The Parsonage Gurukhpore
Artist: Clark, Hezekiah (1792-1868)
Water-colour painting of the Parsonage at Gorkakhpur, Uttar Pradesh by Hezekiah Clark (1792-1868), dated October 1823. Inscribed on the reverse is: 'Parsonage Gurukhpore for Mrs. James Lobb. 20th October 1823', with initials in the lower left corner: 'H.C.' The old mount is inscribed: 'Parsonage Gurukhpore painted by our Great-grandmother Anne Clark for Mrs. James Lobb. 20th October 1823.'
Church Missionary Society work opened at Gorakhpur in 1823, with a Mr. Morris, who left after a few months. Michael Wilkinson, newly arrived in Calcutta, elected to serve there and remained in Gorakhpur from 1824 to 1848. M.J. Wilkinson's 'Memorials of an Indian Missionary', London 1859, p. 47, mentions Hezekiah Clarke Esq. as one of several European inhabitants of Gorakhpur urging the establishment there of a mission. It seems likely that this is the same individual as the artist whose initials H.C. appear on the reverse of this drawing. The parsonage had been built using funds donated by Robert Merttius Bird, Judge and Magistrate of Gorakhpur. Bird remained in Gorakhpur between 1820 and 1831, apart from a brief spell at Dacca. Wilkinson was apparently greatly helped by Miss Bird, his sister, 'patroness of female education in Upper India'. The exact position of Mrs. James Lobb remains unidentified.