Glimpses of Colonial India. 1. Elihu Yale in Madras

American-born Elihu Yale (1649-1721) is best known as the benefactor of what was later named Yale University. He was the governor of Madras from 1687 to 1692. The following incident was characteristic of him.

His native  butler left his service without proper notice.Yale directed that he should be hanged.The British law indeed  prescribed death sentence for a number of crimes. But leaving employment without notice was not one of them. Yale decreed that the butler be charged with piracy.And so the man was hanged.


Kinkaid, Dennis (1938) British Social Life in India, 1608-1937. (London: Routledge,2nd ed. 1973), p.65

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