§j)ell0 from ti)e §>an&0 of Bombap

BEING

MY REDIRECTIONS AND jREMINISCBNCES-1860-1875.

BY

SIR D. E. WACHA.

AUTHOR OF

The History of Bombay Share Speculation (1863/4/5)? Life of Premctmnd Roychund ; Life of J. N. Tata ; Rise and Growth of Bombay Municipal. Government and numerous brochures and papers on a variety of Public Questions.

1920, PRICE RS. 3.

■Bu4lScoL>(. ,3>.

printed by SYED ABDULLA BRELVI, at "the Bombay

CHRONICLE " PRESS, MEDOWS STREET, FORT, BOMBAY AND

published by K. T. ANKLESARIA, general manager,

THE INDIAN NEWSPAPER CO., LTD.

of

(Wly pm

<mcl lufio,

^1 li/ttfe litd imlim&f/ij d«tlij

yd^wruj, /ictWd and jfrdud ^mduin,

All rights o f Publication and translations

are reserved by Mr. K. T. ANKXESARXA,

THE GENERAL MANAGER, TTfB INDIAN NEWSPAPER COMPANY, hwo.

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

Page

Bombay Fort, 1670.. 1

Port, 1711 4

Harbour, 1845 .. .. .. ., ..13

French View, Bombay .. .. . . ..21

Fort, 1811 41

Inner Church Gate .. .. .. .. ..114

Outer Church Gate 125

Post Office .. .. 126

Bombay Green 1864 . . 138

Do .. ..148

Apollo Gate ,.201

Baokbay View ..780

CONTENTS.

INTRODUCTION.

Pagje

" Time Rolls its Ceaseless Course " . . . . 1

Old " Bombain " 3

Thumb Nail Sketches 7

CHAPTER I.

" Heptanesia " and the Harbour . . . . . . 9

Early History of Bombay . . . . . . 10

The Harbour in the Fifties and Sixties . . . . 13

Vessels in the Harbour . . . . . . . . 17

CHAPTER II.

The Harbour and its Potentialities . . . . 21

Monsieur A de Perron's Record . . . . . . 23

The Great Hurricane of 1854 26

Appalling Devastation . . . . . . . . 29

CHAPTER III. Earliest makers of "Bombay The Building of

the Port 33

Early History of the Port 35

Rumours of War . . . . . . . . . . 38

Trade Follows the Flag .. 39

" Bombay Castle " 41

" When we were Boys " . . . . . . . . 43

A Commander-in-Chief's Funeral . . . . . . 44

CHAPTER IV. The Fort and its Environments and the Triple

Transformation of Bombay . . . . . . 47

Chance . . , . . . . . . . 48

In the Eighties 50

The Triple Transformation . . 53

CHAPTER V.

A Bird's-Eye View of the Fort in the Fifties . . 56

Weddings on the Ramparts . . . . . . . . 58

The Sally Gates . . . . 60

A Vegetable Market .. . . 63

New Factors 64

CHAPTER VI. Some Environments of the Fort; How Incipient Mutiny was suppressed by Police Commis- sioner Forjett . . .... . . . . 66

ii

An Antiquated Fire Station . . The Maidan

The Troops .. An Incipient Mutiny Mr. Forjett catches the Ringleaders Blown from Guns Bombay's Relief

CHAPTER VII. The Maidan described as a popular

Ground

" Air-Eaters " on the Maidan Popular Refreshments

The Shettias

A Brisk Trade in Toys

" Sweet Auburn "

CHAPTER VIII. Wealthy Parsis and Hindus and their residential quarters in the Fort. Also the buildings of

the great English Commercial Firms . . . . 97

Old Parsi Leaders . . . . . . . . . . 99

A famous Hindu Banking House 102

European Residences . . . . . . . . 104

Other Old Landmarks 106

CHAPTER IX. Southern Fort of Business and Foreign Trade. Re- collections of Great English Mercantile Houses 110 Old Landmarks effaced .. .. .. .. 112

