Born Hensman Anthony, the sobriquet Firingee (The foreigner of European origin) was used colloquially as a reference to his Portuguese origins. Although not much is known of his early life, Anthony arrived in Bengal sometime in early 19th century and subsequently came to settle in Farashdanga, in the town of Chandannagar in West Bengal.
He married a Hindu Brahmin widow named Saudamini and was deeply influenced by Bengali culture and language, as well as the Hindu religion. Eventually, Anthony came to learn the language and composed a number of noted religious songs in devotion to the Goddesses Kali and Durga. He is noted for his Agamani Songs, celebrating the return of Goddess Durga to her parents home that marks the Bengali Autumn festival of Durga Puja. Anthony is also noted for his literary face-offs in Kavigans, or Bard’s duels, with a number of noted Bengali composers including Bhola Moira, Ram Basu and Thakur Singha. Anthony also helped construct a temple to Goddess Kali in the Bowbazar locality of Central Calcutta known as ‘Firinghi Kalibari‘. His wife Saudamini was burnt to death, for being a widow and remarrying Anthony, who was a foreigner.[