Patparganj Pillar

Scope and Content

A letter from Colonel Henry Helsham-Jones to Sir Edward Douglas Maclagan to give information regarding the Patparganj Pillar. This was erected in 1916 to commemorate the 1803 Battle of Delhi. Helsham-Jones relates that he had heard from Col. Creswell, a former Royal Engineer, who was assistant engineer when Helsham-Jones had been constructing the Lower Ganges Canal. Creswell had asked his daughter, a Mrs Talbot, when at Delhi, about the Pillar. Mrs Talbot had seen the pillar and asked General Norman who informed her that he "had moved the pillar to what was considered the right spot". Helsham-Jones therefore supposes that the pillar has been moved and set up on the mound mentioned at the conclusion of Maclagan's monograph.

With the letter is a note to say that the letter had been found in a copy of the Journal of the Panjab Historical Society, Vol. I, 1911-12 and that this Journal had been given to the Society by Maclagan.

The pillar can currently be found within the grounds of the Noida Golf Course.

Administrative / Biographical History

Henry Helsham-Jones grew up in Suffolk and joined the Royal Engineers in 1855. After two years in Gibraltar, Helsham-Jones was posted to India in 1867, where he remained, despite the death of his first wife, until 1878. After four years in England, he was posted to Egypt. He returned to England later that year and was based at Aldershot before a final posting to Malta in 1888. He retired in 1889 and settled in Surrey.

Sir Edward Douglas Maclagan was a colonial administrator in India. Maclagan wrote widely about the Punjab area and in 1906 he was appointed Chief Secretary to the Government of the Punjab, becoming, in 1910, Secretary to the Revenue Department of the Indian Government and, from 1915 to 1918, Secretary to the Education Department. He became Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab in 1919 and Governor from 1921 to 1924. Concurrently from 1919-1924 he was Chancellor of University of the Punjab. He returned to England in 1924. From 1925 to 1928 and 1931 to 1934 he was President of the Royal Asiatic Society, and in 1930, its Director..

Access Information

Open. Please contact the archivist. Details can be found here. The archive is open on Tuesdays and Fridays 10-5, and Thursdays 2-5. Access is to any researcher without appointment but it will help if an appointment is made via phone or email. Please bring photo ID.

Acquisition Information

The letter 'accidentally' became part of the Society's collections. It was inside a journal donated to the Society by Maclagan.

Archivist's Note

This material was catalogued by Nancy Charley, RAS Archivist, in 2022.

Conditions Governing Use

Digital photography (without flash) for research purposes may be permitted upon completion of a copyright declaration form, and with respect to current UK copyright law.

Custodial History

The letter was sent from Helsham-Jones to Maclagan.

Related Material

The Society's collections hold some publications by Edward Maclagan. Details can be found here.

Geographical Names