Time's Changes 114

The Story of John Treacher .. 116

Meadows Street 118

Old Mercantile Houses 12 1

CHAPTER X. The Overland Mail and the Post Office. The Old

Secretariat in Apollo Street 126

The Overland Mail ] 27

The Postal Service 129

Administrative Work . . . . . . . . . . 130

The Old Secretariat Buildings 132

The New Secretariat Building . . . . . . 134

. CHAPTER XL

The Cathedral 138

History of the First Chapel 140

" Cowasji Cross " 142

Page 68 71 73 76 77 79 81

Recreation

82 85 87 89 91 94

iii

Page

Architectural Grandeur of the Cathedral . . . . 145

CHAPTER XII. Old Bombay Greeri. The Town Hall Antiquities

and Literature 148

Fine Statuary . . . . . . . . . . . . 150

Music on the Green 153

Antiquities 155

The First Town Hall 157

The Present Building .. 1 .. 160

Mechanics' Institute Lectures . . . . . . 163

CHAPTER XIII. The Historical Proclamation of 1858 and the Unique Diwali of 1864. The Beginning of Healthy

Social Reform among Parsis 167

An Evening of Rejoicing 1 169

Queen Victoria's Long Reign . . . . v . . . 172

The Diwali 173

The Finest Diwali 175

Inner Meaning of the Festival 177

46 What a Tamasha " 179

A Social Consequence . . . . . . . . . . 182

CHAPTER XIV The Customs House. The Town Barracks. The First Museum established by Dr. Buist and

Dr. Birdwood . . . ' 185

The Bombay Customs House 187

Popular Officials 189

Older than the Town Hall 191

The Town Barracks 193

East India Company's Soldiers 195

Old and Venerated Names 197

CHAPTER XV. The Dockyard and the Wadias The Great Parsi

Master-Builders 201

First Portuguese Anchorage 203

A Man-of-War Ordered 205

Extensive Improvements . . . . . . . . 207

Parsi Master-Builders 210

An Extensive Family 212

The First Indian Expedition known as the Malta

Expedition f. .. 214

CHAPTER XVI.

The Evolution of the Post Office 218

iv

Pag.iJ

First Inland Post in India 220

A Regular Monthly Mail 222

Evolution of the Mail Service 223

The Bombay Post Office 225

Sparse Letter- Writing 220

Hunting for the Addressee . . . . . . . . 231

Mails Provokingly Slow 233

Post Office Buildings 236

CHAPTER XVII. The Supreme Court of Judicature, some of its most distinguished judges specially Sir Erskine Perry,

Sir Mathew Sausse and Sir Joseph Arnold . . 238

The Court's Wanderings . . , . . . 239

Great Judges 242

Mr. Dadabhoy Naoroji 245

Sir Charles Jackson and Michael Westropp . . 248

Sir Mathew Sausse A Stern Judge . . . . 250

Sir Joseph Arnold 252

CHAPTER XVIII.

The History of the Mint and Coinage . . . . 256

In the Fifties 258

The First Mint Master . . 260

The Earliest Days of Coinage . . . . . . 263

CHAPTER XIX.

Minor Public Edifices and Philant.hr op ic Institutions 26 7

The Bhistee Well 270

The Elphinstone School 273

Other Buildings 274

A Revered Structure 278

The Banajis 280

The Robert Money School 282

Private Seminaries 284

CHAPTER XX.

Old Time Hotels and Taverns 287

Parsi George and Portuguese George . . . . 289

The Adelphi 292

" Old Pallonji " 294

The Origin of Watson's Hotel 297

CHAPTER XXI,

The Clubs, The Ice House and the Observatory . 300

The Old " Bombay Club " 303

The Old Ice-House 305

The Colaba Observatory , . , . , , . , 311

V

CHAPTER XXII.

Public Edifices. No Architectural Beauty about Page

them 314

Church in the Fifties . . 320

Hindu and Parsi Temples . . 324

CHAPTER XXIII.

The Cotton Green and the Markets . . . . 326

Craw'ford Market : . 330

The Earliest Record 333

Private Markets 335

The Fun of the Market 337

CHAPTER XXIV.

Theatres. Actors, Amateur and Professional . . 341

Egyptian Darkness in the Fifties . . . . . . 344

The Old Play House in Grant Road 348

Dave Carson . . . . . . . . . . . . 350

Madame Carlotta Tasea ' 352

CHAPTER XXV.

Earliest Literary and Benevolent Societies . . 358

Educational Darkness . . . . . . . . 362

Hindu Benevolence . . . . . . . . . . 364

The Bombay Geographical Society 367

The Mechanics' Institute . . 367

The School of Art 370

CHAPTER XXVI. Sir James Mackintosh and the Foundation of the

Royal Asiatic Society . . . . . . . . 375

Origin of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic

Society 377

Sir James Mackintosh 379

Sir Charles Forbes 382

A Herculean Task 385

A Practical Philosopher 388

CHAPTER XXVII.

