Valentine Blacker

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In the game of life it's a good idea to have a few early losses, which relieves you of the pressure of trying to maintain an undefeated season.
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Valentine Blacker born in Armagh, Northern Ireland, 1778 - died in Calcutta, India, 4 February, 1826), was a lieutenant colonel in the Honourable East India Company and later Surveyor General of India.


  • Put your trust in God, my boys, and keep your powder dry!
    • Reported in Oliver's Advice, 1834. There is similarly a well-authenticated anecdote of Oliver Cromwell. On a certain occasion, when his troops were about to cross a river to attack the enemy, he concluded an address, with these words: "Put your trust in God; but mind to keep your powder dry!" Hayes, Ballads of Ireland, vol. 1, p. 191.


  • Blacker, with the exception of Col Everest, was the ablest and most scientific man that ever presided over this expensive department
    • Andrew Waugh quoted in J. R. Smith, Everest: The Man and the Mountain (1999), p. 226.
  • Beneath are deposited the remains of Lieut-Colonel Valentine Blacker, Companion of the Bath, of the Light Cavalry on the establishment of Fort Saint George. During ten years, Quarter Master General of the Madras Army, and subsequently Surveyor General of India. Obit. iv. February MDCCCXXVI. Aet. xl. Lieutenant-Colonel Blacker was an Officer distinguished alike for professional ability, for public zeal, for private worth, and for manliness of character. In testimony thereof his friends and comrades have caused this monument to be erected to his memory.
    • Gravestone.

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