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Extract from Charles Burton Buckley's An Anecdotal History of Old Times in Singapore 1819-1867, pp. 286-300.
The following is a translation of a passage from the Hikayat Abdulla:—" The place where the Church stands was the centre of a plain. When I first saw the ground the jungle had been cleared off and only small bushes remained. When cleared by Mr. Farquhar the plain was occupied for Sepoy Lines and for the residence of the principal Europeans, and continued to be so used until Mr. Crawfurd's time, when the Sepoys were removed along the road to Teluk Blanga, where lines and fine pucka houses were built for the men and officers. The plain then continued vacant, and was used as a place for exercising horses, and an evening lounge for Europeans to take the air After a short time, houses were built, one by one, till six or seven were finished for the Europeans. In the year of the Hejira 1234 (1838) when Mr. Bonham was Resident, and Mr. Wingrove was at the head of the police office, it became known that the Europeans intended to erect a large Church. Previous to this time they had been in the habit of attending at the small Chapel built by the Rev. Mr. Thompson. When everything was arranged subscriptions were collected from the residents, the Government, and strangers; and the work was finished as it now stands, by Mr. Coleman, the Architect."
In July, 1834, a meeting, which was well attended, was called in the vestry of the Mission Chapel by Mr. Darrah, the Chaplain, to consider a proposal to erect a suitable Church on the land given ten years before by Government for the purpose. A committee was appointed, and in October the Bishop of Calcutta arrived in Singapore, having called at Penang on his way. Bishop Wilson was the fifth Bishop of Calcutta, and first Metropolitan of India. He left England to take up the Bishopric in 1832, and was succeeded by Bishop Cotton in 1858. The Church services were at that time held in the Mission Chapel, and two days after his arrival. Bishop Wilson presided at a meeting, of which the following report was published at the time:—
"On Monday, the 6th October, a meeting of the European inhabitants of Singapore, the most numerous ever yet witnessed here, was held at the Court House, at 10 o'clock, for the purpose of taking into consideration the best means of erecting a suitable and commodious place of worship, for the use of the Protestant community of the Settlement. On the proposal of the Hon'ble S. G. Bonham, who was the Acting Governor, the Bishop of Calcutta took the chair. His Lordship stated that he understood the inhabitants had been desirous, from the commencement of the Settlement, to devise measures for the erection of a Church for their beautiful country, and he could not but feel anxiety that their wishes should be accomplished. He had had an opportunity of- seeing the building which was used temporarily for divine worship, which was not at all suitable for the purpose. It would require very considerable alterations and a large outlay even if it could assume an ecclesiastical appearance; and supposing these were managed, the structure itself was of so slight a nature, that it could not be expected to last for any length of time, and thus their money and trouble would be wasted.
"The plan he would suggest, would be something like the following: — The structure must be neat, convenient, commodious and elegant; such as would adorn the neighbourhood, and be suitable for that very admirable site which had already been allotted, and was long ago intended for the purpose. The difficulty was as to means. Now, he would suggest, first of all, that from the letting of the seats when the Church was built and opened for divine worship, a certain income would arise. This might be appropriated to the payment of the interest of whatever money it might be necessary to borrow, and to the gradual liquidation of the principal itself. This was one source. Then, what might the Government be expected to do? In former times, when measures of strict economy were less essential, he should have said they would have built a Church; but now, he hoped he might still say that they would willingly assist in building it. Already $20 a month were paid by them for the rent of the missionary place of worship to which he had referred; and, he thought that Government would gladly make such a grant for the new Church as would redeem this monthly payment. Then he himself was the depository of a sum of money from the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. It was but small, but he felt authorised in offering ?100 or $500, on their behalf. His Chaplain also was Secretary to the Church Building Fund for India, and he thought a small grant of Rs. 500 might be made from that fund. He (the Bishop) was encouraged, last of all, to hope that, from the appearance and high respectability of the Meeting, something might be done to give the plan a start, and to show that the inhabitants were in earnest. If this should be the case; and he would leave it to the Governor and themselves to propose and carry it into effect; a beautiful structure would soon be erected to ornament their town, daily increasing in importance, and their noble harbour; as also, above all, to promote the glory of God on the very confines of the civilized world.
The Governor next addressed the meeting by saying that, as far as laid in his power, he would strongly urge the Supreme Government to give a capital sum in lieu of the $20 a month which was now allowed. But the meeting should not be too sanguine in expecting that the recommendation would be complied with. It rested with the Supreme Government. At the same time, the question was entirely of a local nature, and he thought the inhabitants themselves should come forward, and, in a more tangible manner than by mere words, provethe desire they had for the construction of a proper place of worship, befitting the Settlement, now rapidly rising in importance.