Historical Research . . . . . . . . . . 391

The Temple of Learning Closed . . . . . . 393

Vanished Landmarks . . . . . . . . . . 395

CHAPTER XXVIII. Haphazard Building of Bombay. Fluctuation of

Population (1661-1801) 399

A Bird's Eye View ^ . . 403

The First Parsi 404

The First of the Wadia . . . . . . ... 406

vi

CHAPTER |XXIX. Page

A Cosmopolitan Population and Old time Houses 408

A Truly Cosmopolitan Population . . . . 410

Old Time Houses 413

Beautiful and Wonderful . . . . . . . . 415

CHAPTER XXX. Census-taking during the First Half of the Nine- teenth Century. Habitations of Specific Com- munities . . . . . . . . . . . . 418

A Population of nearly a Million . . . . . . 421

A Contrast with To-day 423

The Various Communities . . . . . . . . 425

CHAPTER XXXI. The Epoch-making Fifties. Great Events and

Institutions . . 429

The First Baloonist . . . . 4 . . . . . . 431

Economic Developments . . . . . . . . 435

A Great Civic Public Works 438

CHAPTER XXXII. Great Fire of 1803. Water Famine and Extensive Construction of Wells and Tanks. Heavy

Cholera Mortality owing to Foul Water . . 440

The Great Fire of 1803 443

A Happy Contrast . . . . . . . . . . 446

The Water Famine of 1824 .. .. .. .. 447

The Tank at Dhobi Talao 451

CHAPTER XXXIII. Philanthropy for the Supply of Water, Chronic

Inadequacy, Construction of the Vehar Lake . . 455

First Attempt at a Reservoir . . . . . . 459

The First Water Supply from Vehar . . . . 461

CHAPTER XXXIV.

Sewers and Drains . . . . . . . . . . 466

Open Sewers . . . . . . . . . . . . 468

Insanitary Chawls of to-day . . . . . . 472

CHAPTER XXXV. Mr. Conybeare's Gruesome Picture of Dranins

Dr. Blaney The Drainage Commission . . 475<

Police More important Than Drains !!! . . . . 479

Dr. Blaney .. .. 481

A Lamentable Mistake , , . , . , . , 483

vii

CHAPTER XXXVI. Page

Primitive Lighting in the Fifties . . . . . . 485

Rudimentary Lighting . . . . . . . . 486

20 years' Progress . . . . . . . . . . 488

Chronic House-breaking . . . . . . . . 490

The First Gas Lamps " 492

CHAPTER XXXVII.

The Evolution of the Police 494

The Chowkidar 497

The First Regular Police . . 501

CHAPTER XXXVIII. The Policeman of the Fifties and famous Police

Commissioner . . . . . . . . . . 504

A " Deputy of Police " 505

Idol of the Public ; 513

CHAPTER XXXIX.

The Early European Merchants of Bombay . . 518

Jealousy of the Company . . . . . . . . 521

The Golden Motto 523

CHAPTER XL.

The Men who made Commercial Bombay . . . . 526

Messrs. Skinner & Co. 529

The End of Nicol & Co 534

CHAPTER XLI.

What Bombay owes to the Chamber of the Fifties 537

Growth of the Cotton Trade 539

CHAPTER XLII.

Improvement in the Mail Service . . . . . . 544

CHAPTER XLIII.

Railways, Telegraphs and the Post . . . . 550

The Beginning of the G.l.P.R 553

The First Telegraph 556

A Glorious Evolution . . . . . . . . . . 559

CHAPTER The Work of the Chamber . . Navigation Charts Construction of Wet Docks . . The Abyssinian Campaign Another Great Service The Chamber's Remonstrance

XLIV,

562

564

566 569 571

573

CHAPTER XLV. Further Memorable Work of the Chamber . . 576

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Page

The Making of the G.I. P. Railway , . . . 578

The B.B. & C.I. Railway 581

The Telegraphic Service 583

A Robust Protest . . 58.6

CHAPTER XLVI.

Gold and Silver 590

The Drain 'of Silver to the East 593

The Gold Rupee of 1765 595

The Changes of Time 598

CHAPTER XLVI1.

Evolution of the Mettallic Currency . . . . 600

A Hundred Years Ago . . . . . . . . 603

Birth of the Bombay Mint 606

Measures of Money in 1802 608

In the Fifties 609

CHAPTER XLVIII.

