Details of THOMAS FOULKES

Born: 1826

Died: 1901

Source: CMS Missionaries, Chaplains in the HEICS 1858-62 (Rev Frank Perry, The Church In Madras 1904)

Biography: THOMAS FOULKES was born in Wales in 1826. He went to the C.M. College, Islington, in 1846; was ordained deacon in 1848 by the Bishop of London, and priest by the Bishop of Madras in 1851. He worked in the Tinnevelly district from 1849 to 1855, and then at Madras till 1858, when he took charge of the Tamil Cooly mission in Ceylon for a year. In 1859 he gave up his mission work, and in 1861 was appointed a Chaplain on the recommendation of Bishop Dealtry. He was a Tamil scholar of some eminence, and a member of several learned societies. He was the author of A Catechism of the Shaiva Religion; An Elementary Treatise on Vedantism; An Essay on the Power of the Tamil Letter R; and contributed articles to the Journal of the Eoyal Asiatic Society. He also translated the Hindu Law of Inheritance, the Legends of the Shrine of Harihara, and a Vedantic Poem by Talwaraya Swami; and compiled a school geography for the State of Travancore. He worked as a missionary from 1849 to 1861, first in the Tinnevelly District, then in Ceylon, and then in Madras; but his heart was never in his missionary work. He was an Oriental scholar of repute, and was nominated to a Fellowship in the University of Madras; his translations of Tamil literature were of no use to the missionary cause. He served at Secunderabad, Trevandrum, Trichinopoly, Vepery, Coonoor, Calicut, Bangalore, and Coimbatore, and retired in 1886. His second wife was a daughter of James Fischer, a Zemindar of Salem. When he retired he made his home at Salem, and acted as honorary Chaplain of that station from 1886 to 1895. He died in 1901.