Click here to skip to content

Glossary: C

A glossary of special terminology used in India during the British Administration.

Cadets
Junior entrants to the regular officer corps of the East India Company's Army (1760-1861), the Indian Army (1861-1947) and the Bombay Marine/Indian Navy (1794-1859).

Calendar
Published précis of original documents.

Chaplains
Clergymen of the Church of England and Church of Scotland appointed to serve as chaplains to the armed forces in India. In practice they ministered to the civilian population as well as to military personnel but they were part of the EIC/Indian Army establishment and governed by military regulations in respect to pay, leave and pensions. From the second quarter of the 19th century Catholic priests were allowed to officiate as army chaplains - they received subsidies from Government but were not part of the official establishment.

Chelsea Pensions
Pensions paid to time-expired or disabled British Army other ranks. So called because the recipients were regarded as out-pensioners of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea. European other ranks of the EIC Army received Lord Clive Fund pensions unless they transferred to the British Army.

Chief Commissioner
The Head of a Non-Regulation Province, where the province did not have the status of a Lieutenant-Governorship.

Civil Annuities
Civil Annuities is the term used for pensions paid to the Honourable East India Company's Civil Service (HEICCS), which in 1858 became the Indian Civil Service (ICS), i.e. the top general administrative cadre in India. Private annuity funds for EIC civil servants were already in existence before 1826 but it was only in that year that the East India Company agreed to contribute to such funds for all three Presidencies. In the beginning Annuities were limited in number and dependent on a certain number of years' service. From 1835 they were paid quarterly instead of annually but they continued to be called Annuities to distinguish them from Civil Pensions (see below). From 1871 all ICS officers were allowed to retire on £1000 per annum after 25 years total service, whatever the amount of their final salary. Annuities were non-contributory for those who joined the ICS after 1 April 1919.

Civil Pensions
Civil Pensions is the term used for pensions paid to all retired members of the civil services of India apart from the Indian Civil Service.

Collector
Term used in the Regulation Provinces for the chief administrative official of a district - the title reflects the fact that revenue collection had always been an important part of district administration. In the Madras and Bombay Provinces the district officer usually bore the title of Collector and District Magistrate, in the other Regulation Provinces the title of Magistrate and Collector.

Commissariat
Name given in the late 18th and 19th century to the department(s) of the EIC/Indian Army responsible for procuring equipment and supplies (other than ordnance). Title changed to Commissariat and Transport Department 1887, Supply and Transport Corps 1901, Indian Army Service Corps 1923, Royal Indian Army Service Corps 1935.

Commissary
From 1904 the highest rank of Departmental Officer in the Indian Army - before 1904 the highest rank of Departmental Officer was Deputy Commissary.

Commissioned Officers
Generally used to mean King's or Queen's Commissioned Officers i.e. regular officers of the Indian Army who received their commissions direct from the Monarch, to be distinguished from Viceroy's Commissioned Officers who received their commissions from the Viceroy of India.

Commissioner
An officer in charge of the administration of a Division (comprising several Districts or Zillahs) - in the Regulation Provinces he was always a member of the Covenanted Civil Service (q.v.) - in the Non-Regulation Provinces he could be either a Covenanted Civil Servant or an officer of the EIC/Indian Army.

Conductor
The higher of the two appointments within the Warrant Officer rank in the EIC/Indian Army, the lower being that of Sub-Conductor . Conductors and Sub Conductors worked mainly in the Ordnance, Commissariat and Public Works Departments. Conductors were eligible for promotion to the higher grade of Departmental Officer.

Council of India
The body appointed by Act of Parliament in 1858 to advise and to a certain extent control the Secretary of State for India (for a description of its powers see Moir's 'Guide' pp 73-80). Replaced in 1937 by the Board of Advisers to the Secretary of State for India and Burma.

Country Service
Ships trading locally in Asian waters.

Covenanted Civil Service
The name given to the top general administrative cadre of civil servants in India (until 1858 the Honourable East India Company's Civil Service, HEICCS, after 1858 the Indian Civil Service, ICS). So called from the good behaviour covenants which appointees were obliged to enter into with the EIC Court of Directors, and (after 1858) with the Secretary of State for India in Council. To be distinguished both from the Uncovenanted Civil Service and from the Special Civil Services.