Job Charnock’s Mausoleum – Kolkata

At the northwest corner of St John’s Church grounds, near the Second Rohilla War Memorial,you can see Job Charnock mausoleum. A small concrete path that leads to a small gated cemetery partly paved with 18th-century gravestones.

Moreover, the centerpiece area is a hollow thick-walled octagonal cenotaph.It’s the grave of Job Charnock, the founder of Calcutta, or now Kolkata.

Charnock died in 1693, just after his third visit to Calcutta. Besides, the grave dates his demise to 10 January 1692 (not 1693), as years then considered to start in March.

Brief about Job Charnock

Job Charnock belongs to the Lancashire family of London. His father was Richard Charnock.
Also, he was an employee of the English East India Company. In the year 1658, he joined the Company.His post was at Cossimbazar, Hooghly.

He was faithful to the company and worked for the company’s trading divisionat Patna, Bihar, for four years. Then he got promotion also in 1664 and later became a senior manager in 1666.
Soon he became the company’s long-serving dutiful officer. Besides, his hard work and honesty helped him become the head at Cossimbazar. Also, second in charge of the company’s operations in Bengal.
Later, he got married to a beautiful Hindu widow, despite criticism from his co-workers.

St. John’s Church

St John’s Church is the third oldest church in Calcutta and located next to the Old Mission Church. Besides, it was also one of the first public buildings.The East India Company had erected it after Calcutta became the capital of British India.

In 1784 the construction of the church started with 30,000 rupees raised through a public lottery. It was completed in 1787. Besides, the Maharaja Nabo Kishen Bahadur of the Shovabazar RajFamily donated the land for the church.

On 6 April 1784, Warren Hastings, the then Governor-General of India, laidthe foundation stone. Architect Lieutenant James designed the church. It is a combination of brick and stone. It is commonly known as the “pathuregirja” or ‘The Stone Church’. The stones came from the ruins of Gaur and shipped down the Hooghly River.

Besides, the walls of the church contain statues, memorials, mostly of British army officers and civil servants. It also has a precious painting the Last Supper. The painter Johann Zoffany had painted it in Leonardo Da Vinci style and also gave an Indian touch to this historical painting.

The Church is standing on an old graveyard, so the compound has several tombs and memorials. The church compound still exhibits valuable historical memorials. Such as Job Charnock’s Mausoleum, Black Hole of Calcutta Monument,Second Rohilla War Memorial, Francis (Begum) Johnson’s grave, and also Lady Canning’s Memorial.

Mausoleum of Job Charnock

Charnock died in 1692 in Calcutta, shortly after the death of his son. But according to the exhibition at the Victoria Memorial, Job Charnock died in1693.

Eyre, Job Charnock’s son-in-law, had erected it in 1695 over Charnock’s grave and regarded it as a national monument. The rock used to construct thetomb later named after him as “Charnockite.” Also, on every side of the mausoleum, one can find tombstones. Besides, Bengali craftsmen built the monument. Besides, the personification of Indo-Islamic design reflects two cultures.
Eyre may have tried to make the public image of his ancestors seem more respectable to the growing Anglican community in Calcutta. However, the inscription didn’t mention Charnock’s Hindu wife, Maria.

Trivia

• Job Charnock had died in January 1692.
• Job Charnock’s son-in-law, Eyre erected the mausoleum, after the demise of Job Charnock.
• Besides, the mausoleum is in the northwest corner of St John’ Church.
• Also, St John’s Church, built in 1787, was one of the first public buildings.
• Besides, Maharaja Nabo Kishen Bahadur has donated his eight bigha and 16 cottah of land to build the church.