Evolution of Trade in the Nineteenth Century . . 614

Four staple Commodities . . . . . . . . 615

The Opium Trade 617

The grip of Lancashire . . . . . . . . 620

Cotton Mills in the Fifties . . . . . . . . 623

Some well-known firms of the Fifties . . . . 625

Famous Brokers . . . . . . . . . . 626

CHAPTER XLIX.

Education in the Fifties 630

CHAPTER L.

Missionary Propaganda in the Fifties , . . . 641

Proselytising Propaganda . . . . . . . 644

Commotion among Parsis . . . . . . . . 647

Foundation of Wilson College . . . . . . 652

CHAPTER LI.

The Early Days of Elphinstone Institution . . 654

CHAPTER LII. The Elphinstone Institution . . . . . . . . " 666

Lord and Lady Canning's Visit . . . . . . 670

Separation of the College . . . . . . . . 673

Sir Alexander Grant . . . . . . . . , . 678

The Great Educational Charter 682

' CHAPTER LIII.

The Beginnings of Socia] Reform . . . . , . 683

Some Leaders of Society . . . . . . . . 685

ix

Page

Mr. Dadabhai Naoroji The Pioneer Reformer . . 688

The Lifting of the Purdah 691

The Great Diwali of 1864 . . 694

CHAPTER LIV.

Social Recreations in the Fifties . . , . . . 697

Need of Discrimination . . . . . . . 699

Social Reformers . . , , , . . . . . 702

Other Recreations . . . . . . . . . « 704

CHAPTER LV.

Some Personalities of the Fifties 707

Lord Elphinstone .. .. . . .. 711

Some Other Personalities . . . . . . « . 714

CHAPTER LVI.

Some Legal Reminiscences .. . . 718

Anstey as a Judge 724

The Brothers Howard . . . . . . . . 727

Sir Michael Westropp 730

CHAPTER LVII.

Legal Luminaries of the Fifties and Sixties . . 732

Mr. MacCulloch 734

Messrs. Latham and Green .. 736

Some eminent Solicitors . . . . . . . . 740

CHAPTER LVIIL

Professions other than Legal. . * . . . . . 747

Some Leading European Practitioners . . . . 750

The Engineering Profession . . . . . . . 752

Leading Bankers of the City . . . •• 754

Mr. John Stuart . . \ . . . , . . . 759

CHAPTER LIX. Conclusion Some Prominent Local Indian Cele- brities .. 762

FOREWORD.

My Dear Sir Dinshah Wacha,

We have so often talked over the sub- feet of these reminiscences that you will not need any assurance from me of the great personal pleasure which I have ex- perienced in reading the pages in which you have gathered what you modestly call "Shells from the Sands of Bombay."

Bombay has changed jso fast; and is still •changing so fast, that without such re- miniscences future generations will have no conception of the evolution of the state- ly city which has grown up under our eyes. No-one who did not know Bombay, as you knew it, before Sir Bartle Frere levelled the ramparts, can picture the narrow walled town which has .blossomed into the second city of the Empire. My own memory goes back not quite a quarter of

X

a century, yet Bombay is in many respects hardly recognisable as the city where I landed in July 1897. . There were then no buildings on the Apollo Bunder estate save the White House. Where the Taj Mahal Hotel now stands was a boat basin, used by the rowing members of the Bom- bay Gymkhana, and many an evening 'have I taken a whiff there and sculled idown the harbour to Mazagon. The house shortage was almost as acute as now, and there was no more familiar sight than i'he canvas settlement which sprang up every year on the Cooperage and in Marine Lines, each group of tents, true to the ^British tradition of isolation, being screened from its neighbours by fences of split bamboos. The Chartered Bank building, then in course of erection, was regarded as quite remote from the business centre and one often heard the remark that the directors of the Bank must be mad to think that people, were going into the wilderness to dp business. The great centre of bank- ing and commerce was Elphinstone Circle

xi

and Apollo Street and many of our lead- ing firms were housed in ramshackle quar- teis, fit breeding places for the rats which spiead the plague. Many groups of Ibachelors were driven to chummeries in Churchgate Street and Ilummum Street, and I remember being implored to tread lightly when dining m Ci.urchgate Street because of the insecurity of the floor. The old buggies had disappeared, but there were still one or two palkies in the streets and the bullock hackery was a familiar spectacle. The mail passenger who now lands in lordly comfort at the Mole little knows what it was to arrive in an outside steamer in the monsoon, and to be blown *%o Mazagon in a Bunder boat, as I was, ibefore he could make the landing at the Customs House. It is difficult to realise that this was less than quarter of a century ;ago.

