Betty Mackenzie

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Painting of Tiger

Pre WW2 Pics

The Man who mapped India

Historical Connections

Memories - Click Here to See Pictures



December 14 2005
  Painting of Tiger

This is a wonderful picture painted by Betty --In my humble, she has caught the expression on the Tiger's face as if he was ready to pounce--a work of art
Betty -- Thank you for sharing 

February 12 2005
More Pictures of pre second World War times in Tea
kindly  supplied by Betty Mackenzie 
of her late husband and family
Thank you Betty

  Back Row     Bearer,       Ayah                A Lady           Donald's Mother

 Front Row   Donald Mackenzie - The lady's daughter  - Kennethine  Donald's 

                       Donald's Mother at a christening in the late '20's

The Gravestone of Donald's Aunt Nagraka 
who died of Blackwater Fever

Donald's Father suffering from Blackwater fever 
with a Lady Minto Nurse

J. Smith, Ian and Ina Johnston Tea Planters

May 2004


Betty Mackenzie

From the earliest days to the present the aim in my case and of my blood relations in the past was to keep the blood strong through intermarriage, forming a network of cousinship from one generation to the next. We are descended from the MacAlpine
line of Scottish Kings, ecclesiastical ancient Celts, King Mohammed 
Spain, Anglo Saxon Kings, Russian Kings, oldest Scandinavian Kings, Plantagenets and Royal Stewarts with hardly a broken line. Being heritors in the past, strict records were kept before the registration of Births and Deaths. There was no caste system, only respect for Seniors. Once Presbyterian Religion was established, there was no hierarchy from once being Jacobites and Roman Catholics. Because of primogeniture, large families, losing their land after the battle of Culloden 1746, found themselves somewhat impoverished but being educated, the male noble Highlander departed for abroad: at the beginning it was the East India Company, then the Army, Civil Service and Merchant. Thus my relations Macintyre, Dundas, MacDonald and Gladstone became connected with the Dooars, all being related to each other in the 19th Century.

Lt. James Dundas V.C. Bengal Engineers, Bhutan 30th April 1865, was the son of Elizabeth Mackenzie originally descended from Gairloch and George Dundas. Lord Manor; apparently North East India was always a troublesome area, raids and unlawful acts on the British Mission, Captain Dundas led an attack and for extreme courage and leadership won the V.C.

Another outbreak of violence occurred in Looshai which threatened the Tea Plantations. The climax came when a British Tea Planter and his daughter were abducted. Major Donald Macintyre (later Major General) V.C. India Looshai Campaign 4 Jan. 1872, son of Margaret Mackenzie Gairloch, Kincraig, and Donald Macintyre Calcutta, Major Macintyre rescued the daughter and father, the Bhutanese never harmed them. For his bravery and courage he received the V.C.

MacDonald (Kalimpong) went out as an agent to Tibet : I believe that he translated the Bible intoTibetan.  His father was the famous "Apostle of the North" (Scotland).   Dr John MacDonald of Ferintosh who married Janet, daughter of the Mackenzies of Gairloch, his descendants - my distant kinsmen - live in Kalimpong to this day.       MacDonald married a Tibetan lady.

Prime Minister Gladstone's mother Anne was of the Gairloch Mackenzies. The Gladstones owned Tea Gardens in the Dooars (Gillanders) and were famous merchants.

After nine years I might never ever hear the results of my son's Police Case. My son died after an accident - at the time his death was not recorded in the Dooars, neither did he have a death certificate. He was cremated without authorisation and without a Christian Service. His father, Donald Mackenzie, died of cancer a month before in London.

The cemeteries were all vandalised and Nagrakata cemetery, which once belonged to the Gladstones, was demolished and Tea grown over it. Donald Senior's father and sister were buried there. Rungamuttee was once a beautiful cemetery, looked after by my friends the Roys. In the `sixties and early `seventies it was a small park where people could walk. Father and Son have a memorial stone on Patras Bara (ex bearer) paddy field Bagracote, given by his kind friends. The West Bengal Government Authorities refused to register my name. My name is not recorded on any papers of my dead son.

