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Origins of the Urban Development of Pondicherry according to Seventeenth Century Dutch Plans

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Jean Deloche

I. Pondicherry in 1693

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1In the first category of plans (VEL 1094, 1095, 1096, 1099) we find a very precise representation of the different parts of the French settlement.

Pondicherry Territory at the Time of the Conquest (vide figs. 1 & 2)

  • 8 “Nous eûmes dans ce mois un différend avec les gens de Gingy de l’aidée de Paquenembot que nous avi (...)
  • 9 The name could be Tiruvantipakkam (tiru, blessed, sacred, anti, intersection of three roads, pākkam (...)
  • 10 This name does not exist anymore. Now, to the west of the boulevards, there is a place called Narim (...)

2In Vel 1094 is shown the extent of land owned by the French around Pondicherry in 1693. François Martin does not mention the villages which were rented by the French Company, except Pakkamudiyanpet, on the8 occasion of a disagreement with the raja of Senji in September 1675. On the other hand, in the diagram showing Pondicherry territory which had been claimed by the Dutch from Raja Ram, the Maratha ruler of Senji, in 1693, we find a roughly semi-circular area of land extending from Kottakuppam to the Ariankuppam river including Pagrianpatou (Pakkamudiyanpet), Saram, Triwandepacum (Tiruvandipakkam?9) Poedepale (Pudupalaiyam), Nareneloor (Nariyanur?10) and Olinde (Ulandai).

  • 11 Plans of Pondicherry dated 1700, 1704, 1714, Archives nationales, Centre des Archives d’Outre-Mer, (...)

3In fact, these villages were sold to the Dutch Company by Raja Ram in August 1693 for 25,000 pagodas. They are seen in the early French plans,11 which show the anciennes limites des terres de la Compagnie (i.e. the old boundaries corresponding to the Dutch representation. The land surveyor specifically mentions that the territory situated south of the Ariyankuppam river, including the village of Virampattinam, was acquired by them after the conquest of Pondicherry.

Fig. 2. The district of Podechery (VEL 1094)

Fig. 2. The district of Podechery (VEL 1094)

4Now, as regards the town itself, the Dutch plans give us a clear image of the urban structure of Pondicherry at the time of François Martin.

The Eastern Settlement on the Sandy Bar (vide figs. 3, 4 & 7)

5Between the sea and the marshy lowlands, on the sand dunes, there was the fort and its surroundings, shown in all the plans.

  • 12 “Nous fîmes aussi démolir une pagode qui en était proche”(F. Martin, op.cit., vol. III., p. 341).

6To the west, was a ruined Hindu temple, probably pulled down by order of François Martin, in August 1693.12

  • 13 “Il y a quelques maisons de Français en dehors du fort, assez proprement et commodément bâties d’un (...)
  • 14 “La retraite des habitants nous donna toute l’étendue de mettre à bas ce qui nous pouvait incommode (...)

7To the north-east and east of the stronghold, the French had built blocks of stone houses for the Company’s servants13 (vide fig. 3). During the siege of the town, in August 1693, François Martin had several of them demolished.14 These “blocks of stone houses, partly broken down” (facing the eastern curtainwall of the fort) are marked by dotted lines in fig. 4.

  • 15 P. Celestine, Early Capuchin Missions in India, Pondicherry, Surat, Madras (1632-1834), pp. 18-19.

8Further north, we find the French hospital, a godown and the Christian graveyard. To the south, was the “church for the native Christians”, built in 1688 for the Capuchins by Lazzaro de Motta, a Malabar Christian convert and the chief of the Malabari merchants of the French Company,15 then, three Malabar gardens, two mosques and a Muslim grave and the fish bazaar. Nearby, there was the équipage godown and a corps de garde. On both sides were the houses of Indian artisans and merchants.

Fig. 3. The Fortress and the Siege of Podechery 1693 (Vel 1094)

Fig. 3. The Fortress and the Siege of Podechery 1693 (Vel 1094)

The Median Lowlands and the Western Tract (vide figs. 4 & 7)

  • 16 François Marlin (op.cit., vol. III, p. 337) states that “du côté de l'ouest commence une espèce de (...)
  • 17 R. Challes (op.cit., vol., II, p. 9) notes that “le jardin (de la Compagnie) est derrière dans l’ou (...)