And these changes are as nothing in comparison with those which seem likely to fructify in the next quarter of a gentury . When Back Bay is reclaimed under the

xii

development scheme; the Fort is given Entirely over to business purposes; the nee fields and palm groves which we have known in Matunga and Malum are covered with tenement houses j and hundreds of thousands of people living in Salsette are foorne swiftly to and from their work in electric trains, the Bombay of those days will bear little more resemblance to that *of to-day than the city of our own times tears to that of the fifties, when the ram- parts and gateways stood.

How then is a living picture of the Bom- bay of the early part of this century to be preserved for our successors ? For those who wish to quarry in the past there is rich 1 material in the letters of oar f jr bears. The letters of Mrs. Postans and of L^ly Falkland, to take only two instances, have enshrined for us vivid pictures of the life of the days in which they lived. Now- adays no-one writes letters ; our corres- pondence is made up of notes which are not worth keeping, even if any preserved them. The pages of a gazetteer, how-

xiii

ever rich, are a poor substitute for the un- trammelled vie intime of the good letter writer. And amongst the busy migratory ^civil servants of to-day are we likely to find men of cultivated leisure like Sir James Campbell, who prepared the notes which Mr. S. M. Edwardes wove into his admirable Gazetteer of Bombay ? We shall never see another James Douglas spending his leisure delving amongst the historical relics of the Presidency and re- rounting his discoveries in an English even more rugged than that of Carlyle, his literary guru. The files of the daily newspapers may record events in greater fullness than the records of the past ; but' they do not and cannot give a picture of contemporary life. Is it not true than to say that our hopes of maintaining the con- tinuity of the living history of Bombay are bound up with the careful preservation of the reminiscences of all who have filled a considerable part in its activities, and in a more jealous preservation of the monuments of the past than has charac- tarisec1 the iconoclasts of the city ?

xiv

It is rather dreadful to think of the completeness with which our architectural jinks with the past have been broken down. Bartle Frere's destruction of the Ramparts was no doubt a' work of the greatest public utility, but how much -more we should appreciate it if he had preserved one at least of the Gates with a Section of the ramparts, which if they were never assailed gave to the citizens a feeling of security which was the founda- tion of its prosperity ? The work of the town planners of Delhi has shown how an ancient wall can be adapted to the re- quirements of modern traffic. The only v, .bible sign of these historic Ramparts is the fragment of wall which was part of St. George's bastion- such a poor frag- ment that few notice it. The historic heart of Bombay is the Castle, now given over to the base uses of a supplementary arsenal. Amid his tremendous work for the development of Bombay will not Sir George Lloyd spare a few moments to secure the Castle for the citizens, prefer- ably as the home of the Bombay War

XV

Museum? Sir Jamsetji Jijibhai's old town house has gone the way of many another and been converted into a shop* Will not the Parsi community see that at least one of these famous town houses say that which you mention more than once, in Cowasji Patel Street, the family resi- dences of the Dadys is maintained intact so that fuiture generations may see how their forbears lived during the making of Bombay? You record the conversion •of the pleasant places of Byculla and Mazagon into an industrialism which is one of the most sordid in the world ; the crumbling walls of Lpwji Castle and of the old Manor House at Powai are amongst the last survivors of the spacious life of the fifties ; they probably cannot be secur- ed against the devastating march of bricks and mortar ; but the Castle and one or two of our historic town houses surely should (be preserved for the public lor all time. Imagine what would be the feelings of Englishmen if the Tower were converted into a closed store house and every Georgian or early Victorian residence in

xvi

London was swept away for the erection of picture palaces and blocks of flats.

1 have ridden my hobby horse so hard that I cannot say half the things I should like to say. But reading and re-reading these reminiscences of y^nrs, I feel very strongly that there are few services .more valuable than to preserve, as you have .done, these vivid pictures of the life of Bombay in its great formative period. May you find many imitators. The re- creation of the past is however work half done unless it inspires in the present gene- ration a quickened historic sense. We aie citizens of no mean city. But the foundations of the city in which we live were laid by big men Aungier, Elphin- stone and Bartle Frere. The seeds of such intellectual life as we own were sown by Macintosh and the great mission- aries and educationists— Wilson and Wordsworth and Grant. We live in days when materialism seems to be more and more rampant; everything is subordinat- ed to the making of money, the churches

xvii

aie half empty and the Asiatic Society is a pale shadow of its former self, its library more a novel-circulating agency than a centre of learning. It seems to me that the one hope of arresting this tide of mere materialism is to quicken the historic spi- rit— to appreciate better the diversity and richness and real greatness of the lives of the men to whom the city owes everything, and to illumine our commercialism with the light of inquiry, rekindled by the me- mories of our forbears which you have blown into flame in the pages which follow.