The result of the appeal for the building fund for the Church was an instant and most liberal subscription amounting to $3,460. The following are the names of the first subscribers:—The S. P. C. K. L100, Church Building Fund for India $250, Bishop Wilson L25, Mr. Bonham $250, Mr Wingrove and the Rev. F. J. Darrah, the Chaplain, $100 each, Messrs. Douglas Mackenzie & Co., Hamilton Gray & Co., Holdsworth Smithson & Co., Graham Mackenzie & Co., A. L. Johnston & Co., Maclaine Fraser & Co., Spottiswoode &e Connolly, and Syme & Co., subscribed $100 each firm, and Messrs. J. & G. Zechariah (Armenians) subscribed $50. The other subscribers wore Messrs. J. Armstrong, R. Bruce, H. Caldwell, J. S. dark, G. D. Coleman, T. O. Crane, G. F. Davidson, W. S Duncan, W. R. George, S Hallpike, Andrew Hay, W. Hewetson, W. S. Lorrain, M. J. Martin,J. H. Moor, M. Moses, William Napier, Thomas Oxley, John Poynton, John Purvis, J. Rappa, Thos. Scott, G. C. Swaabe, C. Spottiswoode, C. Thomas and J. Whitehead. There being so many Scotchmen among the subscribers, the Church was to be called after St. Andrew.
On the following morning, the 6th October, the Bishop consecrated the Burial Ground on the hill [near Fort Canning}, and in the evening fourteen persons were confirmed, the first service of the kind, it is supposed, in Singapore. The Bishop left for Malacca two days afterwards, and did not return to Singapore until 1838 when he consecrated the first St. Andrew's Church.
On Friday the 16th October, 1835, a meeting was held at the Court House, to consider the erection of the Church, and several plans obtained from Calcutta were examined, and set aside, because they were not designed with verandahs or any other contrivances for shading the body of the Church from the glare and heat. A design by Mr. G. D. Coleman was approved, and it was determined to commence building at once. The body of the Church was forty-seven feet between the pedestals of the interior columns, and was semi-circular at the end next the middle entrance, which was fifty feet from the front of the chancel. The staircases, which led to the galleries, were placed in the angles cut off by the semi-circle. The chancel was twenty feet wide by sixteen feet from back to front, with a room on each side, like in the present Cathedral, of thirteen feet by ten. The whole was shaded by porticos, twenty feet wide, extending the full length of the building on each side, and making the extreme measurement one hundred and two feet by ninety-five. The porticos enclosed carriage roads, and over them on three sides were galleries. The one opposite the chancel was to be occupied by the organ and school children. The whole was to cost ten thousand dollars. The following engraving was drawn by Mr. James Miller, of Messrs. Gilfillan Wood & Co., from an old picture by Mr. Carpenter, an artist who visited Singapore about 1854, and included it in one of his views of the place.
On Monday the 9th November, 1835, a large number of persons assembled on the plain, on the site where the present Cathedral stands, to witness the laying of the foundation stone. There was no masonic or other ceremonial observed (the newspaper remarked) with the exception of a short service by the Residency Chaplain, preceded by a short address.
On Thursday, 8th June, 1837, a distribution of the sittings in the new Church was made by the Church Committee, and it was understood that Mr. White was to hold the first service on Sunday, the 11th; but at the last moment the Chaplain said that he could not officiate until he had been called upon by the community, by letter, to procure its consecration as soon as a fit opportunity offered. As soon as the condition became known, the Committee addressed the following letter on the 10th June, to the Resident Councillor, Mr. Church:—
"Sir, the new Church being completed and ready for performing Divine Service, we the undersigned, members of the Committee, request the Government to take charge of the same for the space of one year, it being understood, that the Church is not to be consecrated during that period, without the sanction of a majority of the subscribers to the building. A. L. Johnston, R. F. Wingrove, J. H. Whitehead."
Mr. White, thereupon, commenced to officiate under an order from the Resident Councillor, the community not having consented to the conditions Mr. White had tried to impose about consecration, as it was said that in cases of there being no Chaplain, (as had been the case for seventeen months at that time) no other form of worship could be used in the building. Under these circumstances the first service took place on Sunday, the 18th June.
In August, 1838, Bishop Daniel Wilson came again to the Straits, visiting Penang and Malacca on his way to Singapore. He arrived in Singapore on Saturday, the 1st September, and conducted the service the next day. On Wednesday, a meeting was held to resume the proceedings commenced at the meeting in 1834, and after a very lengthy address and explanation by the Bishop, a petition for the consecration of the Church was signed by a good many of those present, and on Monday, the 10th September, the Church was consecrated. The paper contained no account of the ceremony.
Bishop Wilson of Calcutta, returned for the third time to the Straits in October, 1842. At his first visit subscriptions had been raised to build the Church; at his second visit, he consecrated it; and on this his third visit he sent out the following circular, on 31st October, 1842.
