Addiscombe Military Seminary

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Addiscombe Military Seminary
Addiscombe Seminary photo c.1859.jpg
East front of Addiscombe Place, the main building of Addiscombe Seminary, photographed c.1859. Cadets pose in the foreground. The inscription Non faciam vitio culpave minorem can be seen on the entablature
Active1809–1861
CountryFlag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom
BranchFlag of the British Army.svg  British Army
TypeTraining
RoleArmy Officer Training
Garrison/HQ Addiscombe, Surrey

The East India Company Military Seminary was a British military academy at Addiscombe, Surrey, in what is now the London Borough of Croydon. It opened in 1809 and closed in 1861. Its purpose was to train young officers to serve in the East India Company's own army in India.

Contents

The institution was formally known as the East India Company Military Seminary (a name the cadets always disliked) until 1855, when the name was changed to the East India Company Military College. [1] [2] In 1858, when the college was taken over by the government, it was renamed the Royal India Military College. Colloquially, it was known as Addiscombe Seminary, Addiscombe College, or Addiscombe Military Academy.

The Seminary was a sister institution to the East India Company College in Hertfordshire, which trained civilian "writers" (clerks). In military terms it was a counterpart to the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich and the Royal Military College at Sandhurst.

History

Plan of the Seminary grounds Addiscombe Seminary Plan.jpg
Plan of the Seminary grounds

Addiscombe Place

Addiscombe Place, the mansion house which formed the central building of the later Seminary, was erected in about 1702 by William Draper, on land which he had inherited in 1700 from his aunt, Dame Sarah Temple. Draper's father-in-law was the diarist John Evelyn, who in 1703 pronounced the house "in all points of good and solid architecture to be one of the very best gentleman's houses in Surrey, when finish'd". Its interior included many mural paintings of mythological subjects, supposed to be the work of Sir James Thornhill; while high up on the exterior east front was carved the Latin inscription, Non faciam vitio culpave minorem ("I will not lower myself by vice or fault"). By the late 18th century the house was in the ownership of Charles James Clarke, who leased it to the statesman Charles Jenkinson, Lord Hawkesbury, later 1st Earl of Liverpool. Regular visitors during Liverpool's tenure included King George III and William Pitt. [3]

The military seminary

Following the death of Lord Liverpool in December 1808, Addiscombe Place was put on the market by Emelius Delmé-Radcliffe (Clarke's brother-in-law). It was bought by the Court of Directors of the East India Company for use as a military academy. Although the company was primarily a trading concern, it also maintained its own army, the officers of which had previously been trained at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, at the Royal Military College Junior Department at Great Marlow, or privately. They were now to be trained at Addiscombe. The Seminary opened on 21 January 1809, although the formal transfer of title of the property did not take place until a year later, on 26 January 1810. [4] [1]

The initial purchase comprised the mansion house and 58 acres of land to the south of Lower Addiscombe Road, but a further 30 acres to the north were subsequently acquired. [5] New buildings were added, so that the mansion house, which originally housed the entire establishment, became a purely administrative block. [6] The additions included barracks, a chapel, a drawing and lecture hall, a hospital, a dining-hall, a sand-modelling hall, a gymnasium, and service facilities including a bakehouse, dairy, laundry, and brew-house.

Addiscombe cadets sketched by fellow cadet George Girdwood Channer in 1826-27 Addiscombe Seminary cadets 1826.jpg
Addiscombe cadets sketched by fellow cadet George Girdwood Channer in 1826–27
Addiscombe cadets photographed in c.1858 Addiscombe cadets.jpg
Addiscombe cadets photographed in c.1858

Cadets and the curriculum

In the early days cadets entered the Seminary between the ages of 1312 and 16, and later between 15 and 18. [7] They normally remained for 2 years (4 terms), although it was possible to pass the final examination within a shorter period. [8] The initial intake comprised 60 cadets, but numbers rose to about 75 a year, meaning that there were around 150 cadets in residence at any one time. [9] [1] Cadets or their families were required to pay fees (£30 a year when the Seminary first opened; £50 a term by 1835), but these were heavily subsidised and represented only a proportion of the true costs of their education. [10] [11]

Initially, the main purpose of the Seminary was to train cadets for the Engineer or Artillery arms of the service, but as an experiment in 1816–17, and more permanently from 1827, "general service" cadets destined for the Infantry were admitted. [1] In all, some 3,600 cadets passed through Addiscombe during the years of its existence. Of these, over 500 entered the Engineers, nearly 1,100 the Artillery, and about 2,000 the Infantry, some of whom subsequently transferred to the Cavalry. [12]

