Mowbray Road, Madras
Photographer: Nicholas and Company
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of Mowbray Road, at Madras (Chennai), Tamil Nadu, taken by Nicholas & Company in ca.1880. Madras, the capital of the Madras Presidency of British India, was the first significant settlement of the British East India Company, founded in 1639 on land granted by the Raja of Chandragiri between the Cooum and Adyar rivers on the south-eastern coast. Madras grew rapidly around the fortified trading post of St. George, but its importance declined with the pre-eminence of Calcutta by the late-18th century. Mowbray Road was a long avenue lined with banyan trees in southern Madras near the Adyar river. Now called TTK Road, it was formerly named for the house to which it originally led, Moubray’s Cupola. This was the first of the city’s famous and beautiful garden houses, built by George Moubray on the banks of the Adyar in the 1780s. The house was a spacious colonial bungalow set in 105 acres of parkland and later became the Adyar Club. Moubray arrived in Madras in 1771 and was the first Accountant of Fort St George, later becoming Accountant General and a member of the first Board of Revenue in 1785.