John Temple 1823 - 1866


The following extract is from "The Standard" of Dec. 30, 1902.




Mr Henry Cornish, of Lovelace Road, Sturbinton writes - "The obituary notice of the late Archbishop of Canterbury inform us that he was the son of a soldier, Major Temple, for some time Governor of Sierra Leone, but make no mention of the fact that the Archbishop's brother, John Temple, was Lieutenant Colonel in the Madras Army, who met his death over thirty years ago, through a lamentable boating accident at Madras. As I was Editor of the Madras Times at the time, and sat on the Coroner's Jury which inquired into the circumstances of Colonel's death, I am in the position to record the facts that were given in evidence. At the time of his death the Colonel was President of the newly organised Madras Municipality, an outcome of the recommendations of the Army Sanitary Commission who had strongly condemned the insanitary arrangements of the Indian towns. The post he filled needed great tact, sound judgement and indomitable energy, qualities which Colonel Temple, like his great brother, possessed in a marked degree. It was no doubt for this reason that Sir William Denison's Administration selected him for the appointment. The Colonel's capacity for work, and his popularity amongst his brother officers, may be further guaged by the fact that he was also honorary secretary of the Madras Club, one of the largest and best clubs in India, where the King was splendidly entrusted, when as Prince of Wales, he visited India. Colonel Temple's career of usefulness was suddenly cut short on December 23rd 1866, the same day of the month that his brother, the archbishop died of a stroke, when his brother was Head Master at Rugby. It appears that a Sunday tiffin party had been given by the late Mr. James McIver, Manager of the Bank of Madras, at his house, Brodie Castle, situated on the banks of the Adyar river, a picturesque suburb of Madras. Amongst the guests were Colonel Temple, Captain Frederick H. Hope, an Aide de Camp of Lord Napier, the then Governor, and Mr. Basrock, the Peninsular and Oriental Agent. About six o'clock in the evening these three gentlemen, with two Misses Melver, daughters of the host., went out for a row on the river, in a boat belonging to the house. If I recollect rightly it was a China built boat that had come from Hong Kong. I had often rowed in her myself, but never with more than four in the boat, three rowers, centre with a pair of skulls and a coxswain in the stern. My impression still is that five people were too many for her and sank her to deep in the water. The intention was to cross the river and take a stroll on the opposite bank, but after going a short distance the boat grounded on a sand bank. According to Mr. Bastock's evidence, who was the only person who saw what took place, the party had to stand on the sand bank in order to right the boat. "When the boat was again afloat, we all got in and Colonel Temple and Captain Hope were rowing. I was in the bow with the boat-bonk, to keep the channel, and I did not observe the water rising in the boat, supposed to be from a leak. The boat went down bow first, and I was first in the water"  This witness, who had a very narrow escape of having drowned himself, managed to reach one of the little island in the River Adyer , where his cries for "HELP" reached the ears of Mr. J. D. McIvor


Note: The above article gives John's death date as 1886, which is wrong and is corrected above