Friday, April 1, 2011

[2]of 9-Glimpses of old Bombay and western India, with other papers (1900)











[PART 10]

                                                                 press ctrl and + to see larger images

                                DEDICATED TO THE FIRST CITY-MUMBAI-[BOMBAY] ;OF INDIA.-PART     2of 9

                                                                 Gerald Aungier


  was appointed the President of the Surat factory and Governor of Bombay in 1672, and remained at this post till 1675. He offered various inducement to skilled workers and traders to set up business in the new township. As a result, a large number of Parsis, Armenian, Bohras, Jews, Gujarati banias from Surat and Diu and Brahmins from Salsette came to Bombay. The population of Bombay was estimated to have risen from 10,000 in 1661 to 60,000 in 1675.

                          Gerald Aungier established the first mint in Bombay.

In Bombay, Governor Aungier formed a militia of local Bhandari youth to deal with organized street-level gangs that robbed sailors in 1669. Thus, Bhandari Militia was the first police establishment in Mumbai(then Bombay) during British India.In Bombay

Saint Thomas's Church, Bombay.[The Bhandari Militia was the first Police establishment in Mumbai (then Bombay) during British India. Marine Police Force- After the setting up of the British East India Company in Bombay, the Middle Ground Coastal Battery island (situated a few hundred metres away from the Gateway of India), was fortified in 1682 to curb the piracy in the area. Later a marine police force, composed of Bhandaris, were stationed there to keep an eye on the pirates who used to board ships. The Bhandaris were chosen for their loyalty, honesty and local knowledge. With their yellow trousers and blue turbans , the police were a formidable sight. After piracy moved to the South China Sea, about two hundred years ago, the police were disbanded and the Royal Navy gained control of the rock]Saint Thomas's Church, Bombay.

 In 1670 the Parsi businessman Bhimjee Parikh imported the first printing press into Bombay

Bombay Herald was the first English newspaper in Bombay. It was started in 1789. Bombay Courier was started in the following year 1790. In 1791, the name of Bombay Herald was changed to Bombay Gazette. Bombay Courier was published on Saturdays and Gazette on Wednesdays.

Bombay Courier continued to exist for fifty-six years, after which it was merged with Bombay Telegraph. Bombay Gazette stopped its operation in 1842

. Aungier planned extensive fortifications from Dongri in the north to Mendham's Point (near present day Lion Gate) in the south. However, these walls were only built in the beginning of the 18th century. The harbour
was also developed, with space for the berthing of 20 ships. In 1686, the Company shifted its main holdings from Surat to Bombay.

During the Portuguese occupation, Bombay exported only coir and coconuts. With the coming of many Indian and British merchants, Bombay's trade developed. Soon it was trading in salt, rice, ivory, cloth, lead and sword blades with many Indian ports as well as with Mecca and Basra. The island of Salsette also exported rice.
 Land in Bandra, Parel, Vadala and Sion was given to the Jesuits. Records speak of two churches built in Girgaum, a Jesuit church in Bandra in 1570 and a fort in Mahim. Of these, only St.
Andrew's Church in Bandra can still be seen.
With the annexation of Portugal by Spain in 1580, and the defeat of the Spanish Armada by the British eight years later, the way was open for other European powers to follow the spice routes to India and further East. The Dutch arrived first, closely followed by the British. An account of
the Portuguese towns in India
, in the year 1583, has been left by a member of the first band of English merchants who tried to reach India.

The Portuguese encouraged intermarriage with the local population, and strongly supported the Catholic church; going to the extent of starting the Inquisition in India in the year 1560. The result was a growing mixed population which supported the Portuguese in times of strife. However, their intolerance of other religions, seen in the forcible conversion to Christianity of the local Koli population in Bombay, Mahim, Worli and Bassein, had the effect of alienating the local population.

Control over Bombay was exerted indirectly, through vazadors who rented the islands.

The vazador of Bombay was a certain Garcia da Orta. He built a manor house on the island in 1554. On his death in Goa, in 1570, the island was passed on to his sons

"Durbar of a lesser Maratha ruler" c.1820s

Durbar hall, unidentified, Maratha school, c.1820

Source:  A Second Paradise: Indian Courtly Life 1590-1947, by Naveen Patnaik (New York: Metropolitan Museum, 1985), p. 113; scan by FWP, Sept. 2001

"Durbar Hall. Unidentified Maratha school; c. 1820; 31.5 x 24.5 cm. Private collection."

"With the weakening of Mughal power, the Marathas spread from their homelands in the Deccan and established principalities in many parts of northern India. Wearing a characteristic Maratha turban and smoking his huqqa (hookah), this royal personage gives audience in the perspective of a splendid hall of whitewashed stone enriched with the blue and white striped daris (dhurries), carpets, and imported glass oil lamps." (A Second Paradise, p. 184)

Glimpses of old Bombay and western India, with other papers (1900)

THE BLACK DEATH.,or Bubonic plague OF 1898 BOMBAY

THE BLACK DEATH,or Bubonic plague

The Symptoms 

"The symptoms were the following: a bubo in the groin, where the thigh meets the trunk; or a small swelling under the armpit; sudden fever; spitting blood and saliva (and no one who spit blood survived it). It was such a frightful thing that when it got into a house, as was said, no one remained."

