Monday, July 5, 2010

Interior of Fort,--Date: 1855-- Bombay.-[before fort walls removed] Also Notes on the life inside Bombay fort

A photograph of the interior of the Fort, Bombay from the 'Vibart Collection of Views in South India' taken by an unknown photographer about 1855. 'By the end of the 17th century, Bombay had developed into an important local port. In 1715 Charles Boone became the Governor of Bombay. He implemented Aungier's plans for the fortification of the island, and had walls built from Dongri in the north to Mendham's point in the south. He established a force of Marines and constructed St. Thomas' Church, within the fort'. In a count made in 1794, it was found that there were 1000 houses inside the fort walls and 6500 outside.Interior of Fort, Bombay.
1841, February 24th.
 Bombay street notes:-

"The Fort is now a second Augean stable — heat suffocating.
March 24th. 
—" We are informed that H. E. has directed that the oval space called Bombay Green, in the centre of which the statue of the Marquis Cornwallis now stands, is to be neatly laid out and railed in as a garden
Sir Robert Grant
suggested the planting of all the roadsides with trees. Now un fait accompli, well and truly done."

October 12th. —
" The unhealthy position of the Colaba Barracks is now fully demonstrated." All nonsense. The two Napiers put this all to right. 

1849, February 16th. — 
" Our nuisances are the barking of pariah dogs at night. Ferocious dogs attack people at ChurCH Gate at night." I am afraid they are like the poor, " always with us." 
1850, September. —
" Eumour that Elephanta is to be turned into a tavern and ball-room." More nonsense.
The next fond anticipation has been answered by the custodians

locking the Elphinstone Garden gates at sundown. " Bombay Green — a swamp in monsoon and a receptacle of stones and dust in fine weather. Shall we ever see fond lovers there, sitting under the shade of umbrageous trees " ? 
November. —
" Children not burned, but buried in the sands of Back Bay." 

1851, May. —
 "The moat round Bombay, 2| miles in length, is now dry from end to end, and was never dry before." 
1852, June 18th. —
 " The Fort is no cleaner nor more savory than it was in your time " (say 1832). 
1852, April 11th. — 
" A monster petition to the Court of Directors, London, from the inhabitants of Bombay, against any building being erected on Bombay Green.Copy sent to every firm or individual in England who knew Bombay." 
1853, November 19th. —
" Saw a corpse strung by four cords jostled through the streets to its shallow hole in the sands of Back Bay." 

1854. —
"Hornby Eow is one of the filthiest streets in Bombay." Many letters in the papers on the Main Drain Nuisance.

August 19th. —
" The Town Hall is now in a very dirty condition ; the stairway the resort of idle gamblers and so forth.

 November. — 
" Corpses floating in harbour after the Great Storm. Public notice to abstain from fish, as was done in 1827 and '37." 
1856, September 9th. —
 " Vehar works in progress." 
1857, October 20th. — " Dr. Buist proposes to cover the main
drain." A most earnest and useful man. Who knows if the
seeds of his illness and death were not sown in such foul
surroundings ?
1858, May 15th. — 

" The sanitary condition of Bombay is a disgrace to us all."
1859, May 17th.—

" Ditch fearfully foul."
1860, February 29th. — 

"From Colaba Church to the light- house the stink might be cut with a knife.
" May 3rd. — "A
Goanese corpse from the Jejeebhoy Hospital was left at Sonapore Churchyard and eaten by vultures and dogs."

No comments: