Extracts from India Office Library


F/4/347, 8152A

F/4/1016, 27849(2) & (3)

Bengal Mint Committee Proceedings. IOR P/162/69. p43



Surat Consultations, IOR G/36/106. p. 136

Letter from Bombay to Surat, 28th September 1672

The Company haveing ordered us to coine money for Bombay, and to begin with gold or silver, and haveing sent noe gold, wee have thought good to Keepe one chest of ingots to coine into money for the use of this island. The chest taken on shoar is No 109 wherein are 5 ingotts of silver, which as it increases our stock here wee shall be enabled to remit yet more money to you

Bombay Factory Records, IOR G/3/1. 1672 p. 16

Meeting of Council 22nd January 1672

The [Jugott] of silver which was formerly ordered in Council to be employed in the mint to make money is ordered to be disposed of by reason there is as yet no conveniency for a mint to be settled.

Bombay Factory Records, IOR G/3/1. 1672 p. 21

Meeting of Council 4th February 1672

Mr Richard Adams overseer of the mint having executed that office for above the space of one month past

Surat Factory Records, IOR G/36/106. 1673 p. 54

Letter from Bombay dated 1st January 1673 (1672 in old terms)

We have sent you per Capt Anderson several [pieces] of our new coine money which ye Honble Company ordered us to make (Viz) thirty Anglinas, thirty copperoons & thirty tinnys, twenty of each whereof we desire you to send for England in two ships, ten in each ship. The remainder you may dispose of as you please among your friends…

Bombay Factory Records, IOR G/3/1. 1673 p. 27

Meeting of Council 7th March 1673

Ordered that all Pice which are exported from this day off from the Island shall pay 5 per cent customs and whoever shall export any without paying the said duty, what pice soe taken shall be forfeited , one halfe thereof to the Honble Company and the other halfe to the customer and informer.

Bombay Factory Records, IOR G/3/1. 1673 p. 114

Meeting of Council 26th November 1673

That 500 Maunds of tinn be sent for from Surat for the use of the mint in regards all the tinn on the Island is already minted

Bombay Factory Records, IOR G/3/1. 1673 p. 1

Meeting of Council 6th December 1673

…taken on shore

1000 Maunds Surat Copper for the mint

2000 ditto tinn for the mint

Bombay Factory Records, IOR G/3/1. 1674 p. 49

Meeting of Council 12th June 1674

[…..] by a former consultation the stamp appointed to be made for the coyne to be minted on Bombay was ordered to have the Companys arms with their title on one side and on the other side within the circle Moneta Bombay Anglii Regiminis Anno 7o and without the words A Deo Pax et incrementum, and whereas by observation we have taken notice that the Portuguese our neighbours were not well afforded therewith because there was nothing in the stampe relating to the King or Queen [wheresofor] in regards that this island […] for trade and provisions with the Portuguals country and […] to let our money pass current in their country

That the coin to be made on this Island of Bombay be as follows:

On the one side the Companys arms with their title and on the other side two CC […] with a crown over them and a cross upon the top of the crown. The two C representing the first two letters of the names of their Majesties and without the circle A Pax Deo et incrementum and that they be not called Anglinas as formerly but Ingresses in regards that word is much more common with all sorts of people than Anglinas

Bombay Factory Records, IOR G/3/1. 1674 p. 64

Meeting of Council 17th July 1674


The President taking into consideration that it might be justly supposed that the new coyne lately ordered to be made will not pass in other [....], notwithstanding it is the full weight of a Surat rupee and of the same fineness of assay in regards it does not resemble the ordinary coins there, made a proposal to the Council for the making of another coin (Viz) to make the silver of the same fineness and weight and in the same form of a Surat rupee and on the one side to have stamped in the Persian characters Charles the second King of England etc and on the other side likewise in the same character Money of Bombay. Which proposal the President desired the Council to consider of seriously whether it might not give any disgust to the Moghuls or be of any prejudice to the Companys affairs.

