Mumbai Fort 19th Century – Old Photo 1870
This is an old 1890 photograph of Bombay’s or Mumbai’s Fort area. Visible in the foreground is a portion of the wall of Bombay Fort. The open space in between the sloped roof buildings is I suppose Cotton Green. And in the distant background is the familiar humped back mountain range when looking towards the mainland.
Bombay or Mumbai had a colourful history. It was a group of seven islands before the British East India Company took over. In 1532, the Portuguese conquered the islands of Bombay and Mahim from the control of Sultan Bahadur Shah. The ruler of the Kingdom of Gujarat. The new Portuguese rulers were not wise enough to exploit the advantages that Bombay offered.
The place remained stagnant under their reign and many years later, in 1661, it was handed over to Charles II. King of England as part of the dowry, which he had received on his marriage to Catherine of Braganza sister of the King of Portugal. At this time, the population was about ten thousand. Anticipating high maintenance and upkeep King Charles II leased Bombay to the East India Company.
For the symbolic sum of ten English pounds of gold per year. Soon the company’s headquarters shifted from Surat to Mumbai. By and by East India Company transformed the seven islands into a single landmass. Since then the city grew exponentially. The role of the East India company was terminated and the power to rule India was transferred to the crown. After the bloody outcome of the Indian mutiny of 1857. Click on the photo for better view
See my post- Bombay Fort And Harbour – Old Map/Plan 1754. Read also- 350 years ago, Bombay was given to the East India Company.
Did you know- the fort wall was built around the present Fort area in 1715 by Governor Charles Boone, in order to protect the city against the French, Mughals, Marathas, and pirate invasions.