View of Madras looking south from the fort, with main landmarks numbered
Artist: Taynton, Edwin George (1809-1845)
Water-colour drawing of Madras (Chennai) looking south from the fort, with the main landmarks numbered by Edwin George Taynton (1809-1845), c.1838. Inscribed on the original label is: 'View along the South Beach. 1. Government House. 2. Banqueting Room (detached) 3. The Mount. 4. Palaveram. 5. Conspicuous Mosque. 6. Marine Bungalow, in Govt Garden. 7. The Ice House. 8. St Thome. Drawn with Camera Lucida by Capt Taynton from the Quarter Master Genl's Office in the Fort. The colouring is rather too cold.'
Chennai (Madras) lies on the Bay of Bengal in the north-east corner of Tamil Nadu. It was founded in 1639 when Francis Day of the East India Company acquired land for a warehouse or ‘factory’ which was completed on 23 April 1640. The fort was constructed on the seafront in the early 1640s as the Company’s headquarters on the Coromandel Coast. It was initially a trading post and base for European residents, becoming the home of the Presidency government and one of India’s major ports and mercantile centres. Many historic buildings were erected within its confines, including the Accountant-General’s Office, used as Government House until 1799, the Secretariat, and St Mary’s Church, the oldest surviving Anglican church in Asia. It initially consisted of a rectangular enclosure with four bastions but was gradually expanded and strengthened with formidable parapets during the 17th and 18th centuries to protect it from the armies of the French, Dutch, the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and the Marathas.