Ordered that a stamp of the said coyne be made and that some[…] stamped […] be sent up to the Deputy President and Council at Surat to have [….] and in regards it is an affair of weighty consideration to desire them seriously to consider whether it will be more hindrance or obstruction to the Company’s trade in Surat by giving any disgust to the Moghull

Bombay Factory Records, IOR G/3/1. 1674, p. 97

Meeting of Council 28th September 1674

Whereas formerly it was ordered that a new coyne should be made stamped on the one side in Persian characters, Charles the 2nd King of England etc, and on the other side, Money of Bombay, some [pieces?] of which coyne were stamped here and sent up to Surat to the Deputy President etc to have their [view] thereof, who have just advised the President that the [said?] title of His Majesty is too low and will not be esteemed in this country, whereupon the President proposed to the Council for the making of a coyne stamped on one side instead of Charles the 2nd King of England, Charles Shaw Inglestan and on the other side the same as before, which proposal was approved of referring the same to the Honble Company to have their orders concerning it before […] any further […] on […] the coyne and to advise the Deputy President and Council thereof in the meantime that we may know their opinions thereof

Bombay Factory Records, IOR G/3/2. 1675, p. 75

Meeting of Council 24th May 1675

Ordered that Capt [Testick] deliver to the mint one hundred chests of copper to make pice and that all ye remainder of the copper be made into pice as soon as possible it can

Bombay Factory Records, IOR G/3/2. 1675, p. 103

Meeting of Council 19th July 1675

That for the encouragement of strong and able labourers that are capable to be employed in merchants business to the number of 200, an order be issued out that they shall be paid six pice a day…

…Managee and Muckancheer, shroffs being employed in the Comps mint to make pice, a large quantity which they made was found to be soe light that they would not pass in the neighbouring parts, whereas they past very current before. Which cheat hath brought upon us much dishonour and the crime being of a very high nature it was thought convenient to take publique notice thereof and so:

Ordered that the Attorney General for the Comp should prosecute them by law at next sessions and that they receive condign punishment according to the merit of their crime

Bombay Factory Records, IOR G/3/2. 1675, p. 113

Meeting of Council 23rd July 1675

The Honble Comp having a great quantity of pice ready made on the Island and cannot put them off by reason of the great quantity of Surratt pice that are imported which supplys the Shroffs it is:

Ordered that noe Surratt pice shall pass on the Island

Bombay Factory Records, IOR G/3/2. 1677, p. 8

Meeting of Council 11th July 1677

The bugerooks being light will not pass current in the adjacent places which is a very great loss to ye Commonality and cause of disaffection and there being now a quantity of new buggerooks made which are 10 per cent weighter, it was ordered:

That a proclamation be issued out to call in all the old buggerooks and ye time appointed for ye bringing it in be twenty days from the proclamation thereof in which time all those that bring in olf buggerroks shall have them exchanged for new

Bombay Factory Records, IOR G/3/2. 1677, p. 12

Meeting of Council 19th October 1677

Mr John Jessop being [enordered] a factour and there being great want of one to look after the mint, it was:

Ordered that ye charge of ye mint be committed to his care

Bombay Factory Records, IOR G/3/2. 1677, p. 21

Meeting of Council 10th January 1677 (which I think means 1678)

The old Buggrookes being called in and new sett out, that those brought in might not be imbezzled being in small parcels and also a small coine it was:

Ordered that the Warehousekeeper should melt downe all the old Buggrookes into blocks of Tynn that they be ready to dispose of if any merchant should offer to buy Tynn, none careing to buy them as they are

Bombay Factory Records, IOR G/3/8. 1678, p. 59

Letter from Bombay to Surat Council dated 4th December 1678

Notwithstanding all our endeavours we cannot possibly make the mint that the Honble Company sent out, so serviceable as we desire and they expect, for besides the unhandiness of these people wee cannot make a clear impression with it but in that we will prove defective, whole words being imperfect & blurred as well as part of the Royal Arms

Bombay Factory Records, IOR G/3/8. 1679, p. 14

Letter from Bombay to Surat Council dated 10th March 1679

We know not how Muddum came to be employed in ye Honble Company’s mint but it seems he wound himself in like a snake…

Bombay Factory Records, IOR G/3/2. 1680, p. 63

Meeting of Council 3rd December 1680

Having been for several months without copper, by reason thereof no copperoons hath been coined, so that for want thereof the soldiers have been paid in buzerooks at ye same rates, between which coins the difference being 3 Fedeas in a X[erafin] which is a loss to the soldiers and of which they have made complaint att [seberal?] payments, and we having in several letters advised the President and Council of the great want we were in of copper, and the great prejudice the Honble Company would receive if we were not supplied, and none as yet being sent us, it was concluded to prevent any disturbance that might arise by paying the soldiers in Bazarookes that Copperoons should be bought at as cheape rate as possible in which though there will be a loss, yet not so considerable a loss as if they should once be paid all in silver or gold, they having been paif hitherto the one half of their pay in gold or silver att the bazarr rate which is twenty five Fadeas and the other half in copper att twenty one Fadeas, and therefoere should they once be paid their full pay in gold or silver at the rate above mentioned there would be noe likelihood of reducing itt againe as itt is now. Therefore it was unanimously conclded more to the Company’s interest to buy Duoonees or Copperoons so long as they were procurable.

