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From: "Philip Goater" <>
Subject: Re: [INDIA-BRITISH-RAJ] The first Englishman in India
Date: Sat, 14 Apr 2007 17:15:57 +0100
References: <004301c77e11$5e7a36c0$fb3f634a@OWNER4EE78654B>
In-Reply-To: <004301c77e11$5e7a36c0$fb3f634a@OWNER4EE78654B>


I've also found this article on the web which boldly states that Thomas was
not the first Englishman to reach India but the first one to do so by
rounding the Cape of Good Hope.
http://www.mail-archive.com/ type="text/javascript">DisplayMail('goacom.com','goa-research-net');/msg00085.html
Enjoy the read!

Phil Goater, Sunbury, UK

-----Original Message-----
From:
[mailto:] On Behalf Of Arvind
Kolhatkar
Sent: 13 April 2007 22:19
To:
Subject: [INDIA-BRITISH-RAJ] The first Englishman in India

Dear Listers,

You may like to follow these links
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14292a.htm and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Father_Thomas_Stephens which describes the life
of Father Stephens, S.J., who is believed to be the first Englishman to
travel to India. He was born about 1549 at Bulstan in Wiltshire, educated
at Oxford, joined the Society Of Jesus and traveled to Goa in 1579 and lived
there till the end of his life in 1619 working among the local population.
He never returned to England.

He is well-known to those interested in the history of the Marathi language
as the author of 'Kristpurana', a metrical work of about 11,000 verses
describing in two parts the Old and the New Testaments. This book has the
distinction of being the first printed Marathi book in 1616. The language
of the book is Marathi, though the script is not Devnagari or any other
Indian script but Roman, most probably because only Roman fonts would have
been available in far-off Goa in 1616! He has called this work a 'purana',
borrowing this term from Sanskrit, in which it means 'a narration of past
events'. Marathi speakers proudly cite that in Kristapurana he called
Marathi 'the diamond among languages'!

He also did some other scholarly work on the local languages, described in
more detail in the articles cited above.

Arvind Kolhatkar, Toronto, April 13, 2007.

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