"The Bishop of Calcutta takes the liberty of circulating this paper with the view of ascertaining how far it may be agreeable to the gentry of this station to complete the beautiful and commodious body of their Church by the addition of a small but appropriate tower and spire, such as shall distinguish the sacred edifice from secular buildings in a manner usual in all parts of India, as well as at home. At present the Church may be mistaken for a Town Hall, a College or an Assembly Room. The strangers resorting to this great emporium of commerce have no means of knowing for what it is destined. By the erection of a tower and spire, rising about 50 feet above the balustrade of the roof, its sacred design will be manifested, and the surrounding heathen will see the honour we put upon our religion, and the care we take to mark the reverence for the solemn worship of Almighty God by the appropriate distinctions of its outward appearance. The only four Churches in India built originally without the ecclesiastical decoration of a spire or tower, were those of Kuruaul, Agra, Ghazeepore and Dinapore. Three of these have now the needful additions, raised by the subscriptions of the several stations, and the fourth, Dinapore, has its fund ready for the same purpose. The new Cathedral at Calcutta will have a tower and spire 200 feet high. The Scotch Churches at Calcutta, Madras and Bombay have noble spires. Nor is there any station in the territories of the East India Company so likely to rise into distinguished importance as Singapore ; the vicinity of which to China and the accessions of commerce which may be expected from the blessing of peace, just established in that Empire, render such an Act of piety as the due completion of their Church peculiarly appropriate. National mercy calls for expressions and acts of gratitude to the Giver of all good, and none is more suitable than this. The Bishop is indeed persuaded that he is only anticipating the almost universal wishes of the Community of Singapore in circulating this paper. And, though the sum to be raised is large, in consequence of the high price of labour and materials in this place, yet he feels confident that the united and hearty and generous subscriptions of all classes of persons will overcome the difficulties of completing the Sacred Edifice now, as the difficulties in the commencement and progress of the work were overcome before. One unanimous final effort will now crown the preceding labours and give to Singapore a Church scarcely interior to any in the Eastern world."
Mrs. Balestier, the wife of the American Consul, gave a Bell to the Church, which was afterwards used in the present Cathedral until the peal of bells was given. It was cast by Revere at Boston, and was given on condition that the curfew should be rung for five minutes every evening at eight o'clock, which was done until 1874. It is a large and heavy bell, 32 inches in diameter and 26 inches high. The following words are cast on it. "Revere Boston 1843. Presented to St. Andrew's Church, Singapore, by Mrs. Maria Revere Balestier of Boston, United States of America." Mrs. Balestier, who had been Miss Revere, died in Singapore on 22nd August, 1847, having been thirteen years in the place. Mr. Thomas Church, the Resident Councillor, gave a Clock, which was put up on the facade of the Court House, as a temporary resting place, when the Church was pulled down.
When the Court House was being enlarged in 1901, the clock was taken down, and the opportunity was taken to find out what kind of clock it was that Mr. Church had given. It has on it the name of the makers, Barraud & Lund, Cornhill, London, very eminent clock makers, so that it is evident Mr. Church bought the best clock he could obtain. The dial is 4 feet 6 inches in diameter, the figures are 6-3/4 inches long, and the long hand is 25 inches. The bell is 20 inches diameter, and weighs probably about one and a half hundred weight.
It has the date 1839 cast on it. It is a very well made clock, and it is still in very good condition after over sixty years work, and seems never to have been taken to pieces since it was put up. It ought to be replaced in the Cathedral tower, for which Mr. Church gave it.
The bell and the clock were both costly gifts to the Church, and intended to remain in the building or its successors. If they had been given to the Roman Catholic Church they would have been taken care of, and would have been put up, long since, in one of the steeples of their four other Churches, if they could not have been kept, as the donors intended, in the Cathedral. The clock could easily be set up now in the Cathedral tower, facing the Esplanade, where it would be very useful; the dial could be made larger and the hands longer without difficulty. The bell is in a shed in the Public Works Store at Kandang Kerbau, and may be forgotten there till it is broken up for old metal.
