St Jame's Church, with tomb of William Fraser
Author: Metcalfe, Sir Thomas Theophilus (1795-1853)
Medium: Ink and colours on paper
[From 'Reminiscences of Imperial Delhi’, an album consisting of 89 folios containing approximately 130 paintings of views of the Mughal and pre-Mughal monuments of Delhi, as well as other contemporary material, with an accompanying manuscript text written by Sir Thomas Theophilus Metcalfe (1795-1853), the Governor-General’s Agent at the imperial court. Acquired with the assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund and of the National Art-Collections Fund.]
Saint James’ Church Dehlie
Erected by the late Colonel James Skinner C.B., at his own expense, and at a cost of 95,000 Rupees, was consecrated on the 21st November 1836 by the Right Reverend Daniel Wilson D.D. Bishop of Calcutta. The text selected for the occasion was well taken from Rev. III, 7,8.
On the 4th December 1841, the munificent Founder and truly good man was suddenly removed from his sphere of usefulness on Earth, lamented by all, and of the poorer classes by the thousands who had shared his Bounty. His Mortal Remains were at first consigned to the Cantonment Burial Ground at Hansie from whence, after a period of 40 days, they were conveyed to Dehlie, escorted by 200 men of his own Regiment of Irregular Horse and were finally deposited in their most fitting resting place, within the Sacred Edifice he had dedicated to his God.
The Funeral Service was read by the Reverend H. Loveday. The 50th Chapter of Genesis was very appropriately chosen for the 1st Lesson, and from the 3,7,8,9 verses was the Text also taken: “And 40 days were fulfilled for him, for so are fulfilled the days of those which are embalmed. And Joseph went up to bury his father, and with him went up all the Servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house & all the elders of the land & all the house of Joseph & his brothers’ & his father’s house. Only their little ones & their flocks & their herds they left in the land of Goschen, and there went up with him both chariots and horsemen and it was a very good Company.”
A suitable mural Tablet has also been erected, at the East end of the Church and on the left of the Altar by the family of the deceased.
[St. Jame's Church was commissioned by Colonel James Skinner (1778-1841), a distinguished military officer, famous for the cavalry regiment Skinner’s Horse. While lying wounded on the field of battle, he made a vow that if he survived he would build a church in thanks for his life being saved. The church designed by Major Robert Smith was started in 1826 and completed ten years later. It is the oldest church in Delhi and is built in the shape of a Greek cross, with a dome reminiscent of the Renaissance style.]
Inscribed: naqsha-i girjaghar nazd-i kashmiri darwaza. Mazhar ‘Ali Khan.
This Sacred Edifice
Raised by the pious Munificence of Colonel James Skinner CB.
Now contains, at the universal request of his friends and the Community of Dehlie, his mortal remains, this Church being considered by all of them
As the most appropriate resting place for the deceased:
So long as Charity, Benevolence, and the kindlier feelings of the human heart,
Are held in respect by Mankind
The name of James Skinner will be remembered and revered.
Highly honored and deeply lamented
He departed this life at Hansee
on the 4th December 1841;
And was interred on the 19th January 1842.