9The elongated depression parallel to the sea, running alongside the sandy barrier on which stood the main settlement, was, with its rivulets, fit for cultivation and gardening.16 Fig. 4 shows the neli (paddy) fields, the ponds, the Malabar gardens, beside the rice fields and all along the lower course of the Uppar river, and also the garden of the French Company, to the west of the fort.17

  • 18 François Martin (op.cit., vol. Ill, p. 322) says that “les dehors de Pondichéry n’étaient que jardi (...)

10On the other side of this low area, there was a tract of land, marshy in places, suitable for cultivation, surrounded by trees, a part of which had been cleared for settling the native merchants or artisans and for gardening.18

  • 19 “Cette espèce de vallon est borné du côté de la terre par une peuplade qui en renferme une partie, (...)
  • 20 François Martin (ibid., p. 322) had these trees cut at the beginning of the siege: “On mit aussi à (...)

11François Martin says that it was a forest of arecanut trees;19 the topas employed by the Dutch (fig. 7) speak of “a large hunter’s forest, 500 steps from the fortress”. Big gardens, with fruit trees,20 were scattered, especially along the Uppar river, where the Dutch surveyor indicates “different gardens”, “the Jesuits’garden”, and also, on the northern part, the “garden of Donna Paulo”. In between, was the “garden of the French”

Fig. 4. Podechery in 1693 Main constructions (VEL 1095)

Fig. 4. Podechery in 1693 Main constructions (VEL 1095)

Fig. 5. Podechery in 1693 Streetwise Distribution of the local Castes & Craftsmen (VEL 1095)

Fig. 5. Podechery in 1693 Streetwise Distribution of the local Castes & Craftsmen (VEL 1095)
  • 21 The Jesuits came and settled in Pondichery in 1689; two years later, they bought the plot used as a (...)
  • 22 According to François Martin (op.cit., vol. III, pp. 149 & 238), the Jesuits started to build the c (...)
  • 23 The first procure (office of the procurator) of the Foreign Missions in Pondicherry was established (...)
  • 24 The jardin des capucins, as shown in the Plan de Pondichéry by N. de Fer (Bibliothèque nationale, d (...)

12The “Jesuits’garden”21 was an extensive piece of land, purchased in 1691, on which they had built a house and a church,22 both fortified in 1693 and badly damaged by the Dutch. Apparently the “garden of the French” was the tract of land which was later, in 1699, gifted by a Christian widow to the Foreign Missions, near the Grand Bazar and which was called Jardin des Missionnaires (Missionaries Garden).23 To the east of the Jesuits’house and church, the garden indicated near the Uppar river was the Capuchins’garden,24 since it is shown, in the topas’drawing (fig. 7), as the “garden of Father Kosmo” (Cosme, superior of this order).

  • 25 “Le marché ou bazar se tient tous les mardis derrière le fort; j’y vis plus de dix mille noirs tout (...)

13In the same document, we find the representation of the “basar or market”, taking place every Tuesday, where, in 1690, Robert Challes, saw ten thousand people.25 We are unable to explain why this is not shown by the Dutch surveyor in fig. 4.

  • 26 This fence enclosed roughly the area lying, in the eastern part, between the modern streets of Baza (...)
  • 27 In January 1676: “Nous fîmes fermer ensuite les avenues de la peuplade de barrières de palmistes av (...)
  • 28 P. Kaeppelin, op.cit., p. 444.
  • 29 V. M. Labemadie, op.cit., p. 57.

14Finally, we have to mention that, at the time of the siege, the town was surrounded with an enclosure, which was partly a parapet, partly a hedge, having, to the north-west, a serrated design26 (figs. 3 & 4). From François Martin’s diary we know that this fence was built in January 1676 and reinforced in June 1693.27 French historians did not pick out this information in the Mémoires of the governor, since P. Kaeppelin28 and V. M. Labemadie29 only refer to the wall built around the town by the Dutch in 1695.

15We will now consider the stone buildings situated in the eastern part of the town, which are particularly very well documented and deserve a minute description.

The Fort Barlong (vide fig. 3 & 6)

16In fig. 3, there is a good picture of the entire construction with all its various components and, in fig. 6, an extremeley detailed plan of the fort without its outer works.

  • 30 “Il est nécessaire de mettre en sûreté les effets de la Compagnie. Il faut aussi que les marchands (...)
  • 31 F. Martin, op cit., vol. II, pp. 552 & 563; P. Kaeppelin, op.cit., p. 261. At that time, there was (...)