Mr. Richard O. Norris, who was then a boy attending Raffles School, sent the following amusing account of his recollections of the old Church to the -Free Press in 1885 :—
"Talking about the Church which I see mentioned in your History, I can give you some old recollections of mine, which must soon lapse into the past. In the old days we had a barrel organ, and old Anchant, as he was called, was organ turner and singer. The organ was described in the paper as having a handsome Gothic oak base, twelve feet high, six wide and four deep; forty-two keys ; with two ranks of pipes in the base, and three in the treble; and four barrels of twelve tunes each. We, Institution boys, used to sing. Then Anchant died, and one of the boys was the organ man, and the rest of us used to sing without any leader as best we could. I remember at the time of the China War, Sir Hugh Gough and all his staff attending Church in full uniform, and sitting in the Governor's and Resident Councillor's seats. The transports came pouring in, all in one day, and the harbour wag full. But to return to the organ; the old machine got very wheezy and went to Malacca, and a subscription was collected for a new organ, which Bishop Wilson announced in his sermon on the last Sunday in October, 1842, and the money was sent home in 1843, and an organ made by Holditch of London came out, which cost ?260. This passed in course of time to the Scotch Church, and eventually in extreme old age, it was bought by Mr. G. H. Brown for old acquaintance sake, and it expired at his house on Mount Pleasant. It had one row of keys and pedals. On the opening morning, and for some time, Mr. Keasberry played it, and some ladies made a choir. Then Mr. Charles A. Dyce came from Calcutta, and was amateur organist, and eventually married one of the young ladies who sang. Then Mr. G. H. Brown came from Penang, and he initiated a choir of boys from Raffles School, and girls from the School in North Bridge Road kept by Mrs. Whittle, whose husband was a surveyor. This did not last very long. Mr. Tom Church used to sing loud, and we boys in the gallery did hear him well. Church-going in the old days was better regulated than now, as all lived within a short distance from the Church. Both services were well attended, and Christenings always took place in the middle of the evening service. The Church was lit by candles in iron stands, which were used in the new Church until gas came out in 1864, The Communion Service was quarterly at first, and afterwards once a month, until about I860. The notices of it, when once a quarter, used to be gummed on the walls. The pulpit was on one side, the reading desk, a little shorter, on the other, and the clerk's desk was close to the reading desk. After evening service the people walked home, and if it was a dark night, a lantern used to head the procession. I should like to mention that there were many prayer books and Bibles marked "Fort Marlborough, Bencoolen" a reminiscence of Sir Stamford Raffles, relics of the good old days, not one left now, no doubt. There were two tablets with the ten Commandments on them in gold letters, with two doves over them, at the sides of the Communion Table. They were made by man-of-war sailors during Padre White's time; they worked at them in the gallery behind the old hand-organ, but the tablets were not very artistic, especially the doves, though they were good enough for the old days. From the organ gallery we looked out upon the two pairs of gates at Mr. Coleman's two buildings, afterwards the Hotels in Coleman Street; part of the outbuildings were first covered with slates, a novelty here at the time."
In August, 1845, the steeple was struck by lightning, which splintered one of the tablets next to the Communion Table; and again on the 4th April, 1849, at about 2 o'clock in the afternoon, the spire was struck. The electric fluid descended the tower, and then took a playful direction, part proceeding to the earth down the inside front of the Church, but the greater portion took a two-fold lateral direction, then passed down the punkah rods, distant from each other about 20 feet, and destroyed the punkahs. Both currents again took a lateral direction, tearing off the mortar on the walls; that to right passed along the floor of one of the pews, and that to the left of the Communion Table escaped through and greatly injured the vestry door. The steeple, roofs and walls, down which the electric fluid passed perpendicularly, appeared as if riddled by swan shot.
Fortunately the accident did not happen during Divine Service, or it is highly probable several lives would have been lost. There was no conductor fixed until after this occurrence. In. 1852 the Church ceased to be used, as it was in a dangerous state, and the Mission Chapel at the corner of Brass Bassa Road was used for the services. In 1 854 the Grand Jury "presented" the ruinous state of the Church as a disgrace to the settlement, and this led to the erection of the present Cathedral.
A discussion was raised in 1856 regarding the duties of the Trustees of St. Andrew's Church, and it was remarked in the newspaper that they had been spoken of as Churchwardens, which it said was as novel in Singapore as it would have been in India; that it was not sanctioned by the East India Company's charter; and was contrary to the letter and spirit of the rules laid down by the Government for the guidance of Chaplains in India. The rules made by the Governor in Council for Madras were printed at length. They provided for two lay trustees, who formed a committee of management with the Chaplain. One of them was to be the Senior Civil Servant, or the Officer Commanding the Garrison if a purely military station, provided
the person appointed was a communicant of the Church of England and had no objection to hold the office. The other lay trustee was to be a gentleman in the service of the Queen or the E. I. Company, nominated by the Chaplain with the approval of the Bishop, The following were their duties, printed in full from the newspaper :—
"DUTIES or THE LAY TRUSTEES.
1. It shall be the duty of the Lay Trustees to present to the Bishop, or his Archdeacon, at their Visitation, or immediately by letter, and at any time on the requisition of the Lord Bishop or his commissary, any irregularity or scandal on the part of the Chaplain, or in connection with the Chaplaincy, which may have occurred within the District.
2. To aid and assist the chaplain in the performance of his duties.
DUTIES OF THK STANDING GOMMITTBE OF MANAGEMENT.
The Committee of Management shall take charge of the School and Charity Funds connected with the Chaplaincy ; see that the Church Yard and Burial Ground are kept in becoming order: take charge of the Plate, and the care of the goods, repairs and ornaments of the Church, or other building appropriated to the performance of Divine Service, and represent to Government, through the Ecclesiastical Head, any deficiency in these particulars, which they may think necessary or desirable to supply.