Bombay Factory Records, IOR G/3/7. 1674, p. 11

Letter from Bombay to London, dated 16th December 1674

…We hoped you would have given us some positive instructions touching ye setting of a mint for gold and silver on Bombay, without which we cannot proceed. We have had several debates and arguments concerning another sort of stamp, under a Persian character, which we hope in time will pass as well as rupees and without loss or vattao [batta?] on ye maine, but it being an affair of noe mean concerne  wee concluded to suspend our further proceeding & discourse thereon till we were strengthened with more sufficient power from you. Of tin we have been totally in want for making of buzrooks. As for copper pice, the merchants have imported some from Surratt & have minted some copper brought from Surratt & from the Bantam ships, whereby the island hath been supplied with small change, but we hope we shall hereafter be better furnished with your own English [blank] & copper from ye South Seas which wil turne you some reasonable profit.

Bombay Factory Records, IOR G/3/7. 1674, p. 27

Letter from Bombay to Surat, dated 23rd December 1674

The President takes notice what you write concerning supplying you with part of the copper, as to that he replies that he would willingly have done it but for our market here exceeds yours at least 3 or 4 rupees per maund for we mint all our copper here [….] all charges of mintage etc deducted amounts to above 21 Rups per maund, and the President is apt to think copper at Surratt will not sell (in regard of the great quantity the Dutch have brought) above 18 rupees per maund. Besides we desire you to consider that there is coming in the Golden Fleece & Rainbow 1500 chests more of copper which we have taking all or most part of it on shoare here for the mint, for our pice do not only pass current in in Sevagees country, but in all the portugals country…

Bombay Factory Records, IOR G/3/7. 1675, p. 54

Letter from Bombay to Surat, dated 18th January 1675

…Ye mint for gold & silver also [when] well settled will turne to some advantage but wee cannot proceed therein without further positive order from you. Ye copper & tinn coin goes current in these parts but that of copper of far greater expense [than] ye tinn and it will be a constant addition to your revenue. If you please to give order that we be yearly supplied with Japan copper from Bantam where if it be cheap bought it will turne to a reasonable profit in your mint, but copper sent from Europe being very deare & chargeable to be cut into small bars, will not turne to account.

Bombay Factory Records, IOR G/3/7. 1675, p. 105

Letter from Bombay to Surat, dated 20th March 1675

Your Japan copper and tin taken on shore here out of your ships Falcon and Mary is all disposed of in your mint to good profit and if we had double the quantity it would yearly vend, for the copper and tinne made here doe pass current in all these places in soe much that if the Golden Fleece and Rainbow doe not arrive in May we shall be in great want of the said commodities for expense of your mint which in time wee doubt not will give a good addition to your revenues especially if the mint of gold and silver were settled as it ought to be. Touching which we expect your Honble further directions.

Bombay Factory Records, IOR G/3/7. 1675, p. 158

Letter from Bombay to Surat, dated 4th November 1675

When the Unicorn arrives we shall take out to ye amount of 40,000 Rups & coin it taking care ye stamp be perfect.

Bombay Factory Records, IOR G/3/7. 1676, p. 4

Letter from Bombay to Surat, dated 31st December 1675

Wee have sent up by Capt Norgrave 24 Rupees, 12 of one sort of a new stamp & 9 of ye other & 3 of ye old and desire to know which of the 3 you best approve of. That of ye PAX A DEO in ye middle is most likt here. That with MONITA BOMBAYS hath to many letters on it for ye middle which makes it not look so well as [they] think, we must be forced to coyne two thousand to pay our souldiers this pay day which we think to be that of PAX A DEO. If not approved of they are quickly called in & if carried off of ye Island, trouble will be saved. Ye pice are of ye old stamp. Ye bugorooks are 10 per cent weighter then the former as will appear by those […]ones sent, being 90 now which weigh as much as ye 100 old. This was ordered by consultation before His Honr went off.

