Cecil Tyndale-Biscoe

Cecil Tyndale-Biscoe

Cecil Tyndale-Biscoe (9 February 1863 — 1 August 1949) was a British missionary and educationalist, working in Kashmir. He was born with the family name Tyndale: the name was changed to Tyndale-Biscoe July 1883.

Born to a land-owning family in 1863, Tyndale-Biscoe was educated at Bradfield College, and then Jesus College, Cambridge. At university he coxed the winning crew in the 1884 Boat Race and, after being awarded a BA, was ordained as a priest of the Church of England. [Gerald Studdert-Kennedy, ‘Biscoe, Cecil Earle Tyndale- (1863–1949)’, "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004)] After a short time working in London's East End, in 1890 Tyndale-Biscoe was appointed to a missionary school in Kashmir by the Church Missionary Society.

In the late 19th century, Kashmir was a princely state made up of a Muslim majority ruled by a Maharaja and his Hindu minority. The Maharaja was overseen by the British, and Kashmir was a component of the British Empire in India. Seeing the squalid conditions and caste system as a serious problem, Tyndale-Biscoe aimed to use his own Christian values and western civic ideals to improve Kashmiri society. Although he did not actively pursue conversions as much as his missionary backers would have liked, Tyndale-Biscoe was a convinced imperialist and supporter of the India Defence League. [Ibid]

Tyndale-Biscoe's educational philosophy was one in which conspicuous intellect, or 'cleverness', was valued less than the acquisition of more profound attributes and abilities. His schooling placed emphasis on physical activities — boxing, boating, football — which would stimulate senses of courage, masculinity and physical fitness. The pupils were also engaged in civic duties, such as street-cleaning, and in helping deal with flooding and cholera. Enforcing participation in team sports and activities in a highly socially-stratified culture had significance beyond the replication of Tyndale-Biscoe's English public school educational experience.

By his later years, Tyndale-Biscoe had founded six schools with 1,800 students. In 1912 he received the Kaisar-I-Hind Medal, and an additional bar in 1929. After Indian independence, he left for Rhodesia, where he died in 1949.


External links

* [http://s94913841.onlinehome.us/biscoe/ Tyndale Biscoe School] — a school, founded by the Christian Mission Society in 1880, named in Tyndale-Biscoe's honour.

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