17We know that, in order to protect the factory from the incursions by the “Mores” or the “Gentils”, in July 1688, the French requested the Senji raja to build a wall around the settlement.30 In September and October of the same year, permission was granted to them to build an enclosure with four towers “of a stipulated height” at the comers; finally, in October 1689, the “brick work covered with lime” was completed.31

Fig. 6. Plan of the fortress, Poedechery Whitout the Outer Works as it has been in the time of the Conquest. Poedechery the 30 november Anno 1694. Ja5 Verbergmoes (VEL 1099)

Fig. 6. Plan of the fortress, Poedechery Whitout the Outer Works as it has been in the time of the Conquest. Poedechery the 30 november Anno 1694. Ja5 Verbergmoes (VEL 1099)
  • 32 In the legends (in Dutch) of the plans we find bastion or roundeel. Rounded is obviously the French (...)

18The Dutch surveyors have noted down the French names of these round towers or rondelles32 (which are not mentioned in French sources): the Basaar, so called probably because there was a market nearby; the Marchan(d), because it was close to the merchant community of the Komuttis; the Directeur, because of its proximity to François Martin’s residence; and the Jardin, because of its vicinity to the French Company’s Garden.

  • 33 Cornard: this name was probably given to the bastion due to its projection resembling the horn of a (...)
  • 34 “Le côté sud était défendu par une espèce de redoute élevé sur les restes de la maison qui avait ét (...)
  • 35 “Nous pensâmes à nous fortifier dans les dehors par de bonnes barricades et à commencer une espèce (...)
  • 36 In June: “on ouvrit un grand fossé du coté du nord, du sud et de l’ouest dans la place en forme de (...)

19Except for the western side which was the weak point of the enclosure, the fort was relatively strong. The southern part was protected by a kind of redoubt (called Bastion San(s)peur in the plans), built on the ruins of the Danes’house, with, at both extremities, a “palisaded barricade”. The northern curtainwall was defended by a small bastion named the Cornaar33 (again a name which is not mentioned anywhere else), erected in 1676,34 and by a ravelin, built in February 1691.35 Apart from the eastern wall, the fort was surrounded with an earthen embankment (fausse-braye) and a moat, hastily dug out in June and August 1693, just before the siege.36

  • 37 Some Capuchins arrived in Pondichery in 1642, but soon left the place. Invited later by the founder (...)

20Inside this enclosure were the main buildings of the factory (fig. 6). To the north-east, beside the casernes (barracks) behind the small bastion, there was the place in which the Capuchin missionnaries, who laid the foundation of the Christian community in Pondicherry, resided, comprising the church of St Andrew, built by Father Louis and a large house with several rooms and kitchen.37

  • 38 François Martin (1640-1706) was in Madagascar from 1665 to 1667; then, he went to Surat where he wa (...)

21To the south-east, was the Director’s residence, with a big garden, a well, a house for the king’s captain and several outbuildings, storerooms, servants’quarters, washhouse, gallery and shelters for cattle. It was considered as the Government and it is from this place that François Martin administered the settlement.38

  • 39 François Martin in his Mémoires (vol. 11, pp. 525, 533 & 549, vol. III, pp. 27, 344, 356, 366 & 370 (...)

22To the west of the Place d’Armes and the common well, were the galleries and mandapas of an old Hindu temple, with flat roofs and vaulted structures, which had been partitioned. A portion, with several rooms, galleries and kitchen, was used as a place of residence by the second in command, Jean-Baptiste Martin.39 Other parts of the same religious building served as storerooms, sheds, ammunition depot, forge shop, cellars to keep prisonners and shelters for cattle. On a comer of this block, a square platform was raised for the flagpole.

23To the south-west, we find magazines containing arms and military equipment (gun powder cellars, arms depot), a corps de garde or guardroom and also the houses of the king’s captain and the secretary, with a well, and storerooms. Finally, to the south and the west, were lined up storerooms, kitchen, barracks and toilets.

  • 40 Vide R. Challes (op.cit., pp. 140-141), who, in August 1690, notes that the governor had asked the (...)

24Though the military works constructed for the purpose of strengthening this factory were not adequate (François Martin was aware of their defects),40 all the main buildings, at least where trading activites were conducted, were protected against any sudden attack by the local chieftains.