Bombay Factory Records, IOR G/3/7. 1676, p. 55

Letter from Bombay to Surat, dated 21st August 1676

We have taken on shore 329 copper plates which will be sufficient to keep your mint employed with [w…], there being loss in making ye plates into diganoos and therefore would not take to great a quantity of tinn. We have a great quantity by us

Bombay Factory Records, IOR G/3/7. 1676, p. 60

Letter from Bombay to Surat, dated 22nd September 1676

Our Chief Coyner is run away having stolen an other mans wife so [yet] we have nobody who knows how to coin. Please to send us down one other as last or we shall be put to great straights.

Bombay Factory Records, IOR G/3/7. 1676, p. 65

Letter from Bombay to Surat, dated 1st November 1676

… & most tedious coiners to make us money, [so] we again desire ye speedy finding a coiner.


Bombay Factory Records, IOR G/3/5. 3rd February, 1697


There being a great quantity of copper on ye Island to be sold at 16 rupees per maund, which is a very low price, we did agree that about 46 [cwt?] should be bought on the Right Honble Company’s account to be made into pice, by which they would be considerable gainers.

Bombay Factory Records, IOR G/3/5. 26th March, 1697


The copper that was bought for account of our Rt Honble the master ye 3rd February last being made all into pice and there being 37 [cwt] more on this Island to be sold at 18 rupees per maund, it was agreed that it should be bought and immediately delivered ye mintmen to coyne to make into pice

Bombay Factory Records, IOR G/3/5. 29th June, 1698


We having been at sundry times advised that the Moghul and his Ministers very strictly resented our coining rupees with Persian characters, esteeming it an [encroachment] on said King’s prerogative and the President and Council having now as well as formerly wrote us to the same effect, we did write them that we had not coined any this last 18 months and that we would coin no more with such characters, and accordingly resolved that when we did coin any then it should be with ye lattin inscription with which rupees were formerly coined [……..] and we also order new stamps should be made ready for ye purpose.

Bombay Factory Records, IOR G/3/5. 7th October, 1703


…having ordered as much of her copper to be landed & sold here as was vendible immediately at Rs 16 per maund Surat & not […]. But ye price being not procurable, & there being at present very few pice on ye Island & it appearing by ye books that ye Company were considerable gainers by when last coined, It was agreed to take two hundred chests of said copper on shore to be coined into pice.


g/3/5 completed

G/3/4 completed – contains report of the piratical attack on the ships (Sept 1695). This led to the suppression of the minting of Persian style coins

g/3/3 completed

Letters despatched from Bombay to Surat

Bombay Factory Records. IOR g/3/9

25th March 1680

The copper that we had for the use of the mint is now almost spent. We do therefore desire that you would be pleased to supply us with 300 chests of Japan copper which is much fit for our use as plate and the charge of minting it much lesser, and if we have it not to keep a mint going, that we may have some sort of money to pay our soldiers…

7th September 1680

… we would have taken one hundred plates of copper out of the ships but on enquiring find that there is none on board. It was the great want we are in that was of […] have not any copper coin on the Island, but are forced to make use of bazarookes, which are not so current a coin not so satisfactory as the other. Therefore pray supply us with copper as soon as possible, but in a little time it will prove a very great prejudice to the Honble Comp in payments, which we desire to prevent.

17th September 1680

…we are in great want of copper…

25th October 1680

We have often thought to have wrote you about the mint. The settlement made by your orders of 1 rupee per maund of copper for coinage is so large that since it has been, not any has been brought into the mint house to coyne as formerly, and indeed we have thoroughly examined and find it will not be to the advantage of any to coyne copper here, so that the Honble Compy loses by this what they formerly got; and the Island prejudices in the customs etc, which we humbly beg you will consider of and reduce it to the former duty of 1 la [larin?] per maund of copper, which in our judgement will be to the advantage of the Honble Company.