Yours very sincerely, STANLEY REED. Bombay, August 16th, 1920.

PREFATORY NOTE.

The Recollections contained in this volume originally appeared, under the title of "Shells from the Sands of Bom- bay/ * in the form of weekly contribution to the columns of » the "Bombay Chroni- cle", in 1914 and part of the following year, with the nom de plume of "Sandy Seventy/' my having attained that age at the time.

Urged by kind friends, old and young, who found the reminiscences interesting, that I should give them a permanent place in our local annals, I resolved to have them collected and published, somewhat ex- panded, in bookform. Owing to the war and other reasons, the preliminary revision had to be delayed. It was, how- ever, taken at last on hand and completed by my son, with his rare filial devotion and love of literary work, only a few short weeks before - his untimely death.

xix

{November 1919). The work has since /undergone further revision; bnt some typographical and other errors have crept in for which I crave the indulgence of the reader. A list of the errors is printed.

Some interesting incidents escaped re- ference in the body of the book. These I now briefly relate. In the middle of the Sixties of the last century Dr. Livingstone, that intrepid and distinguished traveller, having arrived from Zanzibar, on his way to London, Sir Bartle Frere, the then Governor, invited him to give a short ac- count of the principal events and discove- ries connected with his travels in Central Africa before an audience of the citizens of Bombay in the Town Hall. It was a gathering of many enlightened and influ- ential persons. Being one of the audience I should say, as my own personal impres- sion formed at the time, that Dr. Living- stone actually took his hearers by storm, such was -his thrilling and entertaining narrative. It was something to have heai d Ifirst hand, from the lips of the great

XX

traveller and explorer, all about the wilds of Central Africa lie walked on foot hun- dreds of miles, the mountains and rivers he carefully traced, the lakes he dis- covered a,s the sources of the Nile, the scenery that impressed him, and, lastly, the men and women of divers African communities he met with and who became his most excellent friends, thanks to his missionary character and his deep sympathy with the races. Dr. Livingstone Iseemed to me to be a personage of a wiry frame, well built, fine physique with next to no traces of the stress and strain of hundreds of miles that he travelled, often alone, but overcoming each and every difficulty as it arose. Of course, his face was "sundried." The lecture was, made further attractive by many maps and other illustrations of the journey, as well as by a goodly show of quaint ^nd archaic trinkets which the womanhood of Central Africa wore. Verily, the advent of the great traveller was a historic event in the annals of Bombay and needed a mention in this place.

xxi

Of minor interest may be mentioned, the visit in the very early part of 1864, of the then Commander-in-Chief of India, Lord Strathnairn and Jhansi, bnt more popularly known as Sir Hugh Rose, one of that most illustrious and heroic band of mutiny officers who saved India to the British when the destiny of the Empire was trembling in the balance. The other visitor was H. H. The Maharaja Dhuleepsingh who was in Bombay on his way to Lahore to perform the religious ceremonies of his deceased mother, the widow of the great Ranjeet Singh, ' 'The Lion of the Punjab/ ' Both attended the Convocation of the Uni- versity in the Town Hall accompanied by Sir Bartle Frere as the Chancellor and Sir Alexander Grant as the Vice-Chancel- lor. The Maharaja, so far as my recol- lection carries me, looked a fine specimen of a brave Sikh. His bearing was noble as he walked down the aisle of the hall with measured step side by side with Sir Hugh. Of course, he was darkish in appearance but well built. Unlike, how-

xxi i

ever, many of our indigenous Princes and Chiefs he had not bedecked himself with "pearls and parbaric gold" of the gor- geous East, Sir Bartle Frere's Convoca- tion address was, as usual, full of bril- liancy, culture and literary polish of which he was a master. Literary scholarship was in the family and the name of Sir Hookham Frere is well known as that of a great classic scholar. The visit of these two distinguished persons was also a unique event in the history of Bombay. The city was then at the zenith of her pros- perity. The cotton lords of the day rolled in riches made in the cotton trade. The hum and buzz of hundreds of the madding crowd of brokers and speculators was in itself striking. Those were golden days ; and they congregated in their thou- sands at their favourite trysting place in what is now ' called the Esplanade Road, under the grateful sha- dow of three or four large spreading trees, say, somewhere about the budding for- merly known as Treacher's and now owned by the Mercantile Bank.