-- Marchione di Coppo Stefani, The Florentine Chronicle (c. 1380)
On August 15th, 1348, which means 25th by our calendar, a strange disease appeared at  Bristol. The harvest of that year could not be gathered for rain, and, while it lay rotting in  the fields, people were wondering how they would subsist during the coming winter. It looked as if half the population would not be able to find bread. It never occurred to anyone that in a few months half the population would cease to exist. At first people were disposed to laugh at the new importation, and they thought little of it ; but by and bye, when a thousand or two fell before it, unconcern gave way to the deepest anxiety or the wildest terror. People fled from it as from a destroying angel. The mysterious visitor which had reached our shores was the most mortal of all epidemics, and was no other than the black death, or Bubonic plague of the Ptolemies and of Justinian, and carried the mind back to the emerods and rats of Gaza and Askelon with the Ark, and the " oxen lowing as they went " on their way to Kirjath-jearim.

No Time for Goodbyes

[The black death victims] "ate lunch with their friends and dinner with their ancestors in paradise."

-- Giovanni Boccaccio

The disease had never been known in England before it appeared in Bristol in 1348, and it deserves to be noted that it remained domesticated on the soil of England, with slight intermissions, for three hundred years, and never left our shores until it finally took its departure in 1666, since which date, let us thank God, it has never returned.

It reached London on November 1st, 1348 ; but the news of its approach by ships from the  levant and from across the Channel had long preceded it. As the mighty wave rolled from reahn to realm, the tidings came like the portents of a thunderstorm. There had been mutterings from the Caspian, the Bosphorus, and the Adriatic. Cairo, Damascus, and
Byzantium were merely the milestones of its onward journey.
Boccaccio limned it at Florence; Petrarch spoke of it as a world's wonder ; and Laura died of it at Avignon.
Skeletons found at SpitalfieldsMass graves have been found of victims of the Black Death  ©It seemed to have come to a head in England when Bradwardine, Archbishop of Canterbury, died of it at Lambeth on August 2Gth, 1349, one week only after his arrival at Dover, with the fatal botch in the armpits. Long before this, thousands had fled from the various cities of Europe and Asia. The Bosphorus was subsidised by Constantinople, while Naples fled to the slopes of Mount Vesuvius, Rome to the Alban Hills, Florence to the Apennines, London to Epsom or the New Forest, and Edinburgh to the Braid Hills, while, away over the sea, Damascus was makinsg tracks for the Lebanon, and Cairo for the Lybian Desert, and Delhi, under Tughlak, was being shovelled wholesale to Dowlatabad. I stop not to inquire the
reason why. Famine was in evidence and plague in India in 1345.

The duration of the Black Death in London was seven to eight months, and in all England  fourteen months, the population of the city being then about 200,000. It had the same duration as the plague of 1666, the same curve of increase, maximum intensity, and decrease. The five highest weeks of 1563 were successively in deaths, 1,454, 1,626, 1,372,
1,828 and 1,262 ; and 1348 resembled it.
Boccaccio – The Black Death Comes to Florence | Father Theo's Blog 
Father Theo's Blog - 

The Living Hurry Past the Dead: The Black Death in Florence, Italy, 1348 (Drawing by Marcello)

At Avignon it was very fierce: sixty-seven Carmelite monks were found dead in one monastery, no one outside having heard that the plague was among them. In the English
College the whole of the monks were said to have died of it.
History of the Black Death - HubPages
Images may be subject to copyright. Learn More
Plague Victims Being Blessed by a Priest

At first science and its students walked up boldly to it. It was belabouring an elephant with a feather. They then pelted it with nostrums. The Black Death would be neither scotched nor killed, and laughed at science and empiricism. The wisest doctors of the age in every country in which it appeared were confounded. How and whence it came, how long it would remain, over what area it would spread — the Black Death was inscrutable. The disease defied  investigation and cure.

 Petrarch tells us, " If you question the philosophers they shrug their shoulders, wrinkle their brows, and lay the finger on the lip"; or, as Lucretius wrote in reference to the plague in Egypt, " The healing art muttered low in voiceless fear." All the medical records of 1348-49, if printed, would not fill one of our daily newspapers. The sovereignty of man lies hid in knowledge. How much do we know about it ?

Fearing the Black Death was a Punishment from God, Roving Bands of Flagellants Lashed Themselves to Seek Divine Forgiveness 

Meanwhile Kali, with her necklace of human skulls, secure in her seat, rode on in triumph, conquering and to conquer. You may find her footprints on the mounds of Delhi, as well as in the ruins of Memphis, for it was she who made them both. Everything consumable was to be burned up ; and until that came to pass there would be no end to the great tragedy which
involved twenty-five millions of human beings.

One Positive Outcome: The End of Serfdom

At this time – it’s worth remembering that the 1381 Peasants’ Revolt had at least part of its origins in a pandemic: the Black Death of 1348-9, which killed maybe half Europe’s population.

The disruption the plague introduced led to huge social upheaval (whole towns & villages died or people fled); to loosenings of bonds of feudal society in England. labour shortage led to villeins leaving the manors they were tied to in search of better conditions. Some demanded concessions from lords.

The lower class workers in England had been been enduring a miserable life under the feudal system. Their life, known as serfdom, was virtual slavery. The black death reduced the number of laborers available work on the land. The workers demanded higher wages and

The disease now among us in 1898 is the same as the Black Death of 1348.

It is the same in its causes, its antecedents, and its mortal effects. Its characteristics are mostly the same. Its violence and rapidity are in cases as intense, though its contagious-
ness is less apparent. The exception of the general immunity of Europeans from attack hitherto has proved a stupendous mercy for us all. But, in its sweep, the plague of 1348 far exceeds our own ; for it took a much more extended range, embraced an area wide as the known earth, desolated some of its fairest regions, and swept a majority of population from the greatest cities of the world. Asia Minor, for example, seems never to have recovered from its desolating effects. The two catastrophes, as far as we know, were the same in their origin. Man, and man alone, was responsible for them both.