The Chaplain, as President, will report to Government any vacancy in the office of Lay Trustee."
In May, 1855, the Bengal Government approved of the proposal to build a new Church, and sanctioned an expenditure of Rs. 47,000 in cash for the purpose.
The newspaper of March, 1856, contained the following: —
"On Tuesday evening the 4th March, the Lord Bishop of Calcutta laid the foundation stone of a Church intended to replace St. Andrew's Church, which was sometime ago taken down on account of its insecure condition. The ceremony took place in presence of the Civil and Military authorities and a considerable number of the community. The following is a copy of the inscription placed below the stone:—
The first English Church of Singapore, commenced A. D. 1834 and consecrated A. D. 1838, having become dilapidated, this first stone of a new and more commodious edifice, dedicated to the worship of Almighty God according to the rites and discipline of the Church of England, under the name of St. Andrew, was laid by the Right Rev. Daniel Wilson, D.D., Lord Bishop of Calcutta and Metropolitan, on the 4th day of March, 1856, in the 24th year of his Episcopate.
The Hon'ble Edmund Augustus Blundell, being the Governor of the Straits Settlements,
The Hon'ble Thomas Church, being Resident Councillor of Singapore,
Lieut.-Col. Charles Pooley, of the Madras Army, Commanding the Troops,
The Reverend William Topley Humphrey being Chaplain,
And Captain Ronald Maopherson, of the Madras Artillery, being Architect.
The building to be erected at the charge of the Hon'ble East India Company.
Full estimate of cost, Co.'6 Rupees 120,932 or with use of convict labour 47,916 Rupees."
An account of the building of the present Cathedral is to be found in Major McNair's latest book published in 1897, "Prisoners their Own Warders," written in conjunction with Mr. W. D. Bayliss, who was Superintendent of Works and Surveys and Superintendent of Convicts. He says that it was designed by Colonel Macphergon, who was Executive Engineer at the time, and reproduced to some extent the character of old Netley Abbey in Hampshire. Mr. John Bennett, a, civil and mechanical engineer, who had come out to Singapore to seek employment as a young man on Mr. A. L. Johnston's recommendation, of whom he was some connection, was largely concerned in the erection, and did most of the detail work of the building. He had been for a time a partner with Thomas Tivendale and James Baxter as shipwrights on the River near the Court House, as appears from an advertisement in 1852. He afterwards went to Burmah and the Andamans and occupied an important position there.
The building is 225 feet long, by 115 feet wide, with a nave and side aisles, and a north arid south porch, having somewhat the appearance of transepts, which carriages can enter. The roof is of teak and slates. There is a gallery at the west end, approached by a circular iron staircase which was entirely made by the convicts, by whom the whole Church was erected, and it was said by Dr. Mouatt, the Inspector-General of Jails, Bengal, in a paper read by him before the Statistical Society, that the Cathedral built by Major McNair, entirely by convict labour, struck him as one of the finest specimens of ecclesiastical architecture which he had seen in the East, and a most remarkable example of the successful industrial training of convicts. The interior walls and columns were coated with a composition which has kept its colour, and has set so very hard that it is almost impossible to drive a nail into it. Major McNair's book gives the particulars of it, which we reprint, as an engineer in Singapore wag very pleased when it was pointed out to him in the Major's book, and said he had often wished to know how it had been made:—
"It is Madras chunam made from shell lime without sand; but with this lime we had whites of eggs and coarse sugar, or "jaggery" beaten together to form a sort of paste, and mixed with water in which the husks of coconuts had been steeped. The walls were plastered with this composition, and after a certain period for drying, were rubbed with rock crystal or rounded stone until they took a beautiful polish, being occasionally dusted with fine soapstone powder, and so leaving a remarkably smooth and glossy surface." The Major does not give the height of the spire, nor does he relate what was said at the time, that he was on the top when the large iron cross was put in place, and slipped, or one of the lashings gave way, and he might have fallen, but he shut his eyes and held on for a few seconds whore he was, and then quietly got into a safe place and came down.
It was originally intended to carry up the tower, but the foundations (which gave a good deal of trouble and are very deep, on account of the swampy nature of the ground) were found insufficient, and it was decided to put a light spire from a certain height. Search has been made among the old plans in the Government Office to try to find the original plan and the proposed height of the tower, but without success. Before erecting the spire the same weight was piled up on the top of the tower to test the strain, and as it was found to stand, the spire was constructed of hollow bricks. A few years afterwards the foundations of the tower settled down further, and a crack gradually formed in the side walls of the aisles a few feet from the tower. The walls were then, about 1865, cut through and separated from the tower. The crack so made was filled in, and iron bands or ties inserted, and no further settlement has taken place. The height to the top of the cross has been given as 125 feet in one book and as 225 in another book about Singapore, and other measurements of the building have been stated equally incorrectly. The following details have now been carefully taken by the Public Works Department, and are correct.
