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10 May 2014

Lost And Forgotten: Who Buried The Armenian Bishop?

Parish register transcripts from the Presidency of Bombay, 1709-1948.

Two anonymous Armenian burials and an Armenian Bishop in Bombay in 1810 almost lost amongst the many deaths of soldiers from various regiments.

Extract of a burial register for Bombay 1810
Indian registers hold basic details, no other record exists today for these long forgotten individuals. This is a sanitised return with no further information as to where and what circumstances they were buried.

An unknown Armenian man buried on the 9th October, the next day an Armenian Bishop named Mackertich and later in the month on the 28th another Armenian name unknown.  Were they buried by an Armenian priest, according to Armenian rites? It is impossible to know. There does not seem to be any kind of newspaper report for them and indeed it is difficult to know how “name unknown” could have possibly received an Armenian burial. 

The Armenian Church registers for that period in Bombay have long since gone so there are no original birth, marriage or death records of the old Armenian community save for what can be garnered from papers, documents, newspapers in repositories around the world. 

As for the Bishop Mackertich buried by someone just as anonymous as him, today he lies somewhere in the ground of a bustling Bombay, in an unknown location, long forgotten, no one to remember him but for 4 words in an old register “The Armenian Bishop Mackertich”.

Lest we forget.