 Man does not make the earthquake, the cyclone, or the thunderbolt; but he makes the pestilence. It is he, and he alone, who allows filth to accumulate, surround and enter his dwelling, soak into the soil, and impregnate it with its deadly poison. This is not
" the act of God or the Queen's enemies " (as the old shipping
documents express it). Frankenstein creates the monster that destroys ' him ; or as Homer hath it, " We blame the gods for that, of which we ourselves are the authors." We have been
Bombay Photo Images[ Mumbai]: [2]of 9-Glimpses of old Bombay and western  India, with other papers (1900)

Bombay and western India ...

A hostile public reaction

The rigorous implementation of the measures led to a true exodus, nearly half of Bombay's estimated 850,000 population left the city between October 1896 and February 1897, to escape the plague and Government measures. Their departure, which meant a great loss to commerce and industrial life, sadly helped the disease to spread. Those who remained seemed petrified by fear, suspicion, and rumours. One may ask why.
Medical intervention started with an examination of the body in search of the characteristic lymphatic swellings or buboes. Exposure to the gaze of Western medical practitioners (male and white) and, even worse, their (polluting) physical touch presented a huge problem. Yet, such an examination could be expected almost everywhere. Initially there had been house searches in which the use of the so-called 'white bulls' (British troops) provoked severely hostile reactions, as the soldiers had recently been involved in a series of violent racial incidents. There were plague docters on railway stations where people could be separated into a male and a female queue for examination and there were examinations on the streets, as well. The public character of these examinations was humiliating

seeking for its origin in many places ; and as distance lends enchantment to the view, we have gone to Hongkong, to the slopes of the Himalayas, the roof of the world, or the back of
the east wind. " It is not in heaven, neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, who shall go over the sea for it and bring it to us ? " It is verily at your own doors at Mandvie,
190 foot above the level of high tide.

 Volney remarks, "In a crowded population, and under a hot sun and in a soil filled
deep with water during several months of every year, the rapid putrefaction of bodies becomes a leaven of plague and other disease." And Creighton, a hundred years thereafter {Epidemics of Britain, 891): "Given a soil charged with animal matter, the risk of those living upon it is in proportion to the range of fluctuation of the ground water."

"The Plague in Bombay: House to House Visitation," from the Illustrated London News, 1898 (with modern hand coloring);

Government measures

According to David Arnold (1993: 204), the municipality 'embarked on a massive, almost comically thorough, campaign of urban cleansing, flushing out drains and sewers with oceans of seawater and carbolic, scouring out scores of shops and grain warehouses (in the vicinity of which many of the first cases had occurred), sprinkling disinfectant powder in alleyways and tenements (spending more than Rs 100,000 on disinfectant alone by the end of March 1897) and, more tragically, destroying several hundred slum dwellings in the hope of extirpating the disease before it could establish itself.'
Legislation needed to be extended (6 October 1886) or newly framed (All India Act to Provide for the Better Prevention of the Spread of Dangerous Epidemic Disease, February 1897) in order to empower government authorities to take draconian measures, the segregation and hospitalization of suspected plague cases, the destruction of infected property, evacuation of people, prohibition of fairs and pilgrimages, examination and detention of road and rail travellers, and the inspection of ships and their passengers.

The reader need not be reminded that a considerable portion of Bombay is under the level of high tide,and presents obvious difficulties to the drainage engineer. Add to this the volume
of water which is poured in day and night by the Tulsi and Tansa aqueducts, and the fact that there are wide spaces in Donibay where there are more people crammed within the

same area than in any city in the world.

Each of these plagueswas heralded by the same antecedents. You remember the
great rain of 1896. It rained day and night consecutively inBombay for two or three months
(eighty-seven inches) almost without intermission.

This was in June, July and part of  August, followed, of course, by tropical heat. There were
people who remarked at the time that such an abnormal rain would be followed by some abnormal disease. Once the word plague " flashed across the mind it was summarily dis-
missed as unworthy of suspicion. The plague was discovered 3rd in September,

Bombay Photo Images[ Mumbai]: THE BLACK DEATH.,or Bubonic plague OF 1898  BOMBAY

Bubonic plague OF 1898 BOMBAY

1896. This great rain had its counterpart in Italy in 1348, where it fell almost without a break from Michaelmas to Candlemas. Then the rats (those awful rats which devoured Sennacherib's bowstrings) in both cases came forth from their holes, half choked, driven to the surface seeking for air, a ghastly premonition, staggering at first as if drunk, and littering the alleys with their dead bodies. Dead rats have ever been an accompaniment of the plague.
                                   Inoculation against plague, Bombay 1897 - 1914.
Another rumour was that inoculation would cause instantaneous death, impotence, and sterility, and besides, the needle was a yard long (see photo: note the white, hygienic atmosphere suggesting everything is under control). These inoculations started in 1897-1898, shortly after Waldemar Haffkine, a Russian bacteriologist, had developed an anti-plague vaccine in his Bombay laboratory. The Government of India initially reacted sceptically: the serum was thought to be still in the experimental stage and evacuation, and thus other sanitary interventions, would be more effective. When time proved these assumptions wrong, the government tried to persuade people to accept inoculation, although vaccination was never made compulsory.
By the end of the 1920s, the disease was in gradual decline, which, according to David Arnold (1993: 236), was 'probably due less to medical and sanitary intervention, than to the natural limits set on its spread by a variety of zoological and ecological factors, such as the geographical distribution of certain species of rat fleas and the growing immunity of rats to the plague bacillus.' *
In ancient Memphis there was a statue of Horus with outstretc hed arm, on the palm of which was a rat saltant, with this inscription : " Look at me and learn to reverence the gods.
when houses were deserted or shut up, robbers went afoot to pillage them,- People shut themselves up in country houses, and unwittingly enclosed the enemy also within their gates, or, fleeing for very life, went on board some old hulk ; as well get quit of their
own shadows. The only highly-paid and fully-employed laborer was the grave-digger, until he also toppled over.

