Source: Chaplains in the Jurisdiction of the Presidency of Fort St George from 1647 to 1805 (Rev Frank Perry, The Church In Madras 1904)
Biography: JAMES CORDINER was born at Banff in 1775; he was the son of the Kev. Charles Cordiner, the episcopal minister at that place. He graduated M. A. at the University of Aberdeen in 1793. He was chosen by Dr. Andrew Bell, on behalf of the Governors of the School, to be the Head Master of the Male Orphan Asylum at Madras in 1797. He arrived at Madras in June 1798. Within ten months he was offered and persuaded to accept a military Chaplaincy under the Government of Fort St. George, and was sent to Trincomallee in Ceylon where H.M.'s 80th Regiment then was. In the same year, 1799, the military Chaplain of Colombo died, and he was invited by the Governor, the Hon. Frederick North, to take his place. Here he remained for five years, being the only clergyman of the Church of England in the island. On his return home he became minister of St. Paul's Aberdeen, and continued so till his death in 1836. He was the author of A Voyage to India, and of the Description of Ceylon, which is still a standard book of reference on the subject.