xxiii

Another omission which I feel I should supply is the catholic philanthropy of Mr. Rustomji Jamsetji Jeejeebhoy who' was the recognised prince of cotton mer- chants* Having amassed great wealth undreamt of by his legitimate trade in cotton, during the American Civil War, (1861 65) he magnificently emulated the benevolence of his venerated father, the first Sir Jamsetji Jeejeebhoy. He led the Lancashire Cotton Famine Fund in the city by donating a very princely amount. His name was as widely known as was that of his illustrious parent. Indeed it was a name to be conjured with for pure charity, not only in the city but in the whole of the Bombay Presidency, specially Gujerat. His philanthropy was unostenta- tious, and many are the stories of his cha- rities to his poor relatives, friends, and strangers. The left hand knew not what the right hand did. This was the Rus- tomji Jamsetjee whose benevoleiice had •spread far and wide, and I remember that in one of the weekly journals edited by Charles Dickens— " All the Year Round,"

xxiv

jiis name was funnily spelt as "Rum- tomji Jiimtolji, " just as Fraser's Magazine had before travestied his father's name, when created a baronet, as "Jamramji." Verily, Mr. Rustomji was Bombay's Good Samaritan in those halcyon days. Bombay has not known of another such save the first Sir Cowasji Jehangir Ready- money.

Lastly, let me recall the Legislative 'Council of the early sixties under the governorship of Sir Bartle Frere. The first rudimentary Councils in the three Presidencies of India were established in 1862 or 1863. .The nominations made by that liberal statesman were considered good in those days when the circle from which even to nominate was mostly limited to the merchant classes. Mr. Rustomji Jamsetji, Mr. Juggonath Sunkersett, Mr. Premabhoy Hemabhoy, Mr. Walter Cas- sels, and some of the Sirdars of the Dec- can were the "additional members" dur- ing the first 3 or 4 years. The one import- ant enactment passed by the early Xegis-

XXV

lative Council of Bombay was the Muni- cipal Act of 1865, the very first, but a most elaborate and carefully consider- ed piece of legislation. Thanks to the master mind and farsightedness of the very first aedile, or Municipal Commis- sioner, no other than Arthur Crawford, Bombay owes a deep debt of gratitude to him for all he accomplished. He was the first with his organising talents to develop Bombay on the right litres sixty years ago. But for him, I have not the least doubt in my own mind, ltlw± the future developments that have taken place would have not only been diffi- cult of accomplishment but more costly than they are. It is much to be wished H. B. Sir George Lloyd may jtake a leaf from the book of Arthur Crawford. He was really a talented and farsighted Com- missioner in advance of his age.

Uet me, in conclusion, inform the reader that I do not claim any perfection for this volume of personal recollections. Let' him take it for what it is worth. I have

xxvi

only essayed to link my own, youthful reminiscences with the great history of Bombay prior to i860 as I have read it, with a view that someone else may by and by give a faithful and graphic account of the rise and progress of Bombay gene- rally for the last half a century so as to make it instinct with lively interest for the rising generation.

Meanwhile let me publicly express my thanks to the editor of the latest volumes of the Bombay Gazetteer. Mr. Edwardes, whose literary merit needs no praise, was entrusted with the editing, of it on the basis of the mass of the most valuable papers left by the erudite Sir James Camp- bell. Many a hint and suggestion I have obtained from these interesting volumes I also express my thanks for the help I was able to derive from the Book of Bom- bay by the facetious and picturesque Mr. James Douglas. The book on the Origin and Early Settlement of Bombay by Dr. Cunha, antiquarian, historian and numis- matist all combined, w<as also #of great

xxvii

assistance. Again, I am deeply indebted to the Bombay Chamber of Commerce for the most valuable economic and commer- cial information I was able to glean from the many volumes recording the transac- tions of that body during the first twenty^ five years of its existence. The men of the Bombay Chamber of Commerce, establish- ed 84 years ago, have been vastly instru- mental in building up the greatness of the City. Few indeed are aware of the invaluable work the pioneers of commerce in the City had accomplished during the $irst twenty-five years.