Burying plague victims outside the city walls of Vienna, 1687

Plague victims were hospitalised (see photo: note the airiness; ventilation was recommended). For most Indians, these hospitals were places of utter pollution (blood and faeces) and loci of the unacceptable mingling of castes and religions. Suspected victims were transferred to segregation camps, where they had to live for quite some time, deprived of their relatives. For most Indians both hospitalization and segregation led to the loss of their job or their income. In order to avoid these measures, victims were smuggled out to search-free areas or well hidden within their own houses. The bubonic plague proved an implacable adversary. As time passed, the government had to fight both the epidemic and the people as an endless stream of rumours flourished, skilfully aided by the press. These rumours reveal a deep suspicion of Western medicine: doctors and hospital staff intended to poison Indians; in the hospital you would be killed so that the doctors could cut you up and, at the same time, extract a mysterious oil from your 

Everything that was of use before became suddenly of no account. "All that a man hath will he give for his life" — money, lands, houses, furniture, plate or the costliest jewels.
Industry and trade ceased to exist. Debtor and creditor were merely names. Ambition was a rotten virtue ; what was the use of economy ?
Bombay Photo Images[ Mumbai]: THE BLACK DEATH.,or Bubonic plague OF 1898  BOMBAY

                       " Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die."

Yesterday morning a corpse was seen lying on the edge of the Queen's road,

and to-day (March I7th) two others on the same side- way.

These were samples — the last remains of a hundred " unknown residents " — nondescripts who now are sowing the earth with their ashes.

You understand the reason of what has now ripened itself into a custom. In the darkness of the night, and perhaps when there might be still a glimmer of light, they had been dropped near the burning ghaut. Relatives have, you see, no further trouble and expense.  government cremates, and the surviving tenants are protected from eviction. It is here you see the sacred relations of father and mother, wife and children, brother and sister, which have been
established and everything comprehended in that sacred word " family," cast to the
winds, and the bonds which bind society together broken and destroyed. Can a greater evil befall humanity than this?

Buboes in groins and arm-pit have been the concomitants and, in each of these plagues, indications of the disease. There was the same delirium. A man would run across the street
and fall down dead. With the dawn of day dozens of dead bodies, nameless and unknown, were found in wells, ash pits, dunghills, sewers and street corners. Many had been aban-
doned by their relations, and some had committed suicide And happy was he who at sunset could say with the Emperor, " I haye lived a day."

When the total losses of the first twelve weeks of 1898 were counted up, there had fallen

and the plague was not stayed. I suppose that few of the great battlefields of history have presented a more formidable list of dead and dying than the city of Bombay in the first three months of 1898.

For some days the only traffic observable in the streets was the wood wherewith to burn the dead. In the plague of 1348 it was the dead that menaced the living. Cremation has happily, in part, saved us from this great catastrophe. At first we were curious and anxious, then dull and stupid, now we are callous and indifferent, and the daily mortuary returns of 300 to many people awaken as little interest as the figures in an account-book or multiplication table. In the funerals that pass I observe that the body of the deceased makes very little appearance. 
The corpse, as a rule, is "uncovered," as the Scotch would say, or bulks but little under the mortcloth ;and this leads me to believe that the harvest of death has been reaped among the weak and the wasted, whether from famine or disease. The lowest stratum has been the first attacked —those who were destitute of good food, warm clothing, or good lodging. Those who had none at all have fallen an easy prey to the insatiable devourer. So was it with the Black Death. Its effects on the labouring class are displayed in the preamble of the Statute of Labourers, November 18th, 1350. "For as much as a great part of the people, principally of artisans and labourers, is dead of the late pestilence." In the worst dens and hovels of the disease — and some of them are several stories high — you see to-day houses that have been unroofed to let in the light, dislocated tiles, and rafters dirty and blackened, cleaving the skyline

Glimpses of old Bombay and western India, with other papers (1900)

                 POST MAN 19 TH CENTURY

An Indian Postman

Bank of Bengal


                                                    THE OLD BANK OF BOMBAY. 

THE earliest notice we possess of the origin of this institution is the following : — 
Dec. 26th, 1836; A meeting 
the same lines as the Bank of Bengal.  Bank of Bengal H.O.

The Bank of Bengal Building - The Legend of the Lost

The Bank of Bengal Building - The ...

Committee : -J. E. Richmond. A. S. Finlay.
               James Wright. W. Turner.
                colonel Wood. David Greenfiill. 

                 Dadabhai Pestonjee. M. Brownrigg.
                   E. C. Morgan. Captain W. Henderson.
                             George Ashburner, Secretary.
                  Capital 30 lakhs divided in 3,000 shares. 20 lakhs subscribed.         Meeting agreed to procure a Charter. Prospectus to be published on December 31st. to be called The Bank of Bombay


                                19 TH CENTURY BOMBAY-A GROUP OF PARSEES

On January 3rd, 1837, it was announced that nineteen and a half lakhs more were applied for by men of substance than the Directors want.

