Thomas Greenhill

Thomas Greenhill (1611/12 – 4 January 1658[1]) was an English colonial administrator, one of the early pioneers of the East India Company and the Agent of Madras for two terms from 1648 to 1652 and 1655 to 1658.

Thomas Greenhill
Agent of Fort St George (Madras)
In office
1644, 1652 – 1648, 1655
Preceded byThomas Ivie, Aaron Baker
Succeeded byAaron Baker, Thomas Chambers
Personal details
Bornc. 1611 or 1612
Died4 January 1658

Early lifeEdit

Greenhill arrived in India in 1632 to serve in the Company's Masulipatnam factory. During the agency of Thomas Ivie, Greenhill was sent on a mission to the Raja of Chandragiri which resulted in the issue of a new grant in October/November 1645. By this grant, the Raja confirmed an older grant and ceded the village of Narikamedu to the Company.

Tenure as Agent of MadrasEdit

Madras was in the grips of a famine (the first famine since the start of British rule in Madras) when Greenhill became Agent in 1648.[2] In September 1648, Greenhill arranged for rice to shipped aboard the ship Blessing from Persia. These fears were, however, short-lived as Madras had completely recovered from the famine by April 1649.[2]

Greenhill's tenure as Agent of Madras was marked by a scandal. A certain Mr. Thomas and Elizabeth Bland laid a charge against Greenhill, that the Agent had fathered an illegitimate child on Elizabeth, whom he had compelled to undergo an abortion in the fifth month of her pregnancy. The charge caused damage to Greenhill's reputation. Later, however, during the course of a trial, Elizabeth admitted that the accusation was false, and made in order to profit by the criminal case against Greenhill.

DeathEdit

Greenhill died in Madras of excessive drinking on 4 January 1658.[1] His is the oldest English tombstone yet discovered in Madras city.[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Agent on the steps, The Hindu: Metro Plus, March 3, 2008
  2. ^ a b Madras Tercenternary Celebration Committee Commemoration VolumeBy Tercentenary Madras Staff, Madras Tercentenary Celebration Committee, Madras Tercentenary Celebration Committee, Published 1994, Asian Educational Services
Preceded by
Thomas Ivie
Agent of Madras
1648–1652
Succeeded by
Aaron Baker
President
Preceded by
Aaron Baker
President
Agent of Madras
1655–1658
Succeeded by
Thomas Chambers