View of British Fort George & Castle Bombay, 1809 Print

View of British Fort George & Castle Bombay, 1809 Print

An 1809 engraved print of British Fort George and castle in Bombay (Mumbai). In 1661, British King Charles II was gifted the seven islands of Bombay by the Portuguese. Being part of the dowry on the King’s marriage to Catherine the sister of King of Portugal. Charles II leased the islands to the East India Company.

The Company saw potential in creating a city and settling there, thus moving away from its prevailing location at Surat. Building a fortification was inevitable, because of the nuisance of local chieftains and pirates. And above all the potential threat from their archenemy the French and rival European colonists. Thus the first building activity of the British was the fortification on the ‘H’ shaped island of Bombay. Completed in 1745, and with its Castle protected a small town.

When the East India Company shifted its headquarters to Bombay, the governor resided in the Castle. Gerald Aungier was the first Governor of Bombay to reside there. Consequently, the British Fort George’s walls were demolished in 1862 on the orders of then governor Bartle Frere. Although large portions of the original Castle walls and bastions still remain today.

Did you know – at present, it is occupied by the office of the Flag Officer Commander-in-Chief of the Western Naval Command.

Past posts – Rural Life In India Watercolour Painting By N. Mukherjee., First Line Beach British Era Madras, 1880 Photo., Bombay – Calcutta Train & Tiger Hunting, 1900 Postcard., Ancient India West of The Ganges, Old Map 1683 .