Houses near the Fort (vide fig.7).

25From the drawing after a report made by two topas (fig.7) we know the places in which some noteworthy persons were living.

  • 41 Germain, a senior officer, major of the fort garrison, is mentioned several times by François Marti (...)
  • 42 Probably Bussi Yanes, Danish soldier of the Company, who married Thomasia de Rozario on February 18 (...)
  • 43 Probably Guillaume Nicolas, married to Marie Corneille, who had a son, François, on January 30, 170 (...)

26In the houses facing the eastern curtainwall, we find the houses of a king’s captain, of a priest, of Monsieur Germeyn (Germain),41 of a “sea captain”, of a Danish soldier,42 and of a bottler called Nicolas.43

  • 44 We did not find any reference to this lady in our documents, but she must have been very rich, beca (...)
  • 45 Guéty, Guesty, a French merchant from Lyon, is mentioned several times in François Martin’s Mémoire (...)
  • 46 Jacques Laurent, known as Picard, “sergent de la compagnie”, was married to Anna da Costa, on Octob (...)
  • 47 As said above, in footnote 37, Father Cosmas (Cosme) de Gien, laid the foundation of the Christian (...)
  • 48 avaldār (Pers., Hind.), a subordinate officer (very often mentioned in François Martin's Mémoires) (...)
  • 49 His name is known. In three letters sent by the Senji Raja dating from 1680 and 1690, there is a re (...)

27In the parallel street, towards east, we note the home of Donna Paulo44 “where the jeweller Monsieur Getty45 lives (with her)”, the houses of the “wreck master or caretaker of the beach”, of the “helsman of the sloop in the river” and of the French sergeant Pickaert (Picard).46 To the south, the home of captain Michel Ansjelo, “who was also a member of the French Council,” was facing the “church for the native Christians.” Elsewhere resided the French surgeon, a sergeant, the French blacksmith, the baker, Father Cosmo (Cosme), the founder of the Capuchin mission in Pondicherry47 and also the Maratha havaldar48 and the brahmin “ambassador of the nation to the court of Rammaragi” (Raja Ram)49 in houses which we cannot locate, because the numbers corresponding to the names have been omitted As regards the Indian population, they were irregularly distributed in both parts of the town.

Distribution of the Indian Population

In the Eastern Part (vide fig. 5)

28The eastern part of the settlement around the fort could not yet be considered as a Ville blanche (White town), since the rest of the dwellings were owned by Indians.

Fig. 7. Podechery Drawing after a report made by two topas 1690? (VEL 1096)

Fig. 7. Podechery Drawing after a report made by two topas 1690? (VEL 1096)

29To the south of the fort, we find mainly trading castes: rice sellers, komuttis (kōmuṭṭi) (known for selling drugs, spices, cloths and precious stones), merchants in linen, builders (?), along with a small group of cowherds and an important community of Muslims, with two mosques and one grave. It is noteworthy that today the Muslim quarter is located to the west of this settlement, on the other side of the Uppar river (Grand canal).

  • 50 One division of this caste, the braziers, has been omitted.
  • 51 In the drawing (VEL 1096), we find that the two topas who described the town to the Dutch considere (...)

30To the north, carpenters, (stone) masons, silver and ironsmiths (they are known as kammāḷar or artisans of five castes)50 stayed together at the edge of the swampy lowland. Towards the sea, were settled the weaving castes: chintz makers and painters, along with a small community of brahmins. The macouas or fishermen and arak sellers stayed on the seashore51 and the parias lived at the southern and northern extremities of this sector of the town.

In the Western Part (vide figs. 5 & 7)

31Regarding the western part of the settlement, we find that the brahmins were strongly established in the south, between the Jesuits’church and the “garden of the French” where three temples had been erected, particularly in the streets situated near the Isvara temple (to the north of the church) which was to be destroyed by Dupleix.

32As for the artisans, they were distributed in the north, along very irregular streets going all over the place, without any regular pattern. Builders (?) had settled at the western extremity; a small group of weavers and potters in the centre, and trading castes: banyas (bāniyā) (money-lenders and shop keepers), chettis (ceṭṭi) (bankers, brokers), at the northern end.

  • 52 P. Kaeppelin, op.cit., p. 263.
  • 53 Anandaranga Pillai, The Private Diary, vol. V, p. 419.