The building is 181 feet 4 inches long, internal measurement from the west door, when closed, to the wall behind the Communion Table. Including the tower it is 226 feet 3 inches from the exterior points of the building. The nave and side aisles are 55 feet 4 inches wide. Including the two porches the building is 114 feet wide, internal measurement. The spire to the centre of the iron cross is 207 feet 6 inches from the ground. The tower is 38 feet 9 inches square at the base. The handsome chancel arch is 55 feet 6 inches from the floor-level to the apex, and 20 feet 4 inches wide at the foot. The interior height of the nave from floor to the under side of ridge is 74 feet. The enclosure or compound is about 660 feet by 540. A monument to Colonel Maopherson stands on the side towards the sea. He was buried at the cemetery at Bukit Timah Road.
Mr. John Cameron in his book speaks of it as a noble pile and one of the largest Cathedrals in India; and Major MacNair remarks that owing to the simplicity of its tracery and mouldings it really appears much larger than it actually is, and being built upon an open space, its proportions at once strike the eye of every visitor to the Colony. In another book it is spoken of as the most striking and beautiful Church east of the Cape of Good Hope.
In December, 1860, the building was ready to be used, and there was some correspondence in the paper about the delay in opening it. It appears from this, that the Mission Chapel which had been used for the Church services after the old Church was unsafe, was too small to hold the congregation, and two services were held, one after the other to make room for all, and it was also suggested to hold two evening services on Sunday. The reason for the delay was said to be owing to the windows and lamps not having arrived from England, which gone of the congregation thought was a bad excuse, and offered to pay for temporary screens until the stained glass windows arrived. There was such a great demand for seats that a ballot was held at the Masonic Lodge for their disposal, and there was an advertisement in the Free Press in September, 1861, signed by Mr. John Colson Smith, as Treasurer, in which it was said that applications could be made for seats at $1 or 50 cents a month, according to their position. The seating at present with broad, wide seats, accommodates about 300; but on the occasion of the Memorial Service on the day of Queen Victoria's funeral, on 2nd February, 1901, when chairs were as far as possible substituted for the large seats, and advantage was taken of every inch of floor space, and over 300 persons occupied the gallery, there were about 1,400 persons in the congregation.
The Church was opened for service on 1st October, 1861, and was consecrated by Bishop Cotton of Calcutta, on Saturday, 25th January, 1862. The seats were first placed facing the east, as at present, but at one time, about 1871, they were placed towards the centre facing each other, and the pulpit was put at the pillar nearest the central gangway on the north side. In a few months it was found unsatisfactory, and the seats were replaced as at first. The Governor's seat properly speaking is on the south side of the centre passage, and was always so used until Sir Cecil Smith became Governor and preferred to remain in the seat he had occupied while Colonial Secretary, which is the corresponding seat on the opposite side. It really arose in consequence of the Chief Justice having been accustomed to sit at that time in the Governor's seats, as the Governor was a Roman Catholic, and Sir Cecil did not like to ask him to move, as he had become accustomed to the place. Consequently the alteration has been perpetuated, which is a mistake, as strangers properly expect to see the Governor in the right position, on the south side, as in other places.
The organ, which is an unusually good instrument, was built by John Walker of London, a first class maker, and was paid for by subscription at a cost of ?600. It had the following specification:—
SWELL ORGAN GREAT ORGAN.
Oboe Mixture, 4 and 5 ranks
Mixture, 3 ranks Twelfth
Stopped Diapason Stopped Diapason
Open do. Dulciana
Double do. Open Diapason
Swell to Great PEDAL ORGAN
Pedals to Swell Violoncello
Pedals to Great Open Diapason 16 feet
Mr. Terry, a very accomplished organist, who is now a manager in a very large Music establishment in Bond Street, London, came out with the organ, and first put it up between two of the pillars next the northern porch. Soon afterwards it was moved up into the gallery. In a few years it was decided that the small choir was too far away from the Congregation, so a subscription was made and a smaller organ was ordered from Bryceson Brothers, London, which cost ?252.9.0. It had one manual, with seven sets of pipes and open 16-feet p4dals. It was placed in what is now the northern vestry, with a reversed keyboard, so that the player sat facing the choir in the chancel. It was sold to the Penang Church when the large organ was again moved, and is the foundation of the organ now in use there, having been considerably enlarged. The money received for it was spent in repairing the large organ. In 1888 Walker's organ was again moved downstairs, and placed where it is now at the east end of the north aisle. At the same time the floor level of the chancel was extended to the end of the organ case.
