THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Untold lives blog

07 July 2014

Sidekicks and arch enemies in the archives

Inspired by finding Batman in the India Office Records for our last post, I decided to look for some more Gotham City characters in the baptisms, marriages, burials and wills for Europeans in India.  

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Amongst the thousand or so Robins who appear, my eye was caught by a sad entry.  Robin, whose father and mother were unknown, was baptised aged about five years at Ganjam on 6 November 1810 by W. Montgomerie acting magistrate.

  Robin baptism

IOR/N/2/4 f.372  Noc

Could I find Batman’s female sidekick, Batgirl?  How about Claire De La Bat who married Eugene Francis Duncan at the Catholic Cathedral in Calcutta on 14 August 1927 at the age of 20?

Claire De La Bat cropped
IOR/N/1/503 f.42Noc

Let’s move on to Batman’s arch enemies.  First – Mr Freeze.

Mr Freeze cropped
IOR/N/1/1 p.27 Noc

Hendrick Freeze was a soldier who was buried in Calcutta on 5 July 1719.

Next, The Riddler. Stanislaus Riddler was born on 28 September 1912 and baptised in Dacca on 10 October 1912. He was the son of John David Riddler, a railway guard, and his wife Marie Louise IOR/N/1/384 f.182].

Also, The Joker.  (Well, almost!)

  Joker 2
  IOR/N/13/17Noc

Johker Junius M F Van Hamert was a passenger on the French mail steamer Irrawaddy. He died at Aden of anaemia on 12 May 1885 aged 60 and was buried there on the same day.

Not forgetting Hush - George Hush of Calcutta made a will on 18 September 1787 leaving all his worldly goods to his mother Mary Hush of Deptford Kent [IOR/L/AG/34/29/6 f.182].  There is a detailed inventory of his possessions at death which range from carpenter’s tools, timber and ship masts, to a broad sword, a palanquin, and a cracked tureen [IOR/L/AG/34/27/9 f.240].

And finally, The Penguin. Samuel Thomas was buried in the Town Cemetery at Rangoon on 29 July 1887 aged 28.  He was a sailor on board HMS Penguin [N/1/290 f. 160].

Margaret Makepeace
India Office Records  Cc-by

Further reading : 

Batman in India 

British in India - images of the documents in this post are available from find my past

Comics Unmasked exhibition

 

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