Faith and Family

Annex E

From a letter dated May 1893 by Isabella Wyatt appealing to the SPG for repayment of the cost of an early passage home to see her children for the first time in 5 years instead of waiting a further 2 years:-

"It will be 30 years in September since I went out to my father [Robert Caldwell] in Edeyengoody, and for more than 25 years I have been actively engaged in mission work as an honorary worker. For 15 years I was in Edeyengoody and superintended the girls and boys schools and raised the numbers in those schools from 60 to nearly 300 and left more than Rs2000 invested for hard times......

When we were appointed to Trichinopoly in Dec.1879 we had to begin everything. Not to speak of my husband's special work, I will enumerate some of the work which fell more especially to my share. We purchased unaided by either the SPG or LA, although they approved of it, buildings and 2 acres of ground in which we have established and maintained a Training Institution for schoolmistresses, a girls boarding school and Industrial school combined, besides raising money by bazaars for building kitchens, dining hall, a dining hall for the boys, and 4 houses for masters to live in. We have also started (though at first met by much opposition) day schools for Hindu girls. We have 11 of these schools now with nearly 500 high caste girls learning in them.......

I have also started a Zenana Mission in Trichinopoly which for some years I worked with no help from the Society but......the Ladies Association have given me #50 a year for a Superintendent. I have 9 Bible women at work and 2 nurses, and more than 300 Hindu women under regular instruction, of whom 60 are Brahmins.... I also keep up the Gungelore boarding school of 25 girls, though the SPG have withdrawn the grant they used to give.

Even missionaries cannot cease to have human feelings, and though of course I am only a woman and as such am prone to judge more by my heart than by head, yet I think I am right in saying it would be hard to go on working with a steadfast heart when you had reason to believe it was your duty to see that your children were not being ruined for life."

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Stephen Luscombe