A meeting was called of the new Bank, the notice being signed by Archd. Robertson, Edmond Bibby and Co., John Skinner and Co., D. Green hill, Ritchie Steuart and Co., Dirom Carter and Co., McGregor Brownrigg and Co., Framjee Cowasjee. On January 20th, A. S. Finlay was appointed officiating Secretary, and on February 2nd the capital of the Bank was fixed at fifty lakhs ; the Chairman being Sir Charles Malcolm.

"We may glance at some of the promoters. James Wright was a partner in William Nicol and Co., A. S. Finlay in Ritchie Steuart and Co., and J. E. Richmond and M. Brownrigg in Bombay firms which bore their names.

                                       Dadabhai Pestonjee
deserves more than a passing notice, he heing the first native whose name appears conspicuously in Bomhay Banking enterprise, one of those pioneers who broke away from the crowd, and whose name is deeply indented in the forefront of this great movement.He came of a good stock of the Wadia family.
His great-grandfather was that Lowjee  who came down from  Surat in 1735, the progenitor of all the Wadia?, shipbuilders and merchants who have since contributed so much to enhance the importance of our city.

His father was Pestonjee Bomonjee,one of those seven righteous men who, in Bombay's hour of need in 1802, came forward as sponsors of the Northern Loan and relieved the Government with their money at one of the most critical periods of its history.

Dadabhai was a man of unbounded means, of great credit, of great possessions in land, property, and merchandise.
It was said that half of the land around Parell at one time belonged to him, and that his Mazagon estate was enormous. What he inherited and what he made by conquest, as the Scotch lawyers define money made in trade,
I know not. All I know is that his country house was Lall Baugh
, and, I believe , Tarala (the Sadar Adawlut) once occupied by Sir James Mackintosh, and afterwards in our  day the property of the Honourable Byramjee Jejeebhoy) belonged to him, and  his town house,---- CONTD:BELOW AFTER  PHOTOS


A Man Eater


Harbor Of Bombay


A Group Of Parsees


A Tower Of Silence


The Drive To Malabar Hill


                1926-STREET SCENE -BOMBAY

                       BRITISH AND INDIAN SOLDIERS ON PARADE 1900'S


1870'sBombay - View from Towers of Silence towards colaba [View across coastline from a distance]


Bombay - view from Yacht Club [View across harbour with boats and pavilion on harbour front] [BEFORE GATEWAY OF INDIA WAS MADE AT THIS SPOT

                      1860'S Native town, Bombay [Street with Indians in foreground]english men kept an official 'apartheid' system ,by which Indians were forced to stay in 'native 'town kept separate for them;while English men stayed inside fort and surrounding areas  .same racial discrimination led to the building of TAJ MAHAL hotel;when the TATA was forced to leave an English men only hotel in esplanade area of Bombay



The Bombay Yacht Club, February 1891. Taken from "The Apollo Bunder", Bombay


                 1893--Queen Victoria and her Indian servant Abdul Karim (The Munshi)

Hafiz Abdul Karim, (1863?-1909), better known as "the Munshi" (variously translated as "teacher" or "clerk" in Urdu), was an Indian servant of Queen Victoria who gained her affection in the final fifteen years of her reign.

The Munshi was one of two Indian servants brought over to mark Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887. The Munshi was initially a dining room waiter. The Queen took a great liking to him, and, after he supposedly alleged that he had been a clerk at home and thus menial work as a waiter was beneath him,[1] he was soon promoted to the unique position of "the Queen's Munshi"--he gave her Hindustani and Urdu language lessons,and taught her Indian customs. In later years, he became first Personal Indian Clerk to the Queen, and later her Indian Secretary (not to be confused with the Cabinet office of Secretary of State for India)







RAILWAY STATION -INDIA-1900'S:-lower classes  and dirtier accommodation for Indians ,while first class was mainly for English men and high govt:officers




ENGLISH SOLDIER'S CANTEEN-AROUND 1900:- gas light and  hand pulled fan(called punkah) above-photo before electricity arrived 







The Taj Mahal Palace hotel resort was commissioned by Jamsedji Tata and first opened its doors to guests on December 16, 1903. This photo was taken in 1908

This group portrait by E.O.S. and Company shows employees of the Times of India newspaper at Mumbai on the occasion of the newspaper's Diamond Jubilee (60 years), November 1898

Times of India 1898
This group portrait by E.O.S. and Company shows employees of the Times of India newspaper at Mumbai on the occasion of the newspaper's Diamond Jubilee (60 years), November 1898. The newspaper was established in the 1830s following Lord Metcalfe's Act of 1835 which removed restrictions on the liberty of the Indian press. On the 3rd November 1838 the 'Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce' was launched in bi-weekly editions, on Saturdays and Wednesdays. It contained news of Europe, America and the sub-continent and was conveyed between India and Europe via regular steam ships. From 1850 the paper appeared in daily editions and in 1861 the 'Bombay Times' became the 'Times of India'. By the end of the 19th century the paper employed 800 people and had a wide circulation in India and Europe.