33Surprisingly, the “inland merchants who negociate in red coral with the French”, whose houses are represented on the western side of the town in fig. 7 (we know that they had been invited by François Martin to come in 1688 and were allotted some land52), are not mentioned in fig. 5. At the time of Dupleix, their settlement (Pavaḷappēṭṭai) – pavaḷam, red coral, pēṭṭai, a suburb, a market-place near a town-was situated to the west of the fortifications. Today, there is a place called Pavalakkaranchavadi, on the road to Ozhukarai.53

  • 54 A. Esquer, Essai sur les castes dans l’Inde, p. 133.

34There remains a last question. Who were the persons referred to as “builders” by the Dutch surveyor for both parts of the town? Since most of the houses owned by Indians were made of rammed earth, we assume that these builders were members of the oṭṭar caste, who were experts in digging wells and building earthen walls.54

Concluding Remarks on the Structure of the Town

35We are now in a position to consider the structure of the settlement.

  • 55 “Les maisons ou cabanes des noirs sont éparses ça et là sans ordre ni alignement et ne sont faites (...)

36The main remark we can make is that, in 1693, there was no urbanism, no regular planning in the native quarters of the town, in the western part, as well as in the eastern part. As said by François Martin, the houses or huts of the local people, made of earth mixed with wooden pieces, were scattered here and there without order or alignement.55 The layout was the irregular street pattern.

37All we can say is that, around the fort, the alignments of the streets demarcating the blocks of the French stone houses, have, in a way, determined the layout of some streets of the 18th century town (and of the modern city), especially the lines of rue Saint-Louis, me du Gouverneur (François Martin street), rue de Berry (Manakula Vinayakar kovil street), to the north; rue des Capucins (Romain Rolland street), rue du Pavillon (Suffren street), rue de la Monnaie (Victor Simonel street), to the south.

Fig. 8. Poedechery With her surrounding villages and rivers 20th November 1694 Jas Verbergmoes (VEL 1097)

Fig. 8. Poedechery With her surrounding villages and rivers 20th November 1694 Jas Verbergmoes (VEL 1097)

Notes

8 “Nous eûmes dans ce mois un différend avec les gens de Gingy de l’aidée de Paquenembot que nous avions prise à ferme au sujet de l’eau que nous aurions prise au-delà de ce qui est nécessaire...” (F. Martin, op. cit., vol. II, p. 25.

9 The name could be Tiruvantipakkam (tiru, blessed, sacred, anti, intersection of three roads, pākkam, village), “village situated at the blessed junction of three roads”. One of the first plans of Pondicherry by N. de Fer (Bibliothèque nationale, département des cartes et plans, portefeuille 204, 2 D) shows, to the north of the town, the junction of three roads!

10 This name does not exist anymore. Now, to the west of the boulevards, there is a place called Narimedu (nari, jackal, mēṭu, elevation,“mound of the jackal”, for which we give the following explanation. In the beginning of the French settlement, this place was covered with a forest probably haunted by jackals (nari); when, in the 18th century, the French excavated the moat, the earth which was removed from the ditch formed, at that place, a kind of mound (mēṭu), hence the name Narimedu. In François Marlin’s time, there was no moat; we can therefore infer that the place was called Nariyanur (ūr, village), “village of the jackal”.

11 Plans of Pondicherry dated 1700, 1704, 1714, Archives nationales, Centre des Archives d’Outre-Mer, Aix-en-Provence, DFC, portefeuille 32 A, 5, 7, 11.

12 “Nous fîmes aussi démolir une pagode qui en était proche”(F. Martin, op.cit., vol. III., p. 341).

13 “Il y a quelques maisons de Français en dehors du fort, assez proprement et commodément bâties d’un seul étage, toutes enduites de la chaux dont j’ai parlé.” (R. Challes, op.cit., vol. II, p. 9).

14 “La retraite des habitants nous donna toute l’étendue de mettre à bas ce qui nous pouvait incommoder; on ruina plusieurs maisons, quelques unes qui avaient coûté à bâtir 400 et 500 pagodes. Cependant la peuplade était devenue si considérable qu’il était bien difficile de démolir tout ce qui nous nuirait... Nous fîmes abattre les maisons qui en étaient proches (du fort); nous conservâmes pourtant celles qui étaient les plus voisines du fort rangées sur une même ligne; nous y fîmes des meurtrières en dehors pour en défendre les approches... Nous fîmes abattre une grande maison bâtie en forme de halle du côté de l’ouest, matérielle par ses murs qui servaient à battre les toiles” (F. Martin, op.cit., vol. III, pp. 322, 336-338, 341).

