The Dutch Cemetery in Chinsurah: A Digital Archive of Memories

John Harle

Last Name: 
Harle
First Name: 
John
Spatial: 
year of death: 
1822
date of death: 
12.08.1822
Age at death: 
33 years
Gender: 
Male
Full Epitaph: 
In memory if.. Missionary to the Heathen. 'Intrepidity, zeal and love to souls, distinguished his life, and his end was peace.'
Occupation: 
Missionary. He was 'brought to the knowledge of the truth' in 1813, in Chinsurah. In other words some sort of conversion was carried out. He was 'converted' together with a native Brahmin named Anunda, who was one of the first natives converts.
Place of birth / origin: 
Northumberland
Cause of death: 
Fever. Although he was recovering from the first attack of fever, he failed to take due precautions. Due to the stress of his everyday work here the fever relapsed and he was finally consumed by a disease which was unknown back then.
Tomb architecture: 
Headstone
Detailed information: 

He, along with J.D. Pearson, was brought up by Mr May and post 1813 would help May in breaching christianity in Bengali. The two also ran a press on behalf of the society, in Chinsurah. The Missionary register Vol. 12 records that he was susceptible to illness from a very tender age, and The Register lauds the fact that he was apparent unaffected by his ailments and possessed a strong mind. According to The Missionary Register, Volume 12 , his last words were 'All is well, All is well.' A short biography was published in the October 1824 edition of The Missionary Register, Volume 12 in the form of an obituary. On 1st Aug, 1820, Harle, along with some Mr Hampson, was returning from Chitpore, in the evening. It was a Sunday and amindst the calm settings they suddenly caught sight of a band of Hindoos, who were about to celebrate Sati, at a place in the banks of Ganga, a little above the Bagbazaar ghat. They tried their best to stop the act and protested against the Zamindar, but eventually failed. Although Harle tried to question the widow on the idea of the ritual, and in a way talk her out of it, she avoided him and replied 'Amar Bhalo hobe ! Amar Bhalo Hobe!'

Harle wrote  the Mathematics book called  the Ganitaksha Pathshala Nimitte - Harle's Arithmetic for the Use of Bengalee Schools. Harle is listed as a European and his nationality cannot be determined. 

Photo 2 close up: 
This record has been created by:: 

Sudipto Mitra