Letter from Palakkunnathu Mathews Mar Athanasius

Exibit PPP No: 241
[Certified copy of letter from the late Mar Athanasius to the Resident]

To, Major General W. Cullen,
British Resident of Travancore & Cochin

Sir, I have the honour to inform you that having been appointed by his grace the patriarch of Antioch, as Metropolitan of the syrians in Malabar and the usual Diploma granted me, I accordingly came to Travancore in 1843 and waited upon you with a view of obtaining the proclamation, of his Highness the Raja to enable me in conformity with my appointment, to enter upon the duties of my sacred office.

After being fully satisfied with the authenticity of my documentary credentials, and the legality of the appointment they were intended to confer, you were kindly pleased to obtain for me an interview with his Highness and subsequently recommended through the proper channel; my solicitation that the proclamation of his Highness may be issued in order that the Syrians in this country, may recognise me as their duly constituted Metrapolitan.

His Highness upon a deliberate cosideration of the subject was pleased to accede to your recommendation, and ordered the proclamation in question to be prepared and submitted for his Royal signature, but before this would have been done, the late Peshkar Cochin Sankara Pillai, artfully endeavoured by mis representations to prevent the proclamation being signed by his Highness, the motive that induced to adopt this course was as I am credibly informed the effect of bribery, having previsiously received from Mar Dionysius the sum of 3000 Rs. for the purpose of retaining his own usurped position and rejecting my just and lawful appointment.

How far these inproper proceeding havebeen allowed to interfere in the case, it is not for me to inquire in the case, it is not for me to inquire, but experience has sufficiently proved to me that they have not been altogether, in effectual in as much as the proclamation of His Highness remains to be signed and I am in the mean while subjected to considerable inconvenience and distress, and now for a period of nearly three years waiting at this place is continued anxiety and suspence as to the ultimate tendency of the object that concerns me.

As such result to are derogatory to the appointment I hold, and extremely reprovaseful to my character as prelate, I beg that you will be pleased once more to recommand my case for the favourable consideration of His Highness and obtain for me the proclamation of His Highness to enable me to enter upon the exercise of my sacred functions this country, and these be relieved at once of the distress, doubt and disappointment I am labouring under at present.

Trivandrum I have & C

21st March 1846 (signed) Athanasius Malabar