Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Cornelia SorabjiIndia's Pioneering Woman Lawyer$

Suparna Gooptu

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195678345

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195678345.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy). Subscriber: null; date: 26 February 2017

(p.224) Appendix 1

(p.224) Appendix 1

Source:
Cornelia Sorabji
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

An Appeal For Donation To the Cornelia Sorabji Fund For Her Higher Studies In England

(Richard Sorabji Collection, Oxford)

Miss Cornelia Sorabji

This young lady is of Indian origin. Her father is a Parsee, who has become a Christian. Her mother is by birth Hindoo, but also a Christian, and keeps a large school at Poona, where children of all creeds, Christian, Hindoo, Mussulman, and Parsee, are successfully educated together. Miss Sorabji was so well trained there and at the Deccan College, Poona, that, at the age of 21, she passed the second B.A. examination at the Bombay University in 1887 as one of four in the first class—the others, of course, being men. She had previously gained the Havelock Prize in the Deccan College, and held the Hughlings Scholarship, which is awarded by the University to the highest candidate in the First Arts Examination. On graduating, the offer, first of a Junior, and then of a senior, Fellowship at the Guzerat Arts College at Ahmedabad, was made to her, and she accepted the latter. In this capacity she lectured to a Class of Men on English Language and Literature, her pupils being candidates both for the Previous and the two B.A. degree Examinations. Miss Cornelia Sorabji felt the undertaking to be alarming and anxious, and that there were many watching to see whether such a novel experiment would fail or succeed, but she was willing to undertake the risk, in the hope that, if successful, it might lead to a higher estimation of Indian women, whose (p.225) capacities have been so long repressed by custom and religion. She has had the reward of finding her work enjoyable, her pupils respectful and attentive, and her position increasingly agreeable and easy.

Miss Sorabji has also received a substantial reward in her promotion, on the 10th of January, 1889, to the post of Professor of English in the Guzerat College. This work has been done in the past, and will be done again in the future, by the English Principal of the College, but during an accidental interregnum of about six months, Miss Sorabji held the post, and received the salary of English Professor (being thus the first Lady Professor in India). This appointment was all the more prized by her, because its emoluments enabled her to save something towards the expenses of a visit to England, for her great wish and ambition is to go through the course necessary for the degree examination at one of the Universities here. Much interest was made to secure for her one of the Government of India Scholarships (for which her Examinations qualify her), but the Indian Government has ordered that these Scholarships are to be reserved exclusively for men. The Scholar Sent on the last occasion unfortunately succumbed to sea-sickness and turned again from Aden, so Miss Sorabji's hopes were renewed, as she did nor fear the ordeal by water, but she was again disappointed. Since, therefore, she had to depend on her own exertions, it was thought possible that some friends of female education here would be willing to lend a helping hand towards her object, either in money or in other ways. The expenses of the journey, outfit, College residence, fees, etc., for one year, cannot well be estimated under £300. Towards this she has saved about £60 from her salary, and borrowed about £60 more in India. A collection has also been made for her here amounting now (December 1889), to about £137, of which particulars are given on the following page, also a Somerville Hall Scholarship of £24 per annum has been promised. Miss Sorabji is now studying at Somerville Hall, Oxford, reading for honours in English Literature, the subject which, on the whole, she was recommended to take up. It would be advisable, if she does well and preserves her health, that she should spend two years in going through the College course in England, and also that she should pay off the debt incurred in India. It may be well to add that Miss Sorabji has made a pleasing impression at College, and among those who have had to do with her personally.

Should anyone, reading this paper, wish to assist her

(p.226) Lady Hobhouse, 15, Bruton Street

(Louisa) Lady Goldsmid, 18, Portman Square

Miss Madeleine Shaw-Lefevre, 41, Seymour Street

Miss Manning, 35, Blomfield Road, Maida Hill

Will be willing to give any further information and to receive donations, which may also be paid to Cornelia Sorabji Fund, Branch Bank of England, 1, Burlington Gardens.

Donations Received towards Miss Sorabji's Training in England

£

S.

d.

(Louisa) Lady Goldsmid

20

0

0

Lady Hobhouse

20

0

0

Miss Manning

10

0

0

Miss Madeleine Shaw-Lefevre

5

0

0

Sir Wm. Wedderburn

10

0

0

Sir Thomas Farrer

5

0

0

Mr D. M’ Laren

1

1

0

Sir Wm. Markby

5

0

0

Dow. Countess of Iddesleigh

2

0

0

Mr W. H. Stone

2

2

0

Mrs Price

2

0

0

Lady Trevelyan

2

0

0

Florence Nightingale

5

5

0

Miss Emma Goldsmid

5

0

0

Miss Agnes Zimmermann

2

0

0

Miss Rogers

0

10

0

Blanche Frizon

0

10

0

Dr Clarinda Boddy

2

0

0

Mrs George Palmer

5

0

0

Mrs R. Bayley

1

0

0

Paley

1

0

0

Mr J. H. Phillips

5

0

0

Mrs Eustace Arkwright

2

2

0

Per Miss Shaw-Lefevre

1

0

0

Miss E. G. Kemp

5

0

0

Marchioness of Ripon

5

0

0

The Lady Wantage

5

0

0

Miss Isabel Goldsmid

5

0

0

Miss Don and Friends

3

0

0

Scholarship, one term, at Somerville Hall

8

6

8

(p.227) Testimonial

Miss Cornelia Sorabji having passed the Examination for the degree of B.A. in the First Class, was appointed a Dakshina Fellow in the Guzerat College for the year 1888. As a Teacher in the College she did her work with remarkable ability and tact, in a very quiet and unassuming way, at the same time that she exercised complete control over the students. Whatever work was entrusted to her she did it in the most satisfactory manner, leaving nothing—to be desired.

I had recently, on a vacancy occurring, recommended Miss Sorabji for a Professorship in this College, and I still wish that she may be allowed to continue her connection with this college, where she has already done such good work. By her brilliant University and College career, and by her excellent work as a Teacher this year, Miss Sorabji has shown that she is preeminently fitted to supply in her person the great want felt in many large towns and in the Native States—namely, a thoroughly able and qualified Lady Superintendent for Girls' Schools.

Miss Cornelia Sorabji will carry with her the good wishes of all her colleagues in this College.

J.A. Dallal, M.A.

Nov. 19th, 1888

Principal, Guzerat College, Ahmedabad