Bombay, on the Malabar Coast, belonging to the East India Company of England
Published by Robert Sayer as no. 2 in the series Views of the Early Settlements, London 1754
In 1664, the East India Company leased the Bombay area from the British Crown. A Portuguese manor house situated on Bombay Island provided a suitable site for a fort and a customs house; a warehouse and quay were also constructed. Seaborne traffic entering Bombay harbour increased considerably during the last few decades of the 17th century CE but as the Company initially depended heavily on the docks at Surat for repairing and graving their vessels, the directors took some time to permit the construction of a dockyard at Bombay, which was eventually constructed in 1694.
After that, all English ships were directed to “Enter at the Bombay Harbour for refitting and graving”. As a result, the revenue for the Company grew. However, as all work at the new dockyard had to be carried out in the open, there were many hazards due to the lack of security and the constant threat of fire. As the workload increased, so did the problems. Consequently, a proper dry dock for refitting and graving was constructed and completed in 1734. Outer fortifications were built around the town of Bombay along with several public buildings, including the Church of St. Thomas. In this view, Bombay Castle (on the right) is seen from across the harbour, with the custom house and its pier, the church and the flagstaff.
Gift of Pauline and Roy Rohatgi
Prints, Drawings and Photographs
Jan van Ryne (1712–1760)
Coloured line engraving
26.5 x 40.5 cms