Photograph of The Green in Bombay (Mumbai), Maharashtra, by an unknown photographer, from an album of 40 prints taken in the 1860s

Photograph of The Green in Bombay (Mumbai), Maharashtra, by an unknown photographer, from an album of 40 prints taken in the 1860s. Bombay Green was the spacious open sward near the Bombay Fort and with the Town Hall and other important buildings sited in its vicinity, it was the city's commercial and social centre in the early 19th century. The view looks across the Green, with the Cornwallis Monument in the centre and the tower of St Thomas' Cathedral in the right background.

built by himself, a most substantial edifice, which you may see to this day in Parsee Bazaar Street, the home of the Chamber of Commerce . How  he entertained is written in the annals of the time. One line  must suffice : — 

march 5th, 1832. Dadabhai Pestonjee gave at Lall Baugh a ball to the Commander-in-Ciiief, Sir Colin and  Lady Halkett, Members of Council, &c. Mr. Newnham a well- known civilian, gave the toast of Mr. D. Pestonjee.
He was amongst the thirteen of the native population  declared by Lord Clare, in 1834, to be entitled to affix to their
name the word   " Esquire.
" Happy man ! Call no man rich  until he's dead. Dadabhai Pestonjee died in 1885, bereft of  all his acquisitions by the vicissitudes of fortune. It was  
 said that he once held three-eighths of the entire shares of  the Oriental Bank.

Dadabhai in his days of prosperity was a  fine-loftking man, tall and erect. He spoke a little English.
Of  Framjee Cowasjee we need not speak in Bombay. His is a  name which this city will not willingly let die ; in fact she has
taken every care to prevent such a consummation. The  charming story told of Malcolm's visit to him at Powai will
live when Powai is forgotten.  " I quite forgot to bring you a  present; here. are my watch and seals; take them if you will as
a souvenir." There is a depth of feeling here which neither marble, nor painting, nor words can represent.
                                                  As for John Skinner,his career is familiar to our readers, and his services to the Bank, the Chamber, and in prosecution  of the Overland route, can never be forgotten. We will follow him if you like to the end, after eighteen years of brilliant work in Bombay. Leaving his brother, C. B. Skinner, in Bombay
he set out for Calcutta in December, 1843, and there, in conjunction  with David Jardine, founded the firm of Jardine, Skinner and Co., now eminent for fifty years, and there he died on 23rd March, 1844, of cholera, scarcely three months from his departure from Bombay.
The Bombay firm was at once dissolved, C. B. Skinner proceeding to Calcutta. He survived his brother well-nio-h
fifty years.
These digressions have left us little space for the details of the war which the promoters of the Bank had to wage before it was established in 1840.
How no one man was its architect ; how Ashburner, Finlay, Johnson and John Smith all did duty in succession as honorary secretaries ; how Ashburner was sent to London to secure a charter; how the great houses of agency frowned upon it
                                                      the Bank of Bengal, 
strong in the right of primogeniture (1806), viewed its establishment with hostility and threatened to open in Bombay ;
how the Bengal Government took the same views and imparted them to the Bombay Government ; how our Chamber of Com- merce remonstrated : how in February, 1839, the whole body of shareholders, with Harry George Gordon as Chairman, met in Dirom Carter and Co.'s office " to consider Prinsep's extra- ordinary letter " ; how, a year after, a negative from England cast a general gloom over mercantile society ; how the feeli was to open, charter or no charter, — are not these things all written in the Bombay Chronicles

doomed to oblivion ? At one time it seemed, from this advertisement, as if the whole business was to end in smoke : — -
" The Batik Committee regret to liave to announce tliat the Vice-President of the Council in hniia has just poned the passing of the Charter Act in con- sequence of a resolution to revise the list of shareholders and to frame a new one. The Committee can now form no opinion when the Bank will be opened, its establishment being in the hands of the Government and beyond their control. Bombay, 27th January, 1840. By order of the Committee.
W. W. Cabgill, Secretary."
But the darkest hour is nearest the morning, and light came from the east — the usual quarter — though murky enough
before, 1840, March 11, —
Meeting in Town Hall to elect Directors, This means business. On March 20th they advertise for Secretary and Treasurer at Es. 1,200 per mensem with lis, 50,000 security.
And now on April 1st (ahsit omen) the Bank secured No, 23, Eampart Eow, belonging to Jehangier Nusserwanjee Wadia, the same premises, we may add, which have been occupied for the last thirty years by Messrs, ralli Brothers,
The Bank opened on the 15th April, 1840.
                                                   (2.) BANK OF WESTERN INDIA.
Capital 50 Lakhs. Trustees. Present Directors. 

JAPAN Banknotes, Central Bank of Western India, 1866 Issues
On 12 Feb 1603 the Tokugawa clan assumes the Shogunate

JAPAN Paper Money, Central Bank of Western India, 1866 Issues
Central Bank of Western India, 1866 Issues

JAPAN Paper Money, Central Bank of Western India, 1866 Issues

Central Bank of Western India, 1866 Issues

YOKUHAMA BANKNOTE 1866 25 $ ,JAPAN,USA,INDIA LINK very rare banknote of japan
The Central Bank of Western India was an important bank because it related to Japan, America and India. The high value of $25 was significant as it was issued during a time of great turbulence in Japan,USA,INDIA and world
Lieut.-Colonel Stratford Powell. General T. Vailant, K,H. Framji Cowasji. 'J'hotnas Robert Richmond,
S. 1). Murray. E. C. Morgan. Gisl)orn, Menzies and Co,, Rampart Row, will receive applications for shares, and tne Bank will commence business as soon as the necessary arrangements can be completed, — Bombay, May 25th, 1842.
This is the first Bombay Bank that dealt in European Exchange. Out of it came directly the Oriental Bank. 