Lastly, I am to offer my grateful thanks to Sir Stanley Reed, one of my most esteemed friends, of undoubted literary accomplishments in the journalistic line, whom I have known from tlie days of his first arrival in Bombay a quarter of a cen- tury ago . At my request he kindly under- took to write the ' 'Foreword' ' with his customary alacrity and enthusiasm. In this way he has greatly lightened my task in respect of what I myself had first con-

XXV111

templated narrating in this Prefatory Note touching the marvellous transforma- tion of Bombay. He has given a graphic portraiture of the evolution of the city, be- tween 189 c; and 1920, which is indeed uni- que. It is to my mind a perfect gem of the literary art of which Sir Stanley is the gifted possessor.

D. E. WACHA. 1st September, 1920.

BOMBAY FORT, 1670.

SHELLS FROM THE SANDS OF BOMBAY.

f

MY RECOIXECTIONS% AND REMINISCENCES OF BOMBAY 1850 TO 1865.

INTRODUCTION,

"Time Rolls its Ceaseless Course."

rftrtJS doth the tuneful bard of " Cale-

JL donia stern and wild " apostrophises Time which eminent evolutionists of the day regard as an " abstraction' ' pure and simple. According to these scientists it is only an invention of human ingenuity to'mark its own progress. In the philoso- phy of Eastern sages, from days the most ancient, Time* is " ainitya " or immeasuf* able. It is without a beginning and

without an end. Imagination fa as con jur - ed it as " a mighty whirling wheel which Bone can stay or stem. " Its spokes go round unceasingly. So we meta- phorically speak of " the whirligig of Time/' Unceasing in its revolution it is supposed to know no pause and take no breath. Generation after gene- ration take their birth only to be swept away by the high returning tide in the great gulf of Eternity, leaving behind on life's sandy shore a few shells to bear testimony to their bare existence. These shells are patiently and laboriously picked up by a few faithful collectors, whom we call archaeologists and histo- rians. With infinite pains they endea- vour to interpret their true significance.

Similarly, may not the , present writer in his own bumble way walk the ocean strand and pick up such stray shells from the sands as he may happen to stumble upon and evolve out of them his own narrative ? In * other words,

2

•may He not interest the present genera- tion by relating his own recollections and reminiscences of the Bombay as he knew half a century ago and more ? May he not string together a brief narrative of the marvellous transformation which the whirligig oi Time has wrought in its ceaseless course, and the prodigies which have been accomplished by the race of yore on whose knees the infancy of two generation has danced ?

Old " Bombaiii."

Throwing back the shroud of years, let it be revealed how it struck the boy of the early Fifties of the Nineteenth century that good old " Bomb a in " or ^MumMi," which two hundred 3^ears before was owned by " My Lady of the Manor/' under a lease of £10 per annum, from his Gracious Majesty of Portugal, a,nd which was so assiduously explored for drugs by Signor Garcia de Orta, that able scientist of botanic fame.

3

How did the " Killa " or Fort strike him? What were its environments ? How many or few are the traces left of the old Fort for identification to-day ? What were the ramparts or " Kote" and what the moats and ditches surrounding them which in the vernacular language were called " Chur"? How far did the " maidan 9 extend ? Why a part of it was known as *' Pava-nchaki," and who were the good folk who resorted to the area to " eat the air " at even-tide and be refreshed by the balmy breeze blowing from the western sea ? Where were the " Teen and Dao Durwazas " or Fort Gates, and where the " Dongri Killa " and the "Topekhana " (or artillery station) ? And emerging from the " durwazas'' or gates, which practically shut out the Fort or " Kote " from the native town in the north, what was understood by "Paidho- ni, " " Bharkote" or " Kotebahar, " what by "Bori Bunder/' " Fansika-talav," " Dhobighat/' " Cbandanwadi, " and so

4

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FORT, 1711.

on ? How were the sulburbs of Mazgaon, Parel/Chinchpogli, and Girgaum, Majaa- laxmi and Walkeshwar situated, where so many " wadis " or country house gardens were built for enjoying a holiday or spending a week-end ?

What about the only " Godee " or dock and the great Wadia family who were known to be the hereditary master- builders of the mercantile marine and the Indian navy warships which navigated the Arabian and Red Seas and pursued the "briglas" and "dhows" of the pira- tical Arabs of Muscat, Socotra and Zan- zibar, who bought