In 1889 a peal of eight bells, cast by the famous makers, Taylors of Loughborough, who founded "Big Ben" of St. Paul's Cathedral, London, was given to the Cathedral. The bells are of large size, the tenor, the largest, being as big as the No. 8 in the peal at St. Paul's. A clergyman of Oxford, an authority on the subject, said that they were in remarkably good tune and an excellent peal. The names of the donors are recorded on a brass near the west door as follows;—
+ To the glory of God
The Peal of Bells
In this Cathedral Church
Of S. Andrew was dedicated
In Memory of
John Small Henry Fraser,
By His Heirs
William Henry McLeod Read,
Amelia Sophia Saunders
Arthur Frederic Clarke
Lucy Julia Beamont
Denison Leslie Olarke
Anna McLeod Luttman Johnson
On the Seventieth Anniversary
Of the Foundation of the Settlement
6th February, 1889.
A special form of prayer was used on the afternoon of Wednesday, 6th February, at the dedication of the Peal of Bells and the Pulpit, which is mentioned further on.
In the earliest days of the Settlement Captain Fraser commanded one of the large sailing vessels of the East India Company, the Marquess of Huntly, and about 1826 and 1827 owned land in various parts of the town, in Kling Street, Boat Quay, High Street, and the whole of the piece of land on which the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank now stands. In course of years it passed to those whose names are mentioned on the tablet, the five last being the children of Mr. and Mrs. Seymour Clarke. Mrs. Clarke was the daughter of Mr. C. R. Read, and came out with her mother in 1824, as has been mentioned on page 155. Mr. Clarke was the first Manager of the Great Western Railway, the pioneer of railways, and afterwards of the Great Northern Railway, and had a great deal of influence, which he used in promoting the Transfer of the Settlements in 1867. Queen Victoria never liked to make a railway journey unless Mr. Clarke went with the train, and the watch he always wore had been given) to him by her. The Rev. Arthur Clarke is now Archdeacon of Lancashire. When the property was sold, the value had then advanced very largely, and those who had benefited by it presented the Bells.
There are three fine stained glass windows in the Apse, which were erected at the same time as the Church, and cost a large sum of money. That in the centre has at the foot the following inscription:—
"To the Memory of Sir Stamford Raffles, Kt., the illustrious founder of Singapore, A. D. 1861."
The window on the north or left hand side of that one has the following:—"To the Honour and Glory of God, and as a testimonial to John Crawfurd, Esq., Governor of Singapore from 1823 to 1828, whose sound principles of administration during the infancy of the Settlement formed a basis for that uninterrupted prosperity which the Colony thus gratefully records." Mr. Crawfurd was then alive.
The third window, that on the other (the right hand) side has the following words:—"To Major-General William Butterworth, O.B., who successfully governed these settlements from 1843 to 1845, this window is dedicated by the citizens of Singapore." There is an unfortunate mistake in the second date, which should have been 1855, not 1845, as pointed out by Major McNair in his book. The tablet close by on the wall of the Sacrarium on its South side prevents any misunderstanding. It has the inscription :—" Sacred to the Memory of Major-General William John Butterworth, O.B., of the Madras Army, for nearly twelve years Governor of Prince of Wales Island, Singapore and Malacca, who departed this life on the 4th November, 1856, at Millhead House, Guildford, in the County of Surrey, England, in the 56th year of his age, distinguished alike in his civil and military career for courage, zeal and integrity."
Opposite this tablet on the north side is one with the following words:—"Sacred to the Memory of the Reverend Edward White, M.A., of the Bengal Establishment. His unwearied devotion to His Master's service, during the eight years he was chaplain at this station, mingled with his singular personal humility, won the deepest respect and affection of his flock. Forgetful of self in zeal for their good, and unmindful of the frailty of a constitution exhausted by previous attacks and long residence in India, he sank under a brief illness and in simple trust in Him who is the Resurrection and the Life. He breathed his last in perfect peace on the 7th April, 1845, at Singapore, in the 52nd year of his age. In sympathy with the bereaved widow and fatherless children, and as a token of respect for their own loss, this tablet is placed here by those who were allowed the benefit of his ministry and the advantage of his example." He was buried with military honours, and Mr. Church read the service. Over the door at the west end of the building is a window, the subject of which is the Four Evangelists, put up in 1872 in memory of Colonel Macpherson who designed the Church.
At the west end of the north aisle there is a window with the inscription; "In Memoriam David Rodger, obiit October 11th, 1867, cetat 37." He was a partner in the firm of Martin, Dyce & Co. Two tablets to Naval Officers were removed from the old Church and placed in the walls near the east end of the aisles; one was erected by the Commander and Officers of H. M, Sloop Harlequin in Memory of George Samuel Berens, an Officer who died at sea, on 11th September, 1843, aged 25 years, and was buried off Tanjong Dattoo, Borneo; and another tablet to the Memory of Commander William Maitland of H. M. steamer Spiteful, who died in the Roads of Singapore on 10th August, 1846, aged 40 years. There are a few other tablets of modern date, but the construction of the building, with so many openings for windows, does not lend itself conveniently for the purpose, and they detract from the appearance of the building.