15 P. Celestine, Early Capuchin Missions in India, Pondicherry, Surat, Madras (1632-1834), pp. 18-19.

16 François Marlin (op.cit., vol. III, p. 337) states that “du côté de l'ouest commence une espèce de vallon qui s’étend plus d’une demi-lieue au nord en droite ligne, le fond sont des terres à riz toujours cultivées par l’abondance des eaux que l’on tire de plusieurs sources qui sont des deux côtés; il a en des endroits jusqu’à 200 pas de largeur, en d’autres moins.”

17 R. Challes (op.cit., vol., II, p. 9) notes that “le jardin (de la Compagnie) est derrière dans l’ouest; il est bordé d’un marais & d’un petit ruisseau, courant avec lenteur, qui lui conserve son humidité. C’est proprement un potager & une gueuserie pour nous”.

18 François Martin (op.cit., vol. Ill, p. 322) says that “les dehors de Pondichéry n’étaient que jardinages; c’était l’endroit de la côte où l’on trouvait le plus de sortes d’herbages et de légumes et en abondance”.

19 “Cette espèce de vallon est borné du côté de la terre par une peuplade qui en renferme une partie, le reste par un bois de palmistes” (ibid., p. 337).

20 François Martin (ibid., p. 322) had these trees cut at the beginning of the siege: “On mit aussi à bas tous les arbres des jardins proches du fort, on commença par celui de la Compagnie, les autres ensuite”.

21 The Jesuits came and settled in Pondichery in 1689; two years later, they bought the plot used as a garden and, in 1691, built their first church, Notre Dame de la Conception; in 1695 they were permitted to establish an independant mission. The Jesuits rendered spiritual services to the natives and topas. The church and the houses were mined in 1693, but the French did not have time to explode them. When the Jesuits returned in 1699, they built a new church to the north of the old one, where the Mission Press stands today, south of the Isvara temple (A. Launay, Histoire des Missions de l'Inde, Pondichéry, Maissour, Coimbatour, vol. I, pp. XXIX-XLVIII; F. Bertrand., Histoire de la Mission du Carnate, vol. I, pp. 5-31.

22 According to François Martin (op.cit., vol. III, pp. 149 & 238), the Jesuits started to build the church in April-May 1691 and completed the work in August-September 1692.

23 The first procure (office of the procurator) of the Foreign Missions in Pondicherry was established in 1689. The same year, Maria Dias, widow of Coloudeappa (Kulutiyappan), made a settlement on them; a garden with a well, called Couloudeappa garden, situated to the south of the Grand Bazar (A. Launay, op.cit., pp. 7-8).

24 The jardin des capucins, as shown in the Plan de Pondichéry by N. de Fer (Bibliothèque nationale, département des cartes et plans, portefeuille 204, 2 D; this plan has been reproduced by P. Kaeppelin (op.cit., plate, at the end). There were other gardens which are not found in the Dutch plans, but are indicated by N. de Fer, particularly the gardens of two eminent persons mentioned here: the jardin de M. Guéty, to the north of the garden of the Company, and the jardin de M. Germain, situated to the south of the town, on the bank of the Ariankuppam river.

25 “Le marché ou bazar se tient tous les mardis derrière le fort; j’y vis plus de dix mille noirs tout d’un coup. On y trouve abondamment dans ce marché de tout ce que le pays produit, et même de ce qui vient d’ailleurs” (R. Challes, op.cit., p. 130).

26 This fence enclosed roughly the area lying, in the eastern part, between the modern streets of Bazar Saint-Laurent and Saint-Gilles; in the western part, between the Petit canal and Calve Supraya street.

27 In January 1676: “Nous fîmes fermer ensuite les avenues de la peuplade de barrières de palmistes avec des fossés derrière, bonne garde jour et nuit et des rondes fréquentes pour tenir les gens dans leur devoir; nous posâmes aussi des corps de garde avancés pour ne pas être surpris”; in June 1693: “notre application fut de nous fortifier autant que nous le pourrions; nous fîmes rétablir nos anciennes barrières, on en fit de nouvelles à d’autres endroits.”(F. Martin, op.cit., vol. II, p. 35, vol. III, p. 312).

