Individual Record for: John Lawrence O'Hara

Personal and Family Information

John Lawrence O'Hara was born 1808 in Madras, India. He died MAY 1849 in Black Town, Madras, India. He was the son of Lawrence O'Hara and Unknown Female.

John Lawrence O'Hara's wife was Mary Anne Green. They were married JUL 1829 in Vepery Mission (St Matthias) Church, Madras, India. Their 7 known children were John Lawrence O'Hara, Joshua O'Hara, Richard William Francis O'Hara, Catherine O'Hara, Anne Amelia O'Hara, George James O'Hara and Mary Anne O'Hara.

Ancestors Chart (3 generations)


John Lawrence O'Hara


Lawrence O'Hara


Unknown Female



Burial16 MAY 1849Black Town, Madras, India

Other Life Events

Occupation1830Madras, IndiaVepery Church Clerk and Schoolmaster
Occupation1840Madras, IndiaVepery Church Clerk


The Vepery Church was no stranger to controversy and was at the very centre of the dispute around caste as a result of Bishop Wilson's (in)famous letter in which he declared that "the distinction of castes must be abandoned, decidedly, immediately, finally; and those who profess to belong to Christ must give this proof ...".

When the letter, translated into Tamil was read at Vepery Church in January 1834, "the sudras in the congregation left in body and their children afterwards withdrawn from the school. The catechists and schoolmasters among them were consequently after due notice dismissed" - quoted in MR Gibbs The Anglican Church in India 1620-1970 SPCK, 1972 pp 104

The Madras Almanack of 1841 reports that he is Clerk of the Vepery Church, this is not reported in the following years edition and the reason why is is replaced is presumably to do with falling out of favour because he was the publisher of the monthly "Protestant Guardian and Church of England Magazine" in 1840. The magazine first appears in the Madras Almanac in the previous year as a bi-monthly and then there is no further trace of it before or after this (Source: Madras Almanac 1841 p427).

The Protestant Guardian and Church of England Magazine gets a rather deprecatory mention in the Calcutta Christian Observer in 1840, where it is described thus:

"We have received the first two numbers of the Protestant Guardian and Church of England Magazine published at Madras. The best written articles in it, are those containing the summary of European Intelligence. We say nothing of their evident political bias" - Oriental Christian Spectator.

The church in South India was in turmoil at this time.

In the same issue of the Calcutta Christian Observer in 1840 the Madras Temperance Society was described thus:

"The report of the above Society has been forwarded to us. It contains many striking facts in reference to the use of ardent sprits, enough to make any spirit drinker pause and examine ere he lift the disputed cup to his lips again. The Society at Madras has progressed a little during the past year. We sincerely wish the advocates of Temperance Societies would take a word of advice which we have often tendered them in vain, and be temperate in the application of principles really good in themselves, and beneficial in their application when temperately good in themselves, and beneficial in their application when temperately applied, but which by the violence with which they are enforced often repel or deter those who might be willing to come under their influence".

On his burial record he is shown as being unemployed. He was regarded as such for at least the preceding two years, as this is how is described in the burial records of his wife Mary Anne who died in 1847.