Col. Neil’s Statue At Mount Road Madras, 1912 Postcard

Col. Neil's Statue At Mount Road Madras, 1912 Postcard

Col. Neil's Statue At Mount Road Madras, 1912 Postcard

A 1912 photo postcard that shows Colonel Neil’s Statue at Mount Road in Madras, now Chennai. The statue was installed in 1861 in memory of the tyrannical Britisher Col. James Neil. Considered a hero and martyr by the British for quelling the Indian Mutiny of 1857. James Neil of the Madras Fusiliers had killed many Indians mercilessly in the Indian Mutiny uprising of 1857.

But he was killed just a few hours before his regiment defeated the great revolt. However, Col. Neil earned the nickname “the Butcher of Allahabad” for his extreme cruelty. One of his Madras Fusilier members- Mr. Harris became the governor of Madras. He had ordered the installation of this 12 feet high bronze statue of the colonel at Mount Road in 1861 (shown in picture).

There was a ruckus by Indians about the installation because of the oppressive history of the colonel. The bickering became louder with each passing year. The city council had no choice but to take it down in 1937. It ended up at the Rippon building for quite a long time. It was moved to the Madras Museum in 1952 where it stands till today.

The statue stands at Spencer’s Junction on Mount Road, the old Spencer’s twin towers are vaguely visible on the left. Unfortunately, the beautiful old building mysteriously went up in flames in 1983. Just as was the case of the Moore Market building which also went up in flames mysteriously.

See post Newly Completed Moore Market Madras, Old Postcard 1900. To see Neil’s statue go to Cars On Mount Road Madras – Old Postcard 1920.

Did you know- in gratitude the East India Company provided Neil’s wife, a pension of £500 a year, a huge sum at the time. 

From the collection- 11 Picture Postcards On Raja Ravi Varma Oil Paintings., Reclamation Of The Gateway Of India, Old Photo 1890., View Of Bombay or Mumbai – Old Print 1845., The British Fort In Bombay – Antique Plan 1755