28 P. Kaeppelin, op.cit., p. 444.

29 V. M. Labemadie, op.cit., p. 57.

30 “Il est nécessaire de mettre en sûreté les effets de la Compagnie. Il faut aussi que les marchands aient le coeur tranquille; pour cet effet, il faut élever des murs alentour de notre maison et, comme du côté de l’Ouest, il y a deux bâtiments, pouvoir faire la même chose du côté de l’Est. Il faudra renfermer la maison de M. Martin, second (de Pondichéry) et bâtir au-delà deux bastions et, de cette façon, la loge sera murée des quatre côtés” (a request made by Germain, the French ambassador to the Senji court, mentioned in A. Martineau, Lettres & Conventions des gouverneurs de Pondichéry avec différents princes hindous (1666 à 1793), p. 4).

31 F. Martin, op cit., vol. II, pp. 552 & 563; P. Kaeppelin, op.cit., p. 261. At that time, there was no embankment and no moat (R. Challes, op.cit, vol. II, p. 9).

32 In the legends (in Dutch) of the plans we find bastion or roundeel. Rounded is obviously the French word rondelle, a round structure in plan, rising to a lesser height than the Medieval towers, found in France in the 16th century (P. Sailhan, La fortification, Histoire et dictionnaire, Paris, 1991, p. 165).

33 Cornard: this name was probably given to the bastion due to its projection resembling the horn of an animal.

34 “Le côté sud était défendu par une espèce de redoute élevé sur les restes de la maison qui avait été aux Danois à cinquante pas du fort. Le côté de l’ouest était le plus faible; c’était une longue courtine de soixante et tant de toises qui n’était flanquée que par deux tours qui la terminaient. L’église et la maison des Jésuites la battaient en face... Le côté du nord était le plus fort. Il était défendu par les deux tours, par un petit bastion qui avait été élevé en l’année 1676 et encore par une demi-lune” (F. Martin, op.cit., vol. III, pp. 336-337).

35 “Nous pensâmes à nous fortifier dans les dehors par de bonnes barricades et à commencer une espèce de demi-lune du côté nord” (F. Martin, op.cit., vol. III, p. 141).

36 In June: “on ouvrit un grand fossé du coté du nord, du sud et de l’ouest dans la place en forme de fausse-braie”, in August: “nous continuâmes aussi à faire creuser les fossés de la fausse-braie” (F. Martin, op.cit., vol. III, pp. 312 & 322).

37 Some Capuchins arrived in Pondichery in 1642, but soon left the place. Invited later by the founder of the French factory, François Martin, they were officially appointed to look after the spiritual needs of the French settlers, soldiers, Portuguese Christians, topas (of Portuguese and Indian origin) and native Christians. Father Cosmas (Cosme) de Gien who was the first chapelain to the French Colony had the church built. He appears to have been alone there from 1674 to 1677 but, in 1688, three missionaires were sent to Pondicherry, Fathers Jacques de Tours, Laurent d’Angoulème and Léon (P. Celestine, op.cit., pp. 14-19; F. Bertrand, Histoire de la mission du Carnate, p. 527).

38 François Martin (1640-1706) was in Madagascar from 1665 to 1667; then, he went to Surat where he was entrusted with several assignements; from 1673 to his death, except during the Dutch occupation, he remained governor of Pondichery and succeeded in making of this village a prosperous trade centre (on his achievements, vide his Mémoires and Kaeppelin’s book, mentionned above).

39 François Martin in his Mémoires (vol. 11, pp. 525, 533 & 549, vol. III, pp. 27, 344, 356, 366 & 370) makes mention of J.-B. Martin several times: in February 1688 he was sent to Masulipatnam; in April he was in charge of Petapoly on the East coast; in June he returned to Pondicherry; in 1689 he became the second in command; finally, in 1693, the Dutch took him prisoner and sent him to France.

40 Vide R. Challes (op.cit., pp. 140-141), who, in August 1690, notes that the governor had asked the Company to send a good military engineer.

41 Germain, a senior officer, major of the fort garrison, is mentioned several times by François Martin in his Mémoires. In March 1676, he was in Pondicherry; in May 1681, he left the town with François Martin on his way to Surat; in July he returned from Golkonda to Pondicherry; in May 1685, he was in Quedda; then, from 1688 to 1690, he was sent several times to Senji, as an ambassador to Raja Ram, to negociate with him the permission to build the fort. Married to a native woman, after the fall of the town, he was the only French officer permitted to remain in Pondicherry by the Dutch (F. Martin, Mémoires, passim, see the index of each volume; V. M. Labernadie, op.cit., p. 56).