The Mackenzies were famous as Seers, at the end of 1994 Donald Mackenzie predicted that after five years the Dooars would decline and would be finished.

Police Records showed that in the old days there was hardly any crime in the Jalpaiguri District and Darjeeling District. Now with all the incomers it is a den of iniquity.

In 1959 when The Dalai Lama escaped from Tibet, we were warned that part of his escape route was through our tea garden, Bagracote
Betty Mackenz





Well educated and well connected, Colin MacKenzie was an exceptional soldier who combined active service with a passion for geography and natural history. Although born in the Western Isles, he spent much of a remarkable career in India , where he managed to bridge cultures and learned to value the history and knowledge of territories being annexed into the British Empire .

MacKenzie produced the first accurate modern maps of the Indian sub-continent and his research and collections laid the foundations for Asiatic studies in almost every field. Despite his achievements, he is relatively unknown in his home town of Stornaway .

MacKenzie; or Cailean MacCoinnich in Gaelic, was born in 1754 into the upper echelons of Lewis society - the Seaforth Mackenzies. He worked first as a customs officer in Stornaway but, aged 28, joined the East India Company as an officer in the Madras Engineers.   His mentor, Lord Napier of Merchiston, supplied him with his first subject of research into Hindu culture - Indian mathematics and the Hindu system of logarithms. MacKenzie later wrote a biography of John Napier, the inventor of natural logarithms and an ancestor of Lord Napier.

For the rest of his life, MacKenzie used his military career and salary as a captain,major and finally colonel, to finance his researches into Indian and Javan history, religion, philosophy, art ethnology, folklore and mathematics.                                     
He hired highly educated Brahmin assistants who, as well as being trained in the Western science of surveying and cartography, researched ancient Indian manuscripts for him and opened his mind to the worlds of Indian thought and culture. Later he was to spend two years in Java, during the brief period before 1815 when it was part of the British Empire , and reached Bali where he spoke out against the institution of slavery.

In 1799,he played a pivotal role in the battle of Siringipatnam in the Mysore district, which removed the most powerful tribal leader, Tipu Sultan, and paved the way for the Mysore survey between 1800 and 1810 which MacKenzie !ed.  During this survey, a massive team of draughtsmen and illustrators collated material on historic architectural sites, Hindu caste customs, folk tales, plant life and detailed mapping of the region, an unprecedented volume of work which, to his day, "sits virtually uncovered" i.e. "remains virtually unknown"

MacKenzie survived nearly 40 years in situations where many other Westerners perished in the heat or through disease and, despite a continuous longing for his homeland, fe never returned to the islands. He is buried in Calcutta , where he died in 1821.

A substantial section of his life's work is now housed in the British Library, in London . Before he died he had sent money home to build a family memorial and there is a mini temple in the cemetery outside Stornaway.                                                          But neither he, nor is brother nor sister, had any children and so there were no natural heirs to carry on the family history.

adapted from an article in The Scotsman by John Ross. 17th September 2003 .
Feb 2004

This story is told in pictures with minimum text and is an interesting pictorial collection of the past in the Tea Industry in North East India. It is a tribute to the late Donald Mackenzie by his widow Betty. 
Donald was born in India where his father was also a tea planter. Donald was educated at Gordonstoun School in Scotland . Donald was honorary big game warden and it should be noted that on every hunt they went on the appropriate authorities gave their strict permission

Donald died in 1994  and sadly their son Donald Jr died a month later.
There are some very colourful pictures of plants in the bungalow garden and of the Himalayan views .

Betty herself had a very interesting and successful career as a professional model after  traveling to marry Donald , and to live and enjoy the delights of India . She modeled for several High Couture Houses, including the well known Norman Hartnell and Christian Dior Houses.

Below are some examples of her work :



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