The curriculum comprised instruction in the "sciences of Mathematics, Fortification, Natural Philosophy, and Chemistry; the Hindustani, Latin, and French languages; in the art of Civil, Military, and Lithographic Drawing and Surveying; and in the construction of the several gun-carriages and mortar-beds used in the Artillery service, from the most approved models". [13] The Company paid well, and attracted some distinguished academic staff: John Shakespear published a standard Hindustani grammar, and Jonathan Cape was a Fellow of the Royal Society. [14] In practice, the emphasis was on mathematics, and the Seminary was criticised for not including more training in practical "military science". [15] In the 1850s photography was also studied. J. M. Bourne concludes that the Seminary was "not a true military college at all, but a militarised public school" although he also judges that, by the standards of the age, its record as a military training school was not significantly worse than those of the establishments at Woolwich and Sandhurst. [16]

Cadets were required to wear uniforms at all times, and were not permitted to go beyond the grounds or into Croydon without permission. However, they gained a reputation for indiscipline, and fights with the townspeople of Croydon were not infrequent. [17] [18] There was no corporal punishment, but in the early years cadets could be punished by being incarcerated in the so-called "Black Hole", and fed on bread and water. [19] [20] Until 1829 they worshipped regularly at Croydon Parish Church (marching there each Sunday in uniform, accompanied by their band): after that date they began to worship at the newly consecrated St James's Church, Addiscombe.

The original Pollock Medal (obverse) Pollock Medal (obverse).jpg
The original Pollock Medal (obverse)

Public Examinations and Pollock Medal

Examinations were held twice-yearly in June and December: they lasted about three weeks, and culminated in a Public Examination, a day-long affair of some ceremony before a distinguished invited audience, which included orchestrated demonstrations of book-learning and of military exercises such as swordsmanship and pontoon-building; an exhibition of drawings and models; a formal inspection; and the distribution of prizes. [21] The day's events are described in one account as "a performance carefully prepared and rehearsed beforehand. Its object was to make a favourable impression on a carefully selected audience". [22] The Public Examiner, who presided, was an eminent general (see list below); while the audience usually included some of the Directors of the East India Company, and often the Archbishop of Canterbury, who had a residence nearby at Addington Palace.

In 1848 the Seminary began awarding the Pollock Medal to the best cadet of the training season. The award was named after Field Marshal Sir George Pollock. The Pollock Prize was transferred to the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich after Addiscombe was closed.

Nostalgic cartoon by Cadet George B. Wymer, and poem by Cadet John F. Cookesley, marking their passing out from Addiscombe in 1859. The cadets' uniforms are left: the tailed coatee in use until 1858; right: the tunic introduced that year. Frontispiece to H.M. Vibart, Addiscombe: its heroes and men of note (1894) Addiscombe Seminary cartoon.jpg
Nostalgic cartoon by Cadet George B. Wymer, and poem by Cadet John F. Cookesley, marking their passing out from Addiscombe in 1859. The cadets' uniforms are left: the tailed coatee in use until 1858; right: the tunic introduced that year. Frontispiece to H.M. Vibart, Addiscombe: its heroes and men of note (1894)

Closure and development of the site

Following the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the East India Company was wound up in 1858. The college passed into government hands, becoming known as the Royal Indian Military College, Addiscombe, but continued to perform much the same function. With the amalgamation of the Royal and Indian services in 1861, there was initially a proposal that Addiscombe should be retained as a military college. However, the War Office decided that the establishments at Woolwich and Sandhurst were sufficient for their needs, and the college closed in June the same year.

"Ashleigh", Addiscombe Road. The house was built in 1848, along with its neighbour, "India", as accommodation for professors at the Seminary Ashleigh Addiscombe Road.JPG
"Ashleigh", Addiscombe Road. The house was built in 1848, along with its neighbour, "India", as accommodation for professors at the Seminary

The site was sold on 30 August 1861 for £33,600 to the British Land Company, who demolished most of the buildings. [24] All that remain are two former professors' houses, "Ashleigh" and "India", on the corner of Clyde Road and Addiscombe Road; and the former gymnasium on Havelock Road, now private apartments. The Land Company laid out five parallel roads over the greater part of the grounds, and built them up with villas. The five roads Outram, Havelock, Elgin, Clyde and Canning Roads all took their names from soldiers and politicians prominent on the British side in the events of 1857–58, although none was in fact a college alumnus. [25]

