MADAPOLLAM, n.p. This term, applying to a particular kind of cotton cloth, and which often occurs in prices current, is taken from the name of a place on the Southern Delta-branch of the Godavery, properly Madhavapalam, [Tel. Madhavayya-palemu, ‘fortified village of Madhava’]. This was till 1833 [according to the Madras Gloss. 1827] the seat of one of the Company’s Commercial Agencies, which was the chief of three in that Delta; the other two being Bunder Malunka and Injeram. Madapollam is now a staple export from England to India; it is a finer kind of white piece-goods, intermediate between calico and muslin.

[1610.—“Madafunum is chequered, somewhat fine and well requested in Pryaman.”—Danvers, Letters, i. 74.]

1673.—“The English for that cause (the unhealthiness of Masulipatam), only at the time of shipping, remove to Medopollon, where they have a wholesome Seat Forty Miles more North.”—Fryer, 35.

[1684- 85.—“Mr. Benja Northey having brought up Musters of the Madapollm Cloth, Itt is thought convenient that the same be taken of him. …”—Pringle, Diary Ft. St. Geo. 1st ser. iv. 49.]

c. 1840.—“Pierrette eût de jolies chemises en Madapolam.”—Balzac, Pierrette.

1879.—“… liveliness seems to be the unfailing characteristic of autographs, fans, Cremona fiddles, Louis Quatorze snuff-boxes, and the like, however sluggish pig-iron and Madapollams may be.”—Sat. Review, Jan. 11, p. 45.

MADRAFAXAO, s. This appears in old Portuguese works as the name of a gold coin of Guzerat; perhaps representing Muzaffar-shahi. There were several kings of Guzerat of this name. The one in question was probably Muzaffar-Shah II. (1511–1525), of whose coinage Thomas mentions a gold piece of 185 grs. (Pathán Kings, 353).

1554.—“There also come to this city Madrafaxaos, which are a money of Cambaya, which vary greatly in price; some are of 24 tangas of 60 reis the tanga, others of 23, 22, 21, and other prices according to time and value.”—A. Nunez, 32.

MADRAS, n.p. This alternative name of the place, officially called by its founders Fort St. George, first appears about the middle of the 17th century. Its origin has been much debated, but with little result. One derivation, backed by a fictitious legend, derives the name from an imaginary Christian fisherman called Madarasen; but this may be pronounced philologically impossible, as well as otherwise unworthy of serious regard.1 Lassen makes the name to be a corruption of Manda-rajya, ‘Realm of the Stupid!’ No one will suspect the illustrious author of the Indische Alterthumskunde to be guilty of a joke; but it does look as if some malign Bengalee had suggested to him this gibe against the “Benighted”! It is indeed curious and true that, in Bengal, sepoys and the like always speak of the Southern Presidency as Mandraj. In fact, however, all the earlier mentions of the name are in the form of Madraspatanam, ‘the city of the Madras,’ whatever the Madras may have been. The earliest maps show Madraspatanam as the Mahommedan settlement corresponding to the present Triplicane and Royapettah. The word is therefore probably of Mahommedan origin; and having got so far we need not hesitate to identify it with Madrasa, ‘a college.’. The Portuguese wrote this Madaraza (see Faria y Sousa, Africa Portuguesa, 1681, p. 6); and the European name probably came from them, close neighbours as they were to Fort St. George, at Mylapore or San Thomé. That there was such a Madràsa in existence is established by the quotation from Hamilton, who was there about the end of the 17th century.2 Fryer’s Map (1698, but illustrating 1672-73) represents the Governor’s House as a building of Mahommedan architecture, with a dome. This may have been the Madrasa itself. Lockyer also (1711) speaks of a “College,” of which the building was “very ancient”; formerly a hospital, and then used apparently as a residence for young writers. But it is not clear whether the name “College” was not given on this last account. [The Madras Admin. Man. says: “The origin of this name has been much discussed. Madrissa, a Mahommedan school, has been suggested, which considering the date at which the name is first found seems fanciful. Manda is in Sanscrit ‘slow.’ Mandaraz was a king of the lunar race. The place was probably called after this king” (ii. 91). The Madras Gloss. again writes: “Hind. Madras, Can. Madarasu, from Tel. Mandaradzu, name of a local Telegu Royer,” or ruler. The whole question has been discussed by Mr. Pringle (Diary Ft. St. Geo., 1st ser. i. 106 seqq.)). He points out that while the earliest quotation given below is dated 1653, the name, in the form Madrazpatam, is used by the President and Council of Surat in a letter dated 29th December, 1640 (I. O. Records, O. C. No. 1764); “and the context makes it pretty

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission.
See our FAQ for more details.