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Howrah Station view 106.jpg
Presidency: Bengal
Coordinates: 22.572625°N, 88.363893°E
Altitude: 9 m (30 ft)
Present Day Details
Place Name: Kolkata
State/Province: West Bengal
Country: India
Transport links
East Indian Railway (Howrah)
Bengal-Nagpur Railway
Calcutta and South Eastern Railway (Sealdah)
Eastern Bengal Railway (Sealdah)
Calcutta Port Commissioners' Railway
Arrah-Sasaram Light Railway
Barasat-Basirhat Light Railway
Futwah-Islampur Light Railway
Howrah-Amta Light Railway
Howrah-Sheakhalla Light Railway
FibiWiki Maps
See our interactive map of this location showing
places of interest during the British period

Calcutta (present day Kolkata) is a large city in north-east India. Calcutta was the headquarters of the Government of the Bengal Presidency. It was also the capital of British India until Delhi became the capital on 12th December 1911. The city had a large European mercantile community.

Spelling Variants

Modern name: Kolkata
Variants: Calcutta, Kulkuttu

FIBIS resources

  • FIBIS database: Percy-Smith/Bullock papers Graves and Monuments contains some entries from the "Church of Our Lady of Delores, Baithakhana, Calcutta and Surah Cemetary. Hand written transcript taken and rearranged from 'The Registers & Inscriptions of the Church of Our Lady etc. by Rev H. Hosten Calcutta 1915", refer Churches and missions, Roman Catholic, below. This church was founded in 1810 and some of the records date back to that early period. Entries were noted in Inscriptions Volume 1, but it is not known if there are additional entries in other volumes
  • Images of Calcutta in Fibiwiki collection
  • "Eliza Fay: New Aspects" by David Atkinson FIBIS Journal Number 24 (Autumn 2010), pages 1-11. For details of how to access this article, see FIBIS Journals.
  • "The Imhoff Inheritance" by Pippa Milnamow FIBIS Journal Number 27 (Spring 2012), pages 3-13. Includes details of Belvedere House, now the National Library.

Military history

Battle of Calcutta 1757
3rd Carnatic War


Calcutta is now known as Kolkata in modern day India and is situated at 22°33′N, 88°20′E in the Ganges Delta.

Places of interest

Calcutta in 1862

The Maidan

The site of Fort William, the Maidan was (and still is) the centre of Calcutta. It was bounded on the west side by the Hooghly River and the Strand Road, and on the east side by Chowringhi Road. Government House, the Governor's residence, was at the north end of the Maidan and Belvedere, the residence of the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, was near the southern end.

Eden Gardens

The Eden Gardens were started by Lord Auckland's sisters and are beautifully laid out. They were the main gathering place of Calcutta Society in the time of the British Raj. They are also the home of India's oldest cricket ground, the Calcutta Cricket Club, and have a lake which was the home of the Calcutta Rowing Club. Beside the lake is a Burmese Pagoda brought from Prome and set up in 1856. There were many statues in the Gardens. Calcutta Eden Gardens Links to a postcard of Eden Gardens in the Fibiwiki images collection

Churches and missions

Images of Churches can be found in FIBIS Gallery, FIBIS Database and Fibiwiki


  • St James Church - see FIBIS Journal 5, "The Man Who Built St James Calcutta"
  • St John's Cathedral Church - consecrated 1787. - (for links to some digital images and transcriptions of church registers see external links below).
  • St Paul's Cathedral - completed in 1847.
  • St Peter's Church, Fort William - built 1828. 1835 Watercolour (British Library). Photograph c 1850 (
  • St Thomas’ Church, part of the Free School , completed 1831
  • 'Old' Mission Church - see article in FIBIS Journal 7, includes a list of graves. Also see Kiernander's Church
  • St Stephen's, Kidderpore. Photographs: Kidderpore Church: 2008 (
  • The contact details for the Church of North India in Calcutta is given in the website of the Diocese of Calcutta, CNI
Roman Catholic Church, Dhurrumtollah Street, Calcutta

Roman Catholic

  • RC Cathedral (Virgin Mary of the Rosary) - built 1797. Also known as the Portuguese Church, it was located in the area called Murgihatta (Murghihatta, now Murgighata). [1]
  • St Patrick's Chapel, Fort William - built 1857
  • St Theresa - built 1893
  • St Thomas' Church - (Middleton Row). Begun in 1841, adjacent to the Convent of Our Lady of Loreto
  • Church of Our Lady of Dolours, Boitakhana (Baithakhana), founded in 1810, as a Portuguese mission church. The address of the Church was 147 Bipin Behari Ganguly Street (Old Bowbazar Street). It is situated quite close to the Sealdah Station, and near the Railway Barracks where most of the Anglo Indian who were employed by the Railway lived.[2] A book was published in 1915 in Calcutta The Registers & Inscriptions of the Church of Our Lady of Dolours, Baithakhana (1810-1914) by Fr H Hosten. A copy of this book is available in Calcutta at the Goethals Indian Library category Various Indian Missions subcategory Portuguese Jurisdiction, reference Id : 38L/135. At least some of the records appear in the FIBIS database, refer above, but it is suspected that only some of the records were copied by Percy-Smith and Bullock. From copies of baptismal records obtained from the Church in the 1960s, and held by the FIBIS research co-ordinator, it would appear that some of the registers in the 1800s were noted in Portuguese.
"Non-Christians in church flock" April 15, 2006., now an archived webpage. Article about Our Lady of Dolours.

