Marshall George Hay: Great Minds

Field Marshall George Hay, 8th Marquees of Tweeddale  (1787-1876) was a  Scottish soldier and administrator. In 1842 Hay was appointed governor of Madras by the Duke of Wellington, Commander in Chief of the Madras Army. 

As Governor of Madras, Tweeddale paid only one visit to Nilgiris in 1846.   He arrived in Ooty on May 25 and stayed in Woodcock Hall. His visit benefitted the district in many ways.

Tweeddale  kick started  the work for the now famous Ooty Botanical Garden with a personal donation and arranged for the fellow Scottish Gardner McIvor to take up the task of laying out the garden.

Tweeddale overruled all objections to sanction the present road from Ooty to Kotagiri. Earlier, one had to travel around Coonoor. Another important decision of Tweeddale was the setting up of a modern market place in Ooty.

It was during Tweeddale’s stay in Ooty that he chose Wellington (earlier Jakkathala) as the site for the Military Cantonment. It was also during the time of Tweeddale that vast areas of Nilgiris attached to the Malabar district during Lushington’s period were reattached with the district.

Tweeddale finely rose up to become a Field Marshall and died in a house fire.

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