On June loth, John Alexander Russell, father of the Hon. Justice Eussell (1899), Juggannath Sunkersett, and Jejeebhoy
Dadabhoy join the direction. On June 25th, W. W. Cargill sends in his resignation as Secretary and Treasurer of the
Bank of Bombay,and on July 18th, signs as Managing Director of the Bank of Western India. Ou August 5th, in the same year, the Committee consists of A. S. Ayrton, VV. Escombe, Captain Unwin, Lieutenant W. S, Sua re, E. C. Morgan, T. E. Eichmond, and John Alexander Eussell.
On October 6th, 1842, the Bank opened for business. Dr. Eobson, Gregor Grant, and Ardaseer Hormusjee do not
appear on the board of direction until February 17th, 1844. We are thus particular in these details as there are claimants
outside of this list for the honour of introducing Exchange Banking into Western India . And no doubt, as the years roll
on, the tendency wiJl be for legend to displace facts. But all  the same, Litera scripta manet. Outside of Bombay,
the Union  

                                                                    Bank of Calcutta (1829)
and the Agra Bank, who had their agents, Dirom, Carter and Co., in Bombay (1841),have priority in exchange banking with Europe. We conline ourselves, how- ever, to banks originating in Bombay. When W. W. Cargill had resigned the post of Secretary and Treasurer of the Bank of Bombay in 1842,to be succeeded by John Stuart, he had already been over two years in that office.The Bank had been successful under his administration, and, as everybody knows, it was equally successful under that of Mr. Stuart during the long tenure of his office.The acquisition of Mr. Cargill, with all his experience, by the promoters of the Bank of Western India was thus a clear gain to it,and it is beyond controversy that he threw his whole soul into it,or he was a man of uncommon energy, A Bank of Western India was projected, or thought of, under this name as far back as August 24th, 1839 (contemporaneous with the appearance of Mr. Cargill in Bombay), by whom we do not know. But, as we have recorded, it only took definite shape on May 25th, 1842. From a glance at the list of trustees and directors then and afterwards, it will be seen that there were some men of uncommon mark among them,Framjee Cowasjee was there,
so there is some truth in the saying that he helped to found three banks in Bombay.
                                               Jejeebhoy Dadabhoy
, the father of the Honourable Byramjee Jejeebhoy
File:Sassoon Hospital Pune 1855.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Sassoon General Hospital is a large state-run hospital in Pune, India with over 1500 beds. The B. J. Medical College and a Nurses training School is attached to it.
The Jewish philanthropist David Sassoon from Mumbai made a generous donation to make the construction of the hospital possible in 1867. The hospital could originally accommodate 144 patients. A well-respected child-care center and orphanage, Society of Friends of Sassoon Hospitals (SOFOSH), is connected to the hospital.
Byramjee Jejeebhoy

of our day

 had been a private banker for years. Juggannath Sunkersett, I believe the son of the chief of the goldsmiths,was a tower of strength. Ardaseer Hormusjee was the son of Hormusjee Bomanjee, of Lowjee Castle,the most prominent native citizen of Bombay during the first quarter of the century, and perhaps at his death (1826) the wealthiest man in the island, and the associate of Sir Charles Forbes. As far back as  1802 Bomanjee was one  of the pillars of the earth, when the credit of the British  Government in "Western India began to tremble. Among
Englishmen there was Thomas Robert Richmond, who, along with Skinner and Brownrigg, gave Bombay probably its first reclamation in all that land on which Grant Buildiugs and
other edifices were erected.

There was S. D. Murray, who was chairman of the Chamber of Commerce in 1842-43,

and T. E. Richmond, who was chair-  man of the Chamber in 1840-41.

There was John Alexander Russell, of Grey and Co., of whom we are sure there must
be many memories in Bombay, and Ayrton also, before he blossomed into one of the members of Mr. Gladstone's first Administration. The Ayrtons had been long about Bombay.
His father, Frederick Ayrton (died 1829) , had been a Proctor. A. S. Ayrton left Bombay in 1852,
was M.P. in 1853, and cul- minated as the Honourable Acton Smee Ayrton, Parliamentary
, Secretary to the Treasury, Chief Commissioner of Works, and Judge- Advocate (died 1886).

It will be thus apparent that the men connected with,  and at the head of, the Bank of Western India were mostly men of mark —  not persons but individuals; and in spite of differences of race, religion, and up-bringing,
Cargill was un- doubtedly the man who welded them into one homogeneous mass, devoted to one purpose. The Cargills were men of indomitable energy; witness Invercargill in New Zealand, a
town of 8,000 inhabitants, founded by his brother. 

First Presbyterian Church and manse, Invercargill - Photographer unidentified
ca 1860s
Invercargill, New Zealand's 1st Presbyterian Church

                        The Bank of Western India opened in Medows Street, and on April 6th, 1842,

removed to No. 7, Rampart Eow. Was not this last, now (1895) Thacker and Company's shop, the same building so long occupied by the Oriental Bank, and only vacated when they moved (about 1866) into their fine new offices which were known as the Oriental Bank Buildings    did the ordinary business of an exchange bank, and published tlieir rules. They drew upon the Union Bank of London, and issued notes.