Headship

Notable cadets

Notable cadets include: [26]

Sir James Abbott in Afghan dress. (B. Baldwin, 1841) Sir James Abbott von B Baldwin.jpg
Sir James Abbott in Afghan dress. (B. Baldwin, 1841)
Sir Henry Lawrence HenryLawrence (1).jpg
Sir Henry Lawrence
Robert Napier, 1st Baron Napier of Magdala Robert Napier.jpg
Robert Napier, 1st Baron Napier of Magdala
Sir Henry Yule Henry Yule (cropped).jpg
Sir Henry Yule
Lord Roberts of Kabul and Kandahar by John Singer Sargent Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts by John Singer Sargent.jpg
Lord Roberts of Kabul and Kandahar by John Singer Sargent

1810s

1820s

1830s

1840s

1850s

1860s

Notable staff

Group of Professors at Addiscombe Military Seminary Group of Professors at Addiscombe Military Seminary.jpg
Group of Professors at Addiscombe Military Seminary

Staff at Addiscombe included: [35]

Public Examiners

The Public Examiners were: [36]

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James Andrew (educator)

James Andrew, LL.D., was the principal of the East India Company's Military Seminary at Addiscombe, Surrey from 1809 to 1822.

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Bourne 1979, p. 206.
  2. Broadfoot 1893, p. 657.
  3. Paget 1937, pp. 42–4.
  4. Vibart 1894, p. 9.
  5. Vibart 1894, pp. 20–22, 310.
  6. Bourne 1979, pp. 215–6.
  7. Broadfoot 1893, p. 648.
  8. Vibart 1894, pp. 15–17.
  9. Vibart 1894, p. 16.
  10. Vibart 1894, p. 18.
  11. Bourne 1979, pp. 214–5.
  12. Vibart 1894, p. 315. Vibart lists the names of 3,466 cadets at pp. 661–704.
  13. Bourne 1979, p. 208; citing the Seminary's official Rules and Regulations.
  14. Heathcote, T. A. (1974). The Indian Army: the garrison of British Imperial India, 1822–1922. Newton Abbot: David and Charles. p. 131. ISBN   0715366351.
  15. Bourne 1979, pp. 208, 210–11.
  16. Bourne 1979, p. 222.
  17. Broadfoot 1893, pp. 648–53.
  18. Bourne 1979, pp. 220–21.
  19. Vibart 1894, pp. 125–6.
  20. Broadfoot 1893, p. 649.
  21. Vibart 1894, pp. 51–4, 227–34.
  22. Vibart 1894, p. 231.
  23. Vibart 1894, "Addenda and corrigenda", p. 3.
  24. Vibart 1894, p. 310.
  25. The roads are named after Sir James Outram; Sir Henry Havelock; James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin; Colin Campbell, 1st Baron Clyde; and Charles Canning, 1st Earl Canning.
  26. Vibart 1894, pp.661-704
  27. Allen's Indian Mail, and Register of Intelligence for British and Foreign India, China, and All Parts of the East, Volume 7,1849, p.764
  28. Buchanan, Robert (1989). The engineers: a history of the engineering profession in Britain, 1750-1914. Kingsley. p.  152. ISBN   9781853020360.
  29. Vibart, H.M. (1894). Addiscombe: its heroes and men of note. Westminster: Archibald Constable. p. 42. OL   23336661M.
  30. Cotton, Arthur Thomas (DNB01), https://en.wikisource.org/w/index.php?title=Cotton,_Arthur_Thomas_(DNB01)&oldid=2390618 (last visited 28 Jan. 2018).
  31. "Lester, Frederick Parkinson (1795–1858)" . Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/16505.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  32. "Waddington, Charles (1796–1858), army officer" . Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/28371.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  33. Through the good offices of his cousin, Capt William Jacob of the Bombay Artillery in February 1826. His elder brother, Herbert, was then also serving out in India as a new subaltern. HT Lambrick, John Jacob of Jacobabad, reprint, Karachi, 1975, of original edition, p.7
  34. "Who's Who; Rose, Major James". Oxford University Press.
  35. A full list of staff appears in Farrington 1976, pp. 119–21; and further biographical details for many are given in Vibart 1894.
  36. Farrington 1976, p. 119.

Bibliography

Coordinates: 51°22′37″N0°04′46″W / 51.37693°N 0.07947°W / 51.37693; -0.07947