Frere The Man Who Transformed Bombay, 1870 Photo

Old 1870 cdv photo of Frere the man who transformed Bombay, now Mumbai. If not for this person Bombay perhaps would not have been the same. The man who made a great impact on Bombay was Sir Henry Bartle Frere. He arrived in Bombay on 22nd April 1862. Two days later his inauguration as Governor of the Bombay Presidency took place. One of his first tasks was the removal of the unfunctional Bombay Fort’s walls. Fort George lay north of Colaba and south of Mazgaon.

The removal of the walls took place during the years 1862-63. The debris was used to fill up the wide and long moat. The main streets: Rampart Row (now K. Dubash Marg)., Esplanade Road (now Mahatma Gandhi Road)., Hornby Road (now Dadabai Naoroji Road) were planned along the wall and the moat. He criticized his predecessors for generating acres of featureless streets that were dull and extremely repetitive. According to Frere, the city fabric called for something more personal, invigorating, and appealing.

Frere went on to advocate the Anglo-Indian architecture. He then proposed a master plan, the plan called for new public buildings, and all would be neo-Gothic style. Like the Victoria Terminus (now Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus)., Municipal Corporation Building., High Court, University, and so on. By one act, he enabled the city centre to expand greatly. Which included the buildings in a European style. His term as governor ended in 1867, although his work on the city was still progressing. But within this short period, he transformed Bombay from a lackluster and staid city to a more European-styled city. Click on the photo for better view.

Did you know – having passed his language examination, he was appointed assistant collector at Poona (now Pune) in 1835. 

From the collection – Raja Ravi Varma’s Portrait Photo – Old Postcard 1904.,  Esplanade Road Chennai Two Views, 2 PCs 1945.,  Elephants Of The Rajah Of Travancore – Old Print 1858.

The images are of the actual items from my collection. And Not a photocopy, pirated, reproduced, stock photos, or taken from other sources.



Photo Details

Year -


Photograph Size -

6½ x 4 inch

Photographer -

Elliott & Fry