book about them and other families related to the Stanes. So your comments relating to Anthony Norris Groves senior and his son, Frank, are certainly intriguing. It is disappointing to hear that A.N. and Frank appear to have been involved in somewhat shonky processes in leasing or attempting to lease land in India. I imagine that the process of acquiring land in rugged, forested country such as the Nilgiris and the Kolli Hills must have been rather difficult, and would have impacted on many of my Stanes relatives too.

I am aware of only one time that Anthony Norris Groves senior visited the Nilgiris, from 20 December 1833 until 4 January 1834. I would be very grateful if you could let me know the date of the Ketti Valley debacle so I can correct his timeline. I am also aware that Frank Groves visited the Kolli Hills in July 1840, accompanied by an ex-officer of the Madras European Regiment, James Walhouse. They were trying to acquire land close to the village of Coolycadputty to develop a coffee estate and were successful in obtaining 100 acres. However, both of them contracted malaria on the trip and James Walhouse died. I assume that this is the event you are referring to.

The Stanes family in India had no qualms about making profits from owning businesses and tea, coffee and chinchona estates, as long as a good proportion of the profits were put to helping those in need, which is what they did in many ways. The Groves had exactly the same attitude.

Yes, Anthony Norris Groves senior would not have been able to stop himself getting involved in the Rhenius schism, after all, both of them believed strongly in the liberty of ministry. It is interesting that, after a stay of some two weeks, A.N G set out for the Nilgiris with Karl Rhenius and his wife and baby. Rhenius was presumably on his way to continue his arguments in Madras.

There were two Lily Stanes. The first was the first child of William Henry Stanes and Harriet Scudder. i.e. she was Jimmy Stanes’ older sister. She was born in Coonoor in 1857 and became a missionary at Arcot and Vellore with her mother’s family. She died in 1908 at Vellore. The second one is the one you are referring to. She was a daughter of Sir Robert Stanes, born in Coimbatore in 1878 and owned two small houses in Kotagiri for missionaries who needed a holiday. After the death of her father in 1936, she retired to England and died in Devon in 1971.

I think you met up with an English cousin of mine, Richard Stanes, at the celebrations three or so years ago, for the sesquicentennial of T. Stanes and Company Ltd.

With best wishes and looking forward to hearing from you.

Peter Stanes

To which Rev. Philip Mulley replied on 11/08/15

Dear Peter,
Thank you very much for your information packed mail forwarded to me by Christopher.

It appears that AN GROVES was largely lured into monetary and land dealings to find more support for missionary purposes. His early transactions in the shipment of sugar,involvement in the silk industry etc. and how they affected his financial stability are all on record.So obviously he was looking for greener pastures in the Nilgris. He owned or held on lease large extent of landed properties in Coonoor. In later times they came to be inherited by many missionary bodies.At Kotagiri, the whole of a hillside was (and still is) known as Groves Hill(my mail to Christopher)adjacent to Lily Stanes’ two cottages-Highfeild and Shamrock.

ANG was probably a person of considerable influence. Conolly, the Collector of Malabar in atleast four letters dated 24th April 1841, 13th May 1841,9th Dec 1841 and 30th June 1842 seemed to have strongly recommended the case of ANG for leasing out 2644 acres(wow!) of land.Gunnel Cederlof, a Swedish scholar has provided the above information in her book(2008), Landscapes and Law(ISBN 81-7824-208-7). This detailed archival work is on the colliding claims to land and resources in the Niligris between colonial rulers and customary rights of the indigenous people.

I may add that ANG was also closely associated with the Basel German missionaries who pioneered work among the Badagas of Nilgiris. The first set of these missionaries originally stayed at the commodious residence either owned by or in the occupancy of ANG, beside the grand waterfall in Ketti valley.It was in 1845 and this site was situated in the vicinity of the land ANG was eyeing for, as stated earlier. Gundert of the Basel Mission was a good friend of ANG from Chittoor days.George Casamajor (actually of Spanish royal extraction) , a zealous layman and who promoted the work of Basel Mission to the Badagas also knew ANG from Chittoor days. ANG was without doubt in regular touch with the Nilgiris. A note pertaining to the year 1840 in ANG’s memoir reads, ” on the Nilgherry hills we met every Lord’s Day from twenty to twenty-five”.According to a Basel Mission record ANG visited this missionaries at Ketti(perhaps for the last time) on Aug 18,1849.

It is interesting to learn that Carl Rhenius was in Nilgiris for a brief time. Rhenius’ erstwhile associate Schmid actually did some pioneering work among the Tamil immigrants in the Nilgiris. He was also the first European scholar to study the most difficult language of the Todas of Nilgiris and establish (1837) it’s Dravidian roots. Though Rhenius may have wanted to assert his strong belief in”the liberty of ministry”,the way he went about doing that was not exemplary, as the later day events were to prove. An evangelist orginally trained by Rhenius and subsequently mentored by Groves did some remarkable work in gathering together about thirty vibrant “evangelical” congregations down South in Turnelvelli(1840-66). Of course,they were not of Anglican dispensation.

I do not recall any of the Stanes’ descendants meeting up with me at any time during their past visits to Coonoor. They either went to the Stanes’ School or visited the All Saints’, churchyard without anyone of us being informed.I can only recollect a visit by the grandson of A.J. Hatch of the London Missionary Society who has some Stanes’- connection.Last but not the least was Sir.Robert’s contribution to the growth of the Union Churches at Coonoor and Kotagiri for the English non- Conformist congregations(but not necessarily Brethren)

With warm regards
Philip Mulley.

On 27/07/15 The Rev. Mulley added the following information:

Plate 1 The caption ‘Cooroombas’ is wrong. The photograph is definitely of Kota men in Kota dress, similar to those in Plate 4.

Plate 45 (pg.117). The turbaned person is certainly not an Indian cleric. No Indian cleric had any access to the European establishments like All Saints’ in those days. The person is most likely the care-taker (sexton) of the church. The European gentry wanted their employees to be attired like that. Even until the late 1960s, the sexton at St.Luke’s, Kotagiri had a uniform like that.