The notes were refused in payment at the Bank of Bombay and also at the Government

The " Western " retaliated, and refused payment of Bombay Bank notes, and so the war went on

. Meanwhile (I speak without book) the bank was a success, and paid a dividend of 7 per cent. In view of opening in Ceylon in April, 1843, they issued 2,000 reserved shares at a premium of
() per cent. At a time when the Union Bank of Calcutta was in a state of suspended animation, the shares of the Bank of Western India maintained a premium of 25 per cent, on a
paid-up capital of Es. 300 per share. On 18th September, 1844, Mr. Cargill left Bombay by the
overland route for London, leaving Mr. Charles Stuart as acting manager until his return.
This was a famous journey, big with the fate of an immense undertaking. Whether it was the idea of Mr. Cargill or that of others, or that of all the directors combined, it had been grradually dawning upon them that to open in Ceylon, Calcutta, and Hongkong, they must sooner or later obtain a Charter, and that the swaddling clothes made in Rampart Eow were all too
meagre for a Corporation which was soon to cover a hemisphere with its operations. Their capital, therefore, must be doubled, 100 lakhs instead of 50, and their head office must be in
London, the centre of the world's finance, and it was no idle dream. Mr. Cargill was equal to it all. Whoever originated the idea, it was he who carried it out. He came, he saw, he conquered. He obtained at once as chairman a former acting Governor of Bombay, and after constituting his board — court of directors we ought to say — he returned to Bombay, and on his arrival on the 15 th June, 1845, issued the following notice.
So runs the rede : — ^' The Bank of Western India will henceforth be carried on under a new
deed of Settlement under the name of The Oriental Bank."

This paper has nothing to do with his after career, but we humbly think that the reader will share our opinion that this ■journey of William Walter Cargill vindicates his title to have
been the founder of the Oriental Bank. At all events we sliall 'hold this opinion until some new light reaches us.
                                                             ORIENTAL BANK, 1845.

We have little more to add to the above notification, taken from the newspapers. The times were propitious — the men who embarked in this enterprise brooked no opposition — a charter would no doubt be soon forthcoming; so before 1845 was out the magnificent new notes of the Oriental Bank, engraved specially for Bombay, Rs. 5 up to lis. 1,000, were passing from hand to hand, the finest specimens of the London engraver's art, and everyone of them good for the amount,
blazoned with our Town Hall, and a glory of palm trees, with the Eoyal Standard floating over the bastions of Bombay Castle. " Western India " was henceforth swallowed up in the
Oriental, which at once, Minerva-like, had risen fully armed from the head of Jupiter.
                                            ( 3.) ORIENTAL BANK, 1845.

The following is the first announcement of the opening of the Bank in Bombay : —  

Court of Dieectors.
G. W. Anderson, Esq Chairman.
li. H. Kennedy, Esq Deputy Chairman.
W. W. Cargili, Esq Chief Manager.
Board of Directors.
Thomas Robson, Esq., M.D., Chairman.
Juggannath Sunkersett, Esq. Dadabhoy Rustomjee, Esq.
Ardaseer Hormusjee, Esq. James Boyd, Esci.
(iregor Grant, Esq., C.S. Captain Unwin.
T. R. Richmond, Escj.
Trustees. Dr. James Biirnes. Juggannath Sunkersett, Esq.
K. H. Dadabhoy Rustomjee, Esq.
Charles J. F. Stuart Managing ad interim.
Dugald Bremner Accountant.
C. G. Ingelow Deputy Accountant.
Wissanath Balcrustnajee ... . . . Cashier,
Dorabjee Hormusjee Check Office.
Mr. J. Hurst Transfer Office.                Calcutta Branch.
iRobert Glaspoole Lancagter .... Manager.
Avilliam Anderson Accouctant.
                                                    Ceylon Branch (Colombo).
George S. Duff Manager.  

ter Rankine Accountant.
J. F. Moir Agent at Kantly.

China Branch.

James Sinclair "» Joint Managers,
James McEwen / ad interim.
fc>. J. D. Campbell Inspector of Branches.
Holidays — Christmas and Good Friday.
We are here met by a multiplicity of names — G. W.
Anderson, Acting Governor of Bombay, 1841-1842.
Dadabhoy Eustomjee, China merchant, son of the celebrated Framjee
Cowasjee.It seems but yesterday that Ardaseer Hormusjee,
of great dignity and much respected, was among us.
Juggannath Sunkersett, foremost man in these early days of banking enterprise, cut off in 1865.
Of him Dr. Birdwood (Sir George) then wrote : — " One can hardly believe that he has
passed for ever from our midst, and that the elements of his stout frame — unchained by fire — are scattered to every wind of heaven."
There were also Duff, now tea planter in Ceylon ; Peter Rankine, not unknown in Bombay;
Mr. Moir, whose genial face many of us remember, and who piloted his ship
discreetly in evil days and evil times, and Anderson, afterwards agent in Calcutta, who added much to the resources of the Bank.

There is one name there embedded as if in obscurity, Charles James Stuart, in Bombay managing ad interim, who was destined to rise to great eminence as General Manager in London o'f the Bank, and, we might add, as the wise Dictator of Eastern Finance in " the sixties."

How many could have wished that in his superintendence of the whole concern his
" sittings could have been declared permanent ! " He died about 1876.

St. Thomas's Cathedral

The white long drapes,hanging; on each side ,over the pew seats are the hand pulled punkah(fan) used before discovery of electricity &GAS KEROSENE LIGHTS:-

On almost every tombstone, one can find poems of valour & bravery, of prudence & class.
And mind you its not only the men who score here.... for once we astonishingly find a place, for an era so old, without much gender discrimination. Yup! the ladies take away quite a few claps & hearts too !

No comments: