Aiyar, Sir Tiruvarur Mutuswamy
AIYAR, SIR TIRUVARUR MUTUSWAMY (1832-1895), native Indian judge of the high court of Madras, was born of poor parents in the village of Vuchuwadi, near Tanjore, on the 28th of January 1832. His widowed mother was forced by poverty to remove with Mutuswamy and his brother to Tiruvarar, where the former learnt Tamil, and soon set to work under the village accountant at a monthly salary of one rupee. About this time he lost his mother, whose memory he cherished with reverence and affection to the last. His duty took him to the court-house of the tehsildar, Mr Naiken, who soon remarked his extraordinary intelligence and industry. There was an English school at Tiruvarar, where Mutuswamy managed to pick up an elementary knowledge of the English language. Mr Naiken then sent him to Sir Henry Montgomery's school at Madras, as a companion to his nephew, and there he won prizes and scholarships year after year. In 1854 he won a prize of 500 rupees offered to the students of the Madras presidency by the council of education for the best English essay. This success brought him to the notice of Sir Alexander Arbuthnot and Mr Justice Holloway. He was offered help to proceed to England and compete for the civil service, but being a Brahman and married, he declined to cross the ocean. Instead he entered the subordinate government service, and was employed in such various posts as school-teacher, record-keeper in Tanjore, and in 1856 deputy-inspector of schools. At this time the Madras authorities instituted the examination for the office of pleaders, and Mutuswamy came out first in the first examination, even beating Sir T. Madhavarao, his senior by many years. Mutuswamy was then appointed in succession district munsiff at Tranquebar, deputy-collector in Tanjore in 1859, sub-judge of south Kanara in 1865, and a magistrate of police at Madras in 1868. While serving in the last post he passed the examination for the degree of bachelor of laws of the local university. He was next employed as a judge of the Madras small causes court, until in 1878 he was raised to the bench of the high court, which office he occupied with ability and distinction for over fifteen years, sometimes acting as the chief justice. He attended by invitation of the viceroy the imperial assemblage at Delhi in 1877. In 1878 he received the honour of C.I.E. and in 1893 the K.C.I.E. was conferred on him. But he did not live long to enjoy this dignity, dying suddenly in 1895. Mutuswamy was too devoted to his official work to give much time to other pursuits. Still he took his full share in the affairs of the Madras university, of which he was nominated a fellow in 1872 and a syndic in 1877, and was well acquainted with English law, literature and philosophy. He was through life a staunch Brahman, devout and amiable in character, with a taste for the ancient music of India and the study of the Vedas and other departments of Sanskrit literature.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)