Notes on the Geography of Northern India: Lucknow: La Martiniére and Christ Church
The pictures in this group show just two places, an old but still prestigious boarding school and the main church of Lucknow. The two are close to each other.
Claude Martin surveys La Martiniére, the school he endowed with a fortune created largely by lending money to his employer, Asaf ud-Daula, the Nawab of Lucknow. It stands on the banks of the Gomti at the east end of Lucknow.
A plaque explains the school's establishment in 1840. Martin despised Asaf-ud-Daula but served him loyally. Having built a mansion, Martin stipulated in his will that it should become a school. Martin's estate was held up in the courts for many years, and only in 1839 did the courts uphold his will.
The riverside view of the school. Martin's motto, Labore et Constantia, or "Toil and Fidelity" can be made out on the first level of the tower. That tower has only 1 staircase, on the southwest side. It could be barred and the upper floor defended by one person. So it's said, at least. The staircase was blocked in 2007.
An oblique view.
The central portion of the school was completed in 1796; the classroom wings were added 40-odd years later, when the school began operations. Decades earlier, Martin had marked on the ground the location of the wings.
Boys in blazers.
Out in the floodplain of the river, a curious column stands. At one time, it sat in a pond or artificial lake.
It carries no inscriptions but was built on Martin's orders between 1800 and 1815, supposedly as a landmark for visitors arriving by boat.
The library in 2007. The original marble floors were destroyed in 1857, along with all the doors and window. Restoration went slowly: as of 1905, only the ground floor had been restored.
A classroom in the wings.
Martin's tomb is in the basement, along with this bust.
A long-serving and long-lived head master.
A boy who made good.
Another who might have, had he not died at sea in his early 20s.
The school was deeply involved in the troubles of 1857.
Out on the periphery of the school grounds is this tomb of Boulone Lize, described as Claude Martin's favorite of his seven mistresses. She was painted by Johann Zoffany in 1786, and the image is reproduced in Rosie Llewellyn-Jones's Lucknow: City of Illusion (2006).
Another monument, this one commemorating the commander of the regiment known as Hodson's Horse.
Christ Church, adjoining Banarsi Bagh (Wingfield Park), was built in 1860 as a memorial.
A victim of 1857.
A survivor. Kavanagh was a postal worker, and for his bravery became one of the very few civilians to be awarded the Victoria Cross. He received it from the queen at Windsor and died at Gibraltar, aged 60, in 1882.
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