in 1599, Syrian clerics, doctrines and rituals were cast aside and Syrian libraries burned. Nevertheless, resistance to Catholic hegemony continued, with local leaders showing great resilience in surviving cultural domination. In 1653, at a solemn assembly of notables and kattanars at Koonen Cross (Koonen Kurisu), Thomas Christians for the first time consecrated their own Indian metran. Followers of Mar Thoma I, called the 'Puthencoor (New Group), continued to struggle against domination. After the Dutch conquered Cochin, a Jakoba metran arrived in Malabar, sent by the catholicos of Antioch (from Debhikr). His efforts to take control led to further struggles for ecclesiastical ascendancy -between Antioch and Babylon, as well as with Rome.
The first two British Political Residents in Travancore and Cochin were Colin Macaulay (1800-10) and Sir John Munro (1811-19). In 1809 and 1811, after Company troops put down insurgencies and 'rescued' him, Maharajah Raja Rama Varma (d. 1814) made Munro diwan; and under Lakshmi Rani (d. 1814) and Parvati Rani (1814-29), he became virtual ruler of Travancore. Both Residents, devout evangelicals, favoured Thomas Christians, showing a partiality that would have brought reprimands elsewhere in India. Munro rescued Christians from compulsory service and temple taxes, and appointed Christiansto district judgeships. When the Malayalam translation of the Syriac Scriptures was completed, he had copies printed and placed in every church. In 1813, on lands endowed by the Rani, a seminary was established in Kottayam. By 1816, training of pastors (kattanars) and teachers (malpans) had begun, with instruction both in Malayalam and Syriac, twenty-five enrolled students and the metran himself in residence. Four CMS missionaries - Thomas Norton, Benjamin Bailey, Joseph Fenn and Henry Baker - taught in the seminary and were allowed to preach in Thomas Christian churches.
The year 1816 also saw the death of Mar Dionysus. On Munro's request, Mar Philoxenos became metran. But Philoxenos, pleading bad health, soon consecrated Punnathra George kattanar. Metran Mar Dionysius III convened the Synod of Mavelikkara in 1818, with missionaries sitting on each side, as if by right. When the assembly of kattanars was asked to make all ceremonies, doctrines and rites conform to the Scriptures (as interpreted by the missionaries), Konattu, a leading malpan, warned that changes were coming too rapidly - clergy were marrying, schools opened, Malayalam Scriptures read each Sunday, and images removed.
Munro retired in 1820, and relations soon deteriorated. Hindu resentments against Thomas Christians resurfaced and suspicions of missionaries increased. After Mar Dionysius III died in 1825, the new metran, elected by a synod of clergy and laity, was Philipose malpan. Consecrated as Mar Dionysius IV, he did little
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