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(ARCHIVE) VOL. XXII No. 12, October 1-15, 2012
The Bulkley tomb resurfaces
By Sriram V.

"Have you been able to locate Dr. Edward Bulkley's tomb?" was a frequent query raised by the Chief. "In its time it was a landmark of Madras, and a point of reference for surveyors." He had written about it in October 2004 in The Hindu, and wondered about its whereabouts. A correspondent had replied that it had vanished after Independence when the Army began construction on the western glacis of the Fort. There matters lay.

Early in August, Karthik Bhatt and I embarked on the search. Vestiges of Old Madras by Love located it opposite the Madras Medical College, in the Ordnance Lines. But we drew a blank despite repeated searches. I wrote about the same in my Hidden Histories column for The Hindu on September 25th.

Capt. Harold Barnes, Security Officer of the Department of Archaeology, then called. He took us to the tomb, which is located inside the premises of the Shaurya Army School, at the intersection of Poonamallee High and Evening Bazaar Roads. The tomb lies exactly where Love found it.

Bulkley, one of the early medical reformers of Madras, presided from the 1690s till 1708 over what was to later become General Hospital. He was buried in his own garden in 1714.

The tomb, given its size, has survived the travails of nearly 300 years. Not so its railings, which have partially vanished. Certainly, the place could do with some maintenance. But it is good to see that the good Doctor still rests in peace.

Bulkley was the doctor who issued India's first medical certificate which cited illness as a cause for inability to work and the first injury certificate. On August 28, 1693 he performed the first medico-legal autopsy in India. He is certainly someone to be remembered as part of the medical history of not only Madras but also the country as a whole. Will the General Hospital authorities and the Army team together to maintain the site?

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In this Issue

'Help the people, shift the capital'
The Bulkley Tomb resurfaces
If Bengaluru can do it, why can't we?
Shaking up the City's Councillors
The emu euphoria
A builder of Modern India
A Winter's Tale
Least leprosy, most hospital facilities
Seven women & an author
A husband, other animals and a champ

Our Regulars

Short 'N' Snappy
Our Readers Write
Quizzin' with Ram'nan
Dates for your diary

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