Details of JAMES HOUGH

Born: 1789

Died: 1847

Source: Chaplains in the HEIC 1805 to 1835 (Rev Frank Perry, The Church In Madras 1904)

Biography: JAMES HOUGH was a native of Cumberland and was born in 1789. He was nominated by Charles Simeon and was appointed to a Chaplaincy in 1815. The fact of his nomination by Simeon leads one to suppose that he was a student at Cambridge at the time. He arrived at Madras in 1816, and was welcomed and entertained by Marmaduke Thompson till he was sent to Palamcottah. Here he remained five years, devoting his chief attention to the mission work of the district. His proper work as a Chaplain was among the European officers, soldiers, and civilians of the station; but he was much more interested in mission work than in the pastoral care of his countrymen. He nursed the old S.P.C.K. Mission established by Schwartz, superintended the native catechists and schoolmasters, and repaired the mission schoolrooms and chapels in Palamcottah and the surrounding villages. As the S.P.C.K. could not send a European missionary to shepherd the many Christians of the district, he paved the way for the C.M.S. by purchasing some land for them. In 1821 he was transferred to Poonamallee. Here his health broke down, so that after a year's work he was obliged to go to England. On his return in 1824 he was, at the instance of Marmaduke Thompson, made Junior Presidency Chaplain at St. George's. But he was unable to bear the heat of the climate. In 1826 he travelled through the Nilgiris to the west coast, and went home in that year not to return. In 1828 he entered as a Fellow Commoner at Queen's College, Cambridge, and graduated B.A. in 1832 and M.A. in 1835. Hough wrote and published many books during his furlough to England and after his retirement from the Company's Service. His first book was a reply to the Abbe Dubois (1824), who took a gloomy view of the prospect of any missionary success in India. His second book (1829) was a collection of letters on the climate, scenery, and productions of the Nilgiris. Then came some volumes of sermons, The Missionary's Vade Mecum (1832), and an informing booklet on the immolation of Hindu widows (1833). In 1837 the missionary work of the Church in India was violently attacked by Dr. (afterwards Cardinal) Wiseman. Hough replied to the attack and vindi cated the methods employed. But his greatest work was the History of Christianity in India in five volumes, which he compiled between 1839 and 1847 with the assistance of his son. In 1834 he became vicar of Ham in Surrey, and in the same year the C.M.S. wisely invited him to join their committee, and to give them the benefit of his local knowledge of Madras missionary affairs. He died at Hastings and was buried at Ham in 1847, being succeeded in the vicarage by his son, the Rev. T. G. P. Hough, who assisted him in the compilation of his history and saw the work through the press.