Chapter 11 - 1860 - A time of rapid growth.

Mary was the sister of Mr.T.Bracken who was the Assistant Superintendent of the North Division of Delta Estate. Richard would on an occasional basis visit Mr. William Sabondiere to discuss matters relating to the growing of coffee and on one of these visits was introduced to Mary, who with her father had come to see her brother. A friendship developed between them and with the good words of William Sabondiere, who was very impressed with the way that the young Richard had grown into an efficient coffee planter, became engaged in June 1860.

They planned to get married the next year. Their wedding was held at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church at Pussellawa on 6th February 1861. Witnesses at the wedding ceremony were her father Mr.J.Bracken, Mr. W. Sabondiere and Mr. Charles Henry de Soysa, a Sinhalese entrepreneur, with whom he had become friendly with during the course of his work on the Estate. The de Soysa’s were the richest family of Sinhalese planters at that time, with business interests in the transport of coffee to Colombo.
Holy Trinity Church, Pussellawa

Mrs. Cavendish agreed to construct a new house for Richard and Mary and plans were drawn up for a bungalow. The plans stated that; “Outside walls of stone, inner walls – sawn timber mudded between sawn reapers, planked floors and shingle roof. A store built next to the house. The budget for the above would be Three Hundred Pounds.

Coffee Plantation House




An extract of Richard and Mary’s Marriage Certificate is as follows.

DIOCESE OF COLOMBO
EXTRACT. CERTIFICATE OF REGISTER ENTRY
From Register of Marriage, Holy Trinity Church, Pussellawa. No: 41/37.
REGISTER OF A MARRIAGE SOLEMNIZED BY OR IN
THE PRESENCE OF A MINISTER.

MALE PARTY
FEMALE PARTY
1.NAME IN FULL OF
PARTIES
William Rowlands
Mary Bracken
2. AGE IN YEARS
Not Stated
Not Stated.
3. CIVIL CONDITIONS
Not Stated
Not Stated
4. RANK OR PROFESSION OR RACE
Not Stated
Not Stated
5. RESIDENCE
Pussellawa
Not Stated
6. FATHER’S NAME IN FULL
Not Stated
Not Stated
7. RANK OR PROFESSION OF FATHER.
Not Stated
Not Stated
8. NAME & DIVISION OF REGISTRAR WHO ISSUED CERTIFICATE.
Not Stated
9. PLACE OF SOLEMNIZATION OF MARRIAGE.
Holy Trinity Church Pussellawa

Solemnized by me or in the presence this sixth day of February 1861.

MINISTER= ( No signature given )
This Marriage was solemnizes between us{ ( No signature given of both parties.)
The Parties
In the presence of W.Wright.
1. Signature of Witness = ( No Signature given )
Name, Occupation and Residence of Witness = ( Not Stated )
2. Signature of Witness = John Bracken.
Name, Occupation and Residence = ( Not Stated )
3. Name of Witness = William Sabonadiere
4. Name of Witness = Charles De Soyza. Signed before me
( No Signature given )
----------------------------------
Minister
I certify that the above is a true copy of an entry in the Register of Marriages administered in the Holy Trinity Church Pussellawa, held in the archives of the Diocese of Colombo.
Witness my hand this 30th August 2002.
Certifying Officer
( Signature given)
f.j.r (30/8/2002)

Secretary
DIOCESE OF COLOMBO.


Altar of Holy Trinty Church, Pussellawa
Richard recorded the income and expenditure of the estate and made sure that they were within the guidelines specified by Mr. Willam Sabondiere, such as;

Based on the clearing of forest land to bring in coffee cultivation.
Year – September 1 to 31 August. First Second and Third Years:-