November 27th 1680

A maund Surat copper makes 1205 Duganees which passes here on the maine at 42 to the Xerafin is ye money       Xf 28  2

Out of which is to be deducted:

Customs for the copper at 3 ½ per cent accounting ot to cost 17 rupees per maund

Surat money is of […] money being 12 [,..] Xf 25  1

The prime cost of a maund of copper will come […]               Xf1

Duty to the Company for minting                                           Xf 1  1

Copper Smith’s labour                                                          Xf 1  1

                                                                                                       3  2



12th October 1681

Upon writing about lowering the order of one rupee per maund to the Hon Company for coining copper, we have discoursed so largely in ours of the [benefits], that it’s needless to say anything more here. You will there find what benefit the Honble Company may really get by coining copper. Formerly they had a greater gain because their soldier’s pay was paid in dugganees at 30 to the Xerafin but now that is over, caused by their orders this year; and now 150 chests of copper will not be sufficient to supply our mint. Without the gains by coining it may persuade you to send a larger quantity.


Bombay Factory Records. IOR g/3/10.

Letter from Gayer & Weldon at Bombay to Samuel Annesley, President at Surat, dated 12th July 1694

We take notice of what you write about the loss on silver in coining by Assay men. We mean such as [re]fine the silver ready for coining, but do not thuink it fit for you to acquaint the Government in this affair, especially considering what you say that he was angry when he saw some of our rupees.

Bombay Factory Records. IOR g/3/10.

Letter from Gayer at Bombay to Samuel Annesley, dated 16th November 1694

The mintmen altho’ nice have had no satisfactory trial of them for want of the melting man you discharged, we have [ di… in order … return] hoping you will take the necessary care to receive of them what you shall think fit to be returned of the charges

g/3/10a – Nothing here

Bombay Factory Records. IOR G/3/11. Book 2, no page numbers

Letter from Bombay to Madras dated 18th April 1695

We send you by conveighance 6 of the rupees we coin here desiring by the first conveighance you’ll send us the same number of your coins. Also the charge of your mint and what you loose or gain on the invoice of your silver now coined, also what you are allowed percentage for coinage when you coin for other persons & how your rupees pass in the Moghul’s country.










Letters Received at Bombay

g/3/20 – 1694, p.3, Contains a reference to a mint at Rajahmaul. Seems to be in a letter from Madras

Bombay Factory Records. IOR G/3/20, Book 1, p. 21

Letter from Surat to Bombay, dated 3rd July 1694

I have got two jurobs for the mint at Bombay and two Chucksees am in hopes of. They ask unreasonable considerations to go but I expect to bring them to more moderate terms and send them with what haste I can.

Bombay Factory Records. IOR G/3/20, Book 1, p. 29

Letter from Surat to Bombay, dated 10th July 1694

I have got 2 jurobs & one Chucksee for the mint but at such extravagant rates that I shall not entertain them ‘till Your Excellency’s answer. The Chocksee demands 300 rupees a year there. He can have 150 or 200. The jerabs demand 8 rupees a month when there is no business and 6 per mill on all they coin. In the [jankjall] they have 5 per mill. They want the charges [down] & liberty to return if they like not the place and all charges of fire etc in the mint is to be provided them.

Bombay Factory Records. IOR G/3/20, Book 2, p. 11

Letter from Surat to Bombay, dated 9th August 1694

The workmen of the mint being so dear, the Pr wrote to Cambay to get four from thence and yesterday had an answer. Two Choksees at 20 rupees per month. Two jurabs are to be allowed their way charges to Bombay, their diet there at 6 rupees per month & 4½ per mill on all they coin. This being far cheaper then we can have them from Surat, Vittal Parracks hath wrote to the Cambay broker to send with all expedition to us.

Bombay Factory Records. IOR G/3/20, Book 3, p. 38

Letter from Surat to Bombay, dated 13th October 1694

This serves only to accompany two Choksees & two Jurobs from Cambay for your mint, which were procured with much difficulty. We refer for their wages to the enclosed list. We shall write to Your Excellency the needful by an express which will be a numbler conveyance.

Bombay Factory Records. IOR G/3/20, Book 3, p. 58

Letter from Surat to Bombay, dated 6th November 1694

The Cambay broker is in a great deal of trouble from that Governor for sending the Choksees and Duraps to Bombay to coin in our mint and have forced him to give security for their return. He has sent two expresses to us. Inclosed is our broker’s letter concerning this. However, we desire to be referred.

Bombay Factory Records. IOR G/3/20, Book 3, p. 75

Letter from Surat to Bombay, dated 26th November 1694

We have not seen the mintmen as yet & shall endeavour the Rt Hon Co. be as little charged o their account as maybe. The Governor at Cambay has already [ffleeced?] our broker there about them.




















