ENGINEERING SCHOOL LAHORE 1853 UNDER ENGLISH ENGINEER;
A LAHORI CHIRAGH DIN MIMAR ENLISTED SAME ON REGULAR PAY.
Tracing back Maclagan School of Engineering, nowadays Engineering University not an easy task. The college in Mughalpura was founded in 1921. The engineering school’s original name was Mughalpura Engineering College, which was renamed after Maclagan in 1923. But does one know that there was an Engineering School in Lahore inside Delhi Gate that existed as far back as 1853, and it was administered by an Engineer from Signals, namely Charles Marineau. This fellow had rented some rooms in Anarkalli around 1873 too. That shows a long stay here.
But the amazing thing is that this British engineer enlisted a local resident of Wazeer Khan Chowk for regular pay in his school, probably for work and teaching purposes, and this is in 1854. The man Chiragh din Mimar was related to Imam Bibi (perhaps father), who was from the famous Mimar family of Lahore. In fact, the certificate mentions a Kareem Baksh too. This could be Mian Kareem Baksh Mimar son of Mian Raheem Baksh Mimar, or Kareem Baksh Bindrigar, father of Azizuddin of Chowk Wazeer Khan, Lahore. Wedding nayondras in 1870s mention Chiragh Naqsha-nawees again and again, as well as Muhammed Khan Naqsha-nawees. And interesting an Englishman lives in the neighbourhood and attends the weddings too, and is known as Mirza Angrez. This is probably Charles Marineau. He has become like family to these people.
There is a letter related to Chiragh Din Mimar on a visit to build and restore a Bagh in the state of Jammu. On the back of the letter is a rough sketch of a Bagh. This is not dated, but certainly 19th century . That means this Mimar educated under a British engineer went far and wide in his work schedule. The request is allotment for land in Muzaffarabad for Shala Bagh, and there is mention of a British Colonel in it too. History is built on small documentation, when no one records it at that time. Interesting history of an engineering school in Lahore. Enjoy!