St Mary’s Church, Fort St George, Chennai

This church has been in existence since 1680 and was the formative place of worship for the British living in Madras. It is within the compound of Fort St George, which is today the seat of government for Chennai formerly known as Madras.

The history of the church and its congregation is of interest. Elihu Yale (1648-1721) was the Govenor of Fort St George and an active member of St Mary’s. Yale University in the USA was named after him. The altar plate was donated by Yale in 1687 and is now on loan to the Fort Museum.

There is a memorial to Lady Hobart (1755-1796) and her infant son John (5 months). She was the wife of Lord Hobart, Govenor of Madras, who gave his name to hoabrt in Tasmania. Lady Hobart gave the reading lectern to the church which stands opposite the pulpit.

There is a separate graveyard situated some distance away which is now crumbling and overgrown but within that graveyard there are the First and Second World War cemeteries which are kept in very good order.