Bombay Public Consultations, 5th April 1705. India Office Collections P/341/2 p163

And that Wm Aislabie and who else with him in the Treasury, open any chest or chests of coyn’d silver whether Spanish Dollars, French Crownes, Duccatoones or Ryx Dollars carefully casting up the full cost, true value and weight of each specie – to be stampt in figures upon every piece great or small the best method we can at present – effectually supplying a valuable incourageing Coin to Trade to be taken in all paymts if not defac’t, till obtain authority coyning rupees, to be laid in Council before any stamp or issues be made by the Treasury.

Bombay Public Consultations, 24th April 1705. India Office Collections P/341/2 p174

Wm Aislabie and who else with him in the treasury pursuant to a resolution of Councl the 5th instant laying before Councl the true value, Spanish dollars, French crowns, Duccattoons or Ryx Dollars cast up as invoyct out of Eng:- 73 [?] p ounce at 2 [?] 3[?] each rupee makes a dollar of 17½ [?] wt amount to 2 Ru 24 pi and 1 ounce troy 2 R 48 pi intended by said consultation to be proportionably stampt upon each of said species as appears more or less in weight, supplying the present payments till coinage of rupees can be obtained.

Resolved and unanimously agreed that Wm Aislabie Esq. and who else with him in the treasury, carefully have stampt one chest or more as the exigency of affairs may now or hereafter require, foreign bullion supplying paymts to the Garrison and otherwise, Spanish Dollars, French Crownes, Duccatoones or Ryx Dollars or lesser denomination of said coynes have stampt in English figures 2R 48p, true cost to be esteemed the value for one ounce of silver in said coynes and so in proport’ more or less as each peece shall weigh. To be issued out of the treasury for all payments [Gentl] that shall be directed in Councl whither to ye Garrison officers and soldiers &c:-

[Wth ] said species so stampt if not deminisht in weight shall be recd in all payments made into the Public Treasury of this castle but not otherwise whereby the Compy will save not being carried into the Mogulls country 3½ p Ct custome from 40 to [90] days time rebate besides the loss as the coynes appears more or less in fineness will all amount to at least fourteen p. Cent

…what defects if any shall casually appear in the currency of said foreigne silver coin stampt 2R 48p p ounce till a stamp can be obtained coyning rupees to be continued as the said proffitt or loss may appear to ye Company wch the treasury is hereby monthly directed laying before the Gentl and Councl wth the wet what silver coyn stampt and copper pice coyned as aforesaid.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/2 p174, 24th April 1705.

And that until the Court of Managers shall be advised sending out tin the product of England, there be purchased at least 20 Pecull Siam or [Mallian] tinn as soone as any offers for sale, supplying coinage of said budgerooks useful and beneficial to the inhabitants and poorer sort of this island [for] buying provisions and other things

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/2 p174, 24th April 1705.

Some of the Tiled shedds wth in the fort remote from the powder bastions to be made use of for said purpose [i.e. minting silver and copper coins] till a proper and convent place for such work can be made within the House of the Fort

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/3

Nothing found

1710 reference to Buzerooks passing at 14 to the pice

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/4, 5th January 1716.

…Agreed that the warehousekeeper deliver forty B’bay maunds of tinn to the coppersmiths to make into Budgerooks.

That four chests of treasure be delivered the Goldsmiths for coinage into rupees for the supply of our treasury

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/4, 16th September 1717.

Our Rupees coined att Bombay being by said Phirmaund to Pass Currant in all the Mogulls Dominions in the Same Manner as those coined by his Govr if Stampt with his Stamp brought on a Debate concerning the Title therein given him which Runne Thus


[pictures of obv and rev with translation of Persian legends]


The Question being putt whether wee should condescend thereto, Since it Insinuates the Jurisdiction not only of this Island but the whole world to belong to him and thereby Derogates from the Honr of our Nation as well as all others, after some time spent in the Debate tho’ our Complying to Impress those Characters on our Coins may not be so much to the Credit of the English Nation & Rt Honble Compa as we desired or could wish; yett the following reasons being Offered were Unanimously approved.

First it has been the Practice of the Emperours of India to take upon them that Stile and Title and whatever European Nation addresses him, must flatter that Prince therewith or Loose their Suit.

Secondly, the benefitt that is likely to accrue from the case in Dispute is very considerable.

Thirdly the Presidt and Councell att Fort St George have already shewn us the way in the Stamp of their Rupees, and Allumgeer Pagodas.