Other denominations

  • St Andrew's Church of Scotland - opened 1818. Website for St Andrew’s Church with contact details. Previously the website advised that the church holds the Scottish Cemetery Burial Register from its inception in 1826 and Baptism and Marriage Registers of St Andrew's Church, Kolkata and for small fee would search and provide a copy of an extract. St Andrew's also holds the Baptism and Marriage Registers and some other documents for Church of Scotland cantonment Churches throughout India, Ceylon, Burma and some Gulf stations.[3] Note however this wording no longer appears. It is believed the St. Andrew's Church burial registers (11 volumes) may have been digitised some years ago, (possibly when restoration work was done by INTACH in 2013-14) but currently (2019/01) they are not known to be available online. In the past a researcher reported a lack of response to emails, so a personal visit may be necessary. Note also that this church is now part of the [Anglican/Protestant] Church of North India, refer above.
  • Greek Church - established 1780.
  • Holy Church of Nazareth (Armenian) - built in 1724. Dr. Reuben Khachaturyan/Liz Chater have transcribed all the baptisms at this church. They can be viewed on the FIBIS database. Liz also has many photos of graves at the Nazareth Church on her website.


  • Church Mission Society
  • Free Church of Scotland - started in 1830
  • London Missionary Society
  • Oxford Mission - Church of England
  • Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (Anglican)

External links

Non-Christian places of worship

As well as the temples and mosques that served the general Indian populace, Calcutta also housed:

  • Parsi temple
  • Synagogue
  • Chinese temple


See Cemeteries in Calcutta. There is also information about the crematorium.

Church Records



  • Bengal School of Art
  • Bishop's College, Circular Road - run by the Oxford Mission
  • Calcutta Medical College - formerly Bengal Medical College, founded 1835
  • Doveton College
  • Presidency College


Also refer Orphans and Calcutta schools c late 1700s

Economy and business

Colootollah street , Calcutta

Also see

External Links

Encyclopedia entries
Guides and directories

See Directories online for links to many directories with information on Calcutta.

Calcutta 1947. Photographs, at least some of which appear to come from the above album, on

Historical books online

Also see
Bengal (Presidency)
Newspapers and journals online for many Calcutta publications including the Calcutta Review

Edited by Alfred Spencer: Volume 1 1749-1775 Index, Volume 2 1775-1782 Index Google Books. Volume 3 (1782-1790) and Volume 4 (1790-1809) Volume III; Volume 1V
Edited by Peter Quennell: The Prodigal Rake: Memoirs of William Hickey 1962 is available to borrow from the Lending Library. (Only one person at a time is able to read the book). You first need to register.
Bengal, Past and Present, Journal of the Calcutta Historical Society was first published 1907 and is a very valuable source of information. Volumes are available at the British Library. There are published indexes, each of one volume, as follows: Volumes 1 (July 1907)-8 (June 1914); Volumes 9 (1914)-18 (1919); Volumes 1 (1907)-85 (1966); Volumes 1 (1907)-104 (1985). In addition, the British Library has an index for Volumes 19-29.
Note that a different Journal, with a somewhat similar name, is the Calcutta Historical Journal, published by the University of Calcutta, first published July 1976, available at the British Library
A broken range of volumes to 1939, plus 1955 is available to read online on the Digital Library of India website, with mirror editions on For online editions, see Bengal, Past and Present, Journal of the Calcutta Historical Society
Restricted access only, possibly available to those in North America and some other countries Hathi Trust Digital Library
  • Transcriptions from Registers of St John's, Calcutta by E W Madge as they appeared in Bengal Past and Present. Each listing contains many pages of biographical notes. Some articles are available online, on the Digital Library of India website, or through the mirror editions on Other articles are available at the British Library. Note: Records for Baptisms 1767-1777 have been transcribed and are available on the FIBIS database in the category Publications.


  1. "Shortly after the English came, the Portuguese who were the only people who kept fowls, were allotted a quarter which came to be designated as Murgihatta". Comment by A K Roy page 31 Calcutta Mosaic: Essays and Interviews on the Minority Communities of Calcutta Google Books
  2. Munro, George [Joyce] Entally Rootsweb India Mailing List 1 December 2004. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  3. Previous Home page and Archive St. Andrew's Church. Retrieved 28 October 2014
  4. "Calcutta v/s Kolkata ... Revisiting A Yank's Memory" June 6, 2015 Wunderlust. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  5. Footnote in "The Muharram Riot Of 1779 And The Struggle For Status And Authority In Early Colonial Calcutta" by P J Marshall Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, Golden Jubilee Volume 50 2005
  6. William Hickey: Memoirs of a Georgian Rake
  7. Evers, Maureen. Journals Rootsweb India List 30 December 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  8. ViaLibri list of books published in 1816 Scroll to book 13. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  9. Reprinted in Oliver Wendell Holmes, poet, littérateur, scientist, page 330 by William Sloane Kennedy 1883,, originally from Atlantic Monthly, January 1858