Purchase of 300 acres of forest land
@ 1 Pound per acre. 300 nil nil
Government survey fees 50 nil nil
Felling, lopping, burning, clearing,
Cutting pegs, lining and holing @
5 Pounds per acre for 100 acres 500 500 nil
Filling- in holes, planting and
Supplying; 100 acres @ 1Pound
Per acre. 100 100 nil
Purchase of 150,000 plants for
Planting and supplying @ 6 shillings
Per thousand 45 nil nil
Making nursery and purchase of seed 10 10 nil
Stone pillar and shingle lines 60 by 20 70 70 70
Superintendent’s bungalow 300 nil nil
Conductor’s bungalow 30 nil nil
Loss on rice 50 70 100
Purchase of tools 30 10 20
Roads, 3 miles 45 45 45
Cart-roads nil nil 200
Weeding 100 acres for @ 2 shillings
per acre per month 60 120 150
Additional weeding nil 60 120
Handling nil nil 30
Draining 200 acres @ 15 shillings nil nil 150
Superintendent’s salary 100 150 200
Conductor’s salary 50 50 50
General transport 50 50 50
Contingencies 50 50 50
Pulping House, Store, purchase and
Putting up of machinery nil nil 1,000
Picking, pulping and drying 400 cwt
Of 100 acres; 4 cwt @ 6 shillings nil nil 120
Transport to Colombo 1,900 bushels
@ 1 shilling per bushel nil nil 95
Colombo charges: curing and export
Duty nil nil 110
­__________________________________________
Total in Pounds 1,840 1,285 2,510
__________________________________________
Pounds
Total Expenditure for the period 5,635
Loss: 3 years loss of exchange on 6,015 Pounds @6% 360
_____
Total expenditure 5,995
Less income from value of 400 cwt in London
@ 67 shillings per cwt 1,340
_____
Estate Debit Carried Forward 4,655
_____

Richard determined that he would have to advise Mrs. Cavendish and Mr. William Sabondiere that based on the current rate of yield without an increase in the price of coffee in London, it was necessary to expand the estate to attain the economies of scale to make the estate profitable within a reasonable time frame.

Richard continued as the Assistant Superintendent of Delta Estate, South Division.

This was a quite period in Ceylon, mainly owing to the obstructiveness of the Colonial Secretary, who, having no faith in planting prosperity, consistently starved public works and hoarded the revenue until he amassed half-a-million sterling in a surplus balance fund, which only the Secretary of State could touch and Mr. Cardwell accordingly swept a great part away for military expenditure and appropriated the rest to the railway debt. The consequence was that the main and district roads once more became nearly impassable, while new districts, Lemastota, Kandapola, Haputale and Madulsima languished for want of means of communication.

Coffee Estate Dimbula 1860's

On the 4th of April 1864, Mary Rowlands gave birth to her first child, a son Charles Theodore Rowlands. The child died soon after. The couple were devastated at their loss.
As no action had been taken to establish the Agency, the adhoc Indian immigrant labour recruitment arrangements continued and there was a labour crisis in 1864 that prompted the following:-

On 21st May 1864, Mr. Patrick Ryan of St Clair Estate, Dimbula, submitted a draft of a prospectus for a Ceylon Cooly Immigration Association which he considered should be “embodied in the Colony without delay, as the cry for labour is getting loud and long; and as we have our Commissioner of Roads and Civil Engineering coming forward at the 11th hour and stating – “I can no longer delay addressing you all on the all important subject of labour for the Public Works of the Colony, the insufficiency of which makes it matter for serious consideration”, the latter being the wording used by the gentleman in a letter addressed to the Colonial Secretary on the 26th January 1864. At that time coffee planting in the Dimbulla district had been at a standstill for 14 months for want of labour. On some Estates in other districts the labour force consisted of 20 to 25 coolies, when 100 to 150 were required and yet on other estates there was no labour at all.

Relevant extracts from Mr. Ryan’s prospectus are as follows:-

“The object of establishing this Association is to assist in augmenting the present insufficient stock of labour in the colony; which is found to be likely to endanger the interests of all employers of labour should a continuation of the same go on for another year. It is confidently expected that by the establishment and operation of the “Ceylon Coolie Immigration Association” the Ceylon labour market will be stocked to such an extent, that all apprehensions upon the subject will cease.

Firstly, It will appoint men of thorough knowledge and experience of the native character as its Agent in the fields to be selected for them to work in; a proper camp equipage will be furnished to each itinerating Agent so as to enable them to travel from village to village and amongst the agricultural population of their respective districts; they will also have a staff of peons under them whose duties will be to go amongst the villagers and explain to them the terms offered, and the advantages to be derived by immigrating to Ceylon.

Secondly, Agents and Depots will be established at the shipping ports on the Coast where necessary, and at Colombo; for the purpose of receiving and transmitting the coolies to the employers they are intended for.

Thirdly, The Association through its Secretaries will receive and forward sums of money, from its subscribers only, to its itinerating Agents for the purpose of giving advances and “batta” to the coolies engaged for the party sending the money”.

The matter was now given serious attention and the activities of the Planters’ Association were centered on improving the conditions for labourers traveling from India and vice versa.

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