James Wheatley

Last Name: 
First Name: 
Grave Plot No.: 
Date of birth: 
year of death: 
date of death: 
Age at death: 
28 years, 1 month and 10 days
Full Epitaph: 
Sacred to the memory of James Wheatley, Police Constable, who was murdered in the execution of his duty on the 26th March 1844. Aged 28 years, 1 month, 10 days. ----- This monument is erected to his memory by his brother officers and friends. -J Weaver Sculp.
Police Constable, Calcutta Police
Cause of death: 
Murdered during the execution of duty
Tomb architecture: 
Pedestal tomb
Detailed information: 

James Wheatley was a British police constable who was murdered during the execution of duty - one of the rare cases where a European police officer was murdered in Calcutta during this period.

Paraphrase of the report that appeared in the Bengal Harkaru (Sections of the print are corrupt, but there's nothing in the following account that is conjectural):

Wednesday, 27 March 1844
There was some disturbance in the neighbourhood of Jaunbazaar the night before the murder when some Malays had broken into a fight with some Mohamedan lascars. A few had been apprehended by policemen from the local thana, but they were rescued by the Malays, who assaulted the Chowkidars in charge. This was reported to the superintendent of police who sent a few men the next morning to apprehend those guilty. The Malays were armed with knives “and apparently ready to run amuck against everyone who attempted to come in their way. On this being made known” a larger force was sent, headed by constables Thornton, Wheatley, Sullivan and Pike. After some enquiry they discovered the location and proceeded through a passage leading to a native homestead, where the principal Malays were believed to be secreted. Constable Wheatley entered this house. [...]The constables were attacked. Four of the Malays targeted Pike, who, thanks to the dexterity of his legs, ran away. Thornton was attacked by three knife-wielding men. He was obliged to stand and defend himself, having been injured in the “Mahomedan College affray”. Wheatley was stabbed through the heart. The Deputy Super, Mr. McCann arrived with reinforcement and rushed the surviving members to Chandney Hospital. Wheatley died on the spot and it was certified by Dr. Maxton who examined his body.
The neighbourhood was encircled, preventing any escape. The Malays had taken refuge in a bungalow, which was put under siege by the police after another reinforcement arrived in the form of a number of sepoys. The Malays were hiding in various parts, some on top of the building, threatening to run amuck if disturbed. They were mostly rounded up—“about twenty rotund, short but athletic Malays were taken into custody with a few women who were also concealed in the house.” The murderer of Wheatley was not discovered with these men, by Constable Perry found him hiding in the outhouse and apprehended him.

Tomb built by: 
J Weaver
Tomb placed by: 
His "brother officers and friends"
Buried by: 
James Charles, Senior Minister, St. Andrew's Church
Photo name/s: 
This record has been created by:: 

Sujaan Mukherjee and Purba Hossain