42 Probably Bussi Yanes, Danish soldier of the Company, who married Thomasia de Rozario on February 18, 1692 (A. Martineau, Résumé des actes de l’état civil de Pondichéry, vol. I, p. 23).

43 Probably Guillaume Nicolas, married to Marie Corneille, who had a son, François, on January 30, 1703 (ibid., p. 86).

44 We did not find any reference to this lady in our documents, but she must have been very rich, because she owned a big garden to the west of the town.

45 Guéty, Guesty, a French merchant from Lyon, is mentioned several times in François Martin’s Mémoires. He was in Pondicherry in December 1688; in Golkonda, in 1685, as “correspondant à Golconde de François Martin et marchand particulier”; he reached Pondicherry on December 19, 1688, but settled in San Thome, in 1692-1693 (F. Martin, Mémoires, passim, see the index of each volume). He married a 14 year old Portuguese girl, on April 21, 1692 (A. Martineau, Résumé des actes de l’état civil de Pondichéry, p. 2).

46 Jacques Laurent, known as Picard, “sergent de la compagnie”, was married to Anna da Costa, on October 7, 1687; he had two of his slaves (Jean and Catherina) married on August 7, 1690 (ibid., pp. 7 & 8).

47 As said above, in footnote 37, Father Cosmas (Cosme) de Gien, laid the foundation of the Christian community in Pondicherry. He reached the town in 1671 and became the chaplain of the colony; but he could not stay long because of the continuous strife between the French and the Dutch and returned to Madras. In 1674, he was again officially appointed to look after the needs of the local Christians. It was the beginning of a permanent establishment of the mission (P. Celestine, op.cit., pp. 14-18).

48 avaldār (Pers., Hind.), a subordinate officer (very often mentioned in François Martin's Mémoires), who represented the ruler of Senji in Pondicherry.

49 His name is known. In three letters sent by the Senji Raja dating from 1680 and 1690, there is a reference to the “brame Vitoula Apagy” (Vihala Appājī) who always accompanied Germain, the French envoy (A. Martineau, Lettres & Conventions, pp. 3-6).

50 One division of this caste, the braziers, has been omitted.

51 In the drawing (VEL 1096), we find that the two topas who described the town to the Dutch considered all these craftsmen as Malabars and Christians. The house of Pancras, to the north of the place, has not been identified. Could it be paṇṇiyakkāraṉ, headman among a class of Vanniyars?

52 P. Kaeppelin, op.cit., p. 263.

53 Anandaranga Pillai, The Private Diary, vol. V, p. 419.

54 A. Esquer, Essai sur les castes dans l’Inde, p. 133.

55 “Les maisons ou cabanes des noirs sont éparses ça et là sans ordre ni alignement et ne sont faites que de terre détrempée et soutenue en elle-même par des morceaux de branches d’arbres qui y sont mêlées” (F. Martin, op.cit., vol. III, p. 10).

Table des illustrations

Titre Fig. 2. The district of Podechery (VEL 1094)
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifp/docannexe/image/5655/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 256k
Titre Fig. 3. The Fortress and the Siege of Podechery 1693 (Vel 1094)
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifp/docannexe/image/5655/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 472k
Titre Fig. 4. Podechery in 1693 Main constructions (VEL 1095)
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifp/docannexe/image/5655/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 900k
Titre Fig. 5. Podechery in 1693 Streetwise Distribution of the local Castes & Craftsmen (VEL 1095)
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifp/docannexe/image/5655/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 812k
Titre Fig. 6. Plan of the fortress, Poedechery Whitout the Outer Works as it has been in the time of the Conquest. Poedechery the 30 november Anno 1694. Ja5 Verbergmoes (VEL 1099)
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifp/docannexe/image/5655/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 492k
Titre Fig. 7. Podechery Drawing after a report made by two topas 1690? (VEL 1096)
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifp/docannexe/image/5655/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 464k
Titre Fig. 8. Poedechery With her surrounding villages and rivers 20th November 1694 Jas Verbergmoes (VEL 1097)
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifp/docannexe/image/5655/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 434k

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