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Funeral notice for William Townsend Jones.

Calcutta: Star Press, 24 January 1807 Stock Code: 122432
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Haunting piece of Company-rule ephemera announcing the funeral of William Townsend Jones (c.1757-1807), attorney on the council of the Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort William, the highest court of British India from its foundation in 1774 until 1862. Jones's name is now usually connected with his indictment in December 1789 for flogging to death one Sheriut Allah, the brother of his durwan (gate-porter), whom he suspected of stealing one of his dogs, which was "an unlikely crime for a Muslim" (Franklin). He was acquitted by the Supreme Court, who concluded that Sheriut Allah had committed suicide by eating opium. The affair arose only two years after the impeachment of Warren Hastings in 1787, whose fall from grace had begun with a similar miscarriage of justice involving the execution of a native East India Company administrator, Nandakumar. Jones is also a recurring character in the recently published diaries of Calcutta surveyor and builder, Richard Blechynden (1759-1822), which reveal that he was also rumoured to have killed another of his servants, his mater (sweeper). The undertaker, Peter Lindeman (1771-1856), of Scottish descent, worked from premises at 144 Durrumtollah; from 1803 the Calcutta Missionaries held services in his house on Cossitollah Street until the completion of a new chapel at Lall Bazar in 1809, of which he became a trustee.

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Single sheet of laid paper (130 x 139 mm), printed on one side.


Mourning border, motif of urn on an altar.


Contemporary signature "T. R. R[—]" on verso, shaved; the leaf sometime removed from an album or mount (adhesive markings and 3 strips of adhesive paper verso), 3 faint creases from folding, minute hole to one intersection of folds. In excellent condition.


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