1888 - 1896
|Buildings in Madras:
Madras Cricket Club Pavilion (opened to Members in 1891 and used until demolished in 1970s
The property was bought by Tawkers in 1893 and "the building was raised not long after that" (6). Demolished 1979.
is attributed to Irwin (6). Build of smoothed granite, it was completed in 1922. In view of this date any direct involvement would appear unlikely. Nonetheless his influence is clearly visible.
In 1897 Henry Irwin received the contract for the design of a new palace in Mysore to replace the one burnt down in the previous year.
Horses were an important part of the Irwin family life. Henry was an inveterate punter at the horse races, a fact which has remained in the collective family memory more than his professional achievements. It is recalled that regularly after loosing a substantial sum of money at the race-course he would visit the jewellers (perhaps Tawkers?) and buy something extravagant for his wife Henrietta on the way home. One of Henry's recorded laments was "I've too many horses and too many daughters!". Both expensive affairs!
Nonetheless the family's attention to horses also had its successful side. During the summer months the family would go to the hill station of Madras State, Outacamund or Ooty as it was known to the British, to escape the damp heat of Madras. In an article on the history of the Ooty Hunt , the Field notes that "the first ladies' point-to-point was won by Miss Honora Irwin on Mercury in 1892" . Honora was only 14 at the time. But the competition in the family was keen. There was not sufficient money for all the daughters to have their own riding boots and family legend has it that the girls would go to bed with the riding boots on, just to make sure they were not taken by one of their sisters before the morning.
Family events during the period