The handsome brass lectern was the gift of Mr. Thomas Shelford in 1873, in memory of his first wife, and the brass rails in front of the Communion Table were given by his family after his death in 1900. The pulpit was given by Sir 0. C. Smith, when he was Governor, on 8th February, 1889. It was made in Ceylon. The set of choir stalls was given by Mr. J. J. Macbean. in 1900. A handsome Communion Service was given by Mr. Arnold Otto Meyor and his son Edward Lorenz Meyer to the congregation. And an illuminated paper, hung in the vestry, says that it was " a thank offering and in remembrance of the goodwill and prosperity experienced by the House of Behn, Meyer & Company, during fifty years, on November 1st, 1890." Mr. Norris says that when he was a choir boy and Mr. G. H. Brown was organist, Mr. A. 0. Meyer used to sing in the choir.
Until 1869 the Straits Settlements had been in the diocese of Calcutta, and on the consecration of the Ven. W. Chambers, Archdeacon of Sarawak, as Bishop of Labuan and Sarawak in that year, the Settlements were transferred to that diocese.
The Rev. F. T. McDougall, M.A., of Magdalen Hall, Oxford, and a Fellow of the College of Surgeons was, in 1847, appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London to be the head of a new Mission to Sarawak. He was afterwards consecrated Bishop at Calcutta in 1855, which was the first consecration of a Bishop of the Church of England, out of England. He was styled Bishop of Labuan and Sarawak. He resigned in 1868, the year of the death of Rajah Sir James Brooke, and was succeeded by Archdeacon Chambers, advantage being taken, as has been said, of the vacancy of the See, to withdraw the Straits Settlements from the Diocese of Calcutta and include them in that of Labnan and Sarawak. St. Andrew's Church was then formally declared the Cathedral of the See, on 20th December, 1870. Bishop Chambers retired in 1879, and was succeeded in 1881 by the Ven. G. F. Hose, of St. John's College, Cambridge, who had been Colonial Chaplain and. Archdeacon in Singapore. The style of the Diocese was then changed to Singapore, Labuan and Sarawak, being intended to give prominence to the position of Singapore, as the head-quarters of the work.
The St. Andrew's Church Mission was begun with one catechist at Whitsuntide, 1856. Bishop McDougall of Sarawak had joined with Mr. Humphrey, the Chaplain, in its establishment, and it was carried on by a committee. The Bishop, when in England, recommended the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel to assist the local mission by sending out an ordained missionary, and about the beginning of 1862 the Rev. E. S. Venn was sent by the Society to Singapore. On 11 th May, 1863, at a meeting of the subscribers to the mission held at the Raffles Institution, at which the Governor, Colonel Cavenagh, presided, and Bishop McDougall was present, it was decided that it would be desirable to join the local mission with that of the S. P. G. to bear the name of the St. Andrew's Church Mission to the Heathen in connection with the S. P. G.; the united mission to be under the management of the S. P. G. in communication with the Residency Chaplain. Mr. Venn, of Wadham College, Oxford, was the first missionary of the Society to the Straits. He died in Singapore on 19th September, 1866. After his death there was no resident missionary until 1872, when the Rev. William Henry Gomes was appointed. He was born in Ceylon in 1827, was educated at the Bishop's College, Calcutta, and went to the S. P. G. mission at Sarawak in 1852. He left Sarawak in 1867, and was appointed Acting Colonial Chaplain of Malacca. In 1868 he returned to Ceylon, and after working among the coffee planters there, he came back to the Straits in 1871 as acting Chaplain of Penang. In June, 1872, he became S. P. G. missionary at Singapore. In 1878 the Archbishop of Canterbury bestowed upon Mr. Gomes the decree of a Bachelor of Divinity of Lambeth, in recognition of his missionary and literary services. He translated the Prayer Book and a number of Hymns into native languages, Chinese, Dyak, and Malay, which were printed in Singapore at his own expense, aided by contributions from the congregations. The last edition of the Chinese Prayer Book was published with the sanction of the Archbishop of Canterbury under the auspices of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. Mr. Gomes died on the morning of Sunday, 2nd March, 1902, 75 years of age, from failure of the heart, after being ill for a year. He was very much respected in Singapore, and his loss was much felt.
The Chapel in Stamford Road was built in 1875, the house for the missionary in 1877, and the school house in 1900. They all stand on the ground on the side of Fort Canning Hill, given by the Government to the Society for the purpose. In 1882 Mr. Gomes opened a branch mission for the Chinese living at Jurong, and a Church was built there. It is about fourteen miles by road from Singapore on the west side of the island. (286-300)