James Taylor was 16 years old when he arrived in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in 1851 from Scotland, and was employed on Loolecondera Estate in Hewaheta. He is considered Father of the tea industry in Sri Lanka, as he was the first to plant 19 acres of tea, on a commercial basis, in 1867. He died in 1892 and did not see the success of his pioneering efforts which created Ceylon’s great tea industry.
James Taylor was a very big made man and when he died, 24 men carried him to Mahaiyawa Cemetery, Kandy, a distance of 18 miles from Loolecondera Estate, two gangs of twelve taking turns every 4 miles. They started from the Estate in the morning and got to the cemetery at 4.00 p.m.
The Burial Service was conducted in the Chapel of the Rest by the clergy of St. Paul’s Church, Kandy. The monument to this great man, James Taylor, stands tall in the Anglican Section of the Mahaiyawa Cemetery.