inhabitants want to do so’. 4 For that to
happen, they needed to be transformed ‘from Chinese sojourners
into citizens of British Hong Kong’. 5 Political and social reform,
like cultural devices such as historical memory and heroic myth,
were thus tools utilised by Britain to forge a sympathetic
Hongkonger identity, which would help re-establish Britishimperialism there
After losing sight of the Welsh mountains and Ireland, Thomas and Ann Jones headed for the Cape of Good Hope and on across the Indian Ocean to the Bay of Bengal. As days became weeks, John Roberts plotted the Jamaica in its imaginary course to Calcutta. Lieutenant-General Hay Macdowall, who had gone down with the Lady Jane Dundas, had been returning to England in the aftermath of rebellion and disaffection in the Madras Presidency. The burial registers at St John's Church in Calcutta had numerous entries for passengers and crew who had sickened and died by the end of their voyage. In a sense, the India they had constructed was unspecific, not anchored to the detail of this particular time or that particular place. At another level, however, the Thomas Jones's voyage of discovery became an expedition that confirmed and validated the real India.
The original intent of the East India Company (EIC) to prevent missionary work throughout India was clearly eroded by the amendment to the Charter in 1813. The Serampore missionaries were the benchmark of all Indian missions. In 1804 Carey wrote to John Ryland, one of the founding members of the Baptist Missionary Society (BMS), detailing the modus operandi of the Baptist mission. In early 1813, Krishna Chandra Pal and Gorachund, another native Christian, set off for the eastern region of British Bengal. In December 1813, after Pal's return to Serampore, Carey secured the services of a pundit to undertake the Khasi translation of the gospels, believing him to be 'the only one in that nation who could read and write'. Direct missionary intervention in the Khasi Hills, sustained primarily by the Serampore Baptists.
In the geo-politics of empire from the 1770s to the 1830s, the northeast was undergoing a period of transition, in which a zone of indeterminacy became an edge, and a barrier became incorporated into a known region. Cherrapunji thus became a distinctive landmark, a node in the imperial network. At an intimate and personal level, the Khasi Hills were becoming a domesticated destination and end point as much as a staging post and site of transience. The regional subtleties of climate in India may not have been fully understood either by the London Missionary Society (LMS) or the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Foreign Missionary Society (WFMS). The Khasi Hills were something altogether different and unexpected. 'The tranquillity of the borders', asserted Francis Jenkins, 'can only be effectually and economically provided for, by maintaining our ascendancy in the Hills'.
Through August 1841, the rains were incessant; 264 inches of rain fell at Cherrapunji, or a staggering twenty-two feet. William Lewin was promoted to Lieutenant in May 1825, and in that year saw service during the First Anglo-Burmese war. On his 1822 voyage to India, Lewin was shocked at the brutal slave economy around the Dutch settlement at Paarl at the Cape Colony. The nature of William and Jane Lewin's presence in Cherrapunji from the early 1830s was unusual. William's long-term invalid status enabled him, Jane and the children to be domiciled there as a family group. Lewin ideas of fatherhood were bound up in a Christian model, and his paternal role was a metaphor of God's own authority. The categories of 'soldier' and 'Christian' might seem contradictory, or perhaps too easily assume the more fixed categorisation of later versions of Christian militarism or of the soldier as popular hero.
On his tours through the hills, Thomas Jones encountered many villages where the inhabitants had not set eyes on a European since the British had taken possession of the region in the 1820s. John Roberts in Liverpool brokered the supply of gifts and supplies; the paper correspondence between the mission secretary and his field agents was itself a material and symbolic transaction of personal and professional power and authority. In accepting the missionary's gifts, the headmen were actively manipulating the introduction of new material goods as part of their own tactics of control and modernisation. In the space between how gifts were given and how they were received by the Khasis, however, lies a transvaluation of the meaning of the objects. Letters were important lifelines in maintaining professional and personal relationships. The exchange of letters between Jones and Roberts reinforced the physical separation between the two men.
The repercussions of scandal in the Welsh mission had personal ramifications for Thomas Jones and political ones for British authority in the Khasi hills. Jeffrey Cox has suggested that while both European and Indian women are often absent from missionary histories, in reality 'missionary' usually meant a married couple. Ann Jones and Mary Lewis played similar yet at times contradictory roles as missionary wives and as missionaries themselves. The public role of Ann Jones and Mary Lewis as missionary wives was seen as properly restricted to efforts in female education. The Welsh missionaries had initiated a programme of native education for the Khasis, but Cherrapunji also offered its salubrious location as the setting for an educational institution for the children of Europeans. The propriety of marriage was tightly circumscribed among the Welsh Calvinistic Methodists, as with other Nonconformist denominations in Britain.
In mid-January 1848, Thomas Jones opened the letter from John Roberts informing him of his dismissal as a representative of the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Foreign Missionary Society (WFMS). At Cherrapunji, George Inglis presented the extraordinary gift of a thousand oranges to Daniel Wilson. The late eighteenth-century British collectors in the Sylhet district, Lindsay and Thackeray, had made their fortunes out of the lime trade. The Company's commercial ascendancy in the region had been assured after the British victory over the Nawab of Bengal at Plassey in 1757. Thomas Jones sent a petition to the government of Bengal, against the nepotism of the Cherrapunji Court and incompatibility of the lime and orange interests of Harry and George Inglis with the dispensation of justice across the hills. In November 1848 the government ordered Scottish-born John Dunbar, the Commissioner of Dacca, to proceed to Cherrapunji to investigate the charges against Harry Inglis.
The missionary Thomas Jones II, the local magistrate Harry Inglis, the civil servant's wife Emma Shadwell, and the soldier F.T. Pollok, projected their constructions of Britishness, Welshness, gender or indigeneity onto the canvas of the Khasi Hills. Hugh Roberts and John Roberts visited the grieving Gwenllian Jones at Nongsawlia, but found her hardened against the mission she blamed for her husband's demise. In the aftermath of the Jones versus Inglis affair of the 1840s, Harry Inglis preferred charges against judge Stainforth for borrowing money from a European in his jurisdiction, contrary to civil service regulations. On 27 September 1853, A.J.M. Mills, officiating judge of the Sudder Court, tabled his report to the government of Bengal on the Khasi and Jaintia Hills. The landscape of the hills was a wild canvas on which the clear lines of masterful authority and manly power were delineated.
Europeans, in driving towards Jerusalem during the Crusader centuries, construed the Mediterranean as part of their space and the Enlightenment and Romantic movements reinforced this conviction. This chapter traces the links between England/Britain and Cyprus since Richard Coeur de Lion and situates these links within a tradition of Romantic adventure, strategic advantage, spiritual imperialism and a sense of possession. Cyprus occupied a romantic and strategic place within this English and later British imagined imperial space. Cyprus' appeal for the West remained when, in the mid-eighteenth century, Ottoman stagnation provided European powers with the opportunity to partition it. The British situated Cyprus within this classical Greek imagination. The Holy Land suddenly had a new place within a British imperial vision. Converting Jews to Christianity and relocating them to the Holy Land were the vital elements in this apocalyptic design.