Fourthly and Lastly there is no other Prospect of procuring the Currency of our Rups so that rather than Loose this Advantigious Part of our Grant it is Unanimously Resolved that the Rupees we Coin for the future be Stampt with the words above mentioned, and that we Deferr Settling what shall be paid by private Persons for Coinage till wee do see that our Rupees do pass currently.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/4, 23rd September 1717.

The Govr being out of Town ordered the Secretary to advise the Gentll of the Council that for replenishing the Treasury which att present is very low and also to gett rid of Tinn in the Warehouse there being no vent for it, he would Coin it into Duccanees, with their consent the Secretary Gave Notice thereof to them this Day and they assenting the Presidt ordered that said Tinn be delred out for coining accordingly the Secretary to Prepare a Proclamation for the Dicanees passing Currt on the Island which being Drawn out was this day Published.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/5, Friday 22nd May 1724.

The President represents to the Board that there is about forty thousand rupees of tin pice on the island that he finds twenty thousand sufficient to answer the occasions thereon so that there remains continually in the treasury from fifteen to twenty thousand dead stock & therefore offers it as his opinion for the interest of our Hon’ble masters that it be run down into bars convenient for sale.

Which being debated and considered that the rate at which the pice is now current is about sixteen rupees the maund Surat, the running of them will be [asuming tho’] no real loss to our Hon’ble employers and whereas that commodity in all probability will be at a higher rate the next season than it has been for some years past it is the unanimous opinion of the Board that such a quantity of said pice as shall be found unnecessary be run down into proper bars for sale which is hereby directed to be done accordingly.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/5, Friday 19th June 1724.

The President informed the Board that one Gunsett a native of Goa and Goldsmith who lately came hither offering to work up the Companys silver fifty per chest more to their advantage then the present undertaker (Ragusett) does it, he had directed a chest of Pillar Dollars to be delivered to each of them to be worked up in the mint under the inspection of Mr Thomas Yeomans the mint master from whose accot of the produce of each now laid before us – there actually appears fourteen rupees two quarters & sixty Raes from that worked up by the Goa Goldsmith than from Ragusett, Mr Yeomans farther relation thereof as follows.

Honble Sir

In obedience to your Honours commands I delivered to Gunsett, goldsmith one chest Pillar Dollars [Wt] two Hundred & Ninety Pounds Eight ounces that I received by your Honrs orders from the Hon’ble Companys treasury & had it carefully coined in the mint & likewise delivered one chest of Pillar Dollars to Ragoosett goldsmith [Wt] two hundred & ninety pounds eight ounces that were coined in the mint at the same time. The former produced rupees (when the lead, copper and slag were saved and brought to account) eight thousand seven hundred fifty six one quarter & forty Raes, from which deduct for sundry charges rupees one hundred and four (rupees) three quarters and it leaves neat rupees eight thousand six hundred fifty one, three quarters & forty Raes and as this Gunsett doth make appear by the Accot herewith delivered your Honr a greater produce than Ragoosett, the Honble Companys former worker in this employ & I make the calculate from that which is the most profit to my Hon’ble masters and is [xxxx].

                                                                                           Rups    qrs       R

For each hundred ounces of Pillar Dollars                              248                   18

Each hundred ounces of Mexico Dollars                                245       3          32½

Each hundred ounces of Duccatoons                                                250       3

Each hundred ounces of French crowns                                            245                   87


Tis well known to your Honour that Ragoosett Goldsmith has for some years coined the Hon’ble Company’s foreign silver & hath paid into their treasury for each hundred ounces of duccatoons Rupees two hundred and forty nine two quarters forty eight raes and a half, ditto Pillar Dollars rupees two hundred and forty six two quarters and fifty raes, ditto Mexico Dollars rupees two hundred forty four three quarters & fifteen raes and a half, ditto French crowns rupees two hundred forty four & seventy one raes & is a difference in each per cent Duccatoons forty five decimals, in Mexico Dollars four hundred and twenty four, in Pillar Dollars fifty seven in French crowns four hundred twenty four – which is humbly presented to your Honour



Ragusett & Gunsett being then called in and interegated whereon Ragusett accused the other of using some unfair practice which in some measure he seems to prove on him, by Mr Yeomans allowing thereof, that in his lead which holds the silver there was about double the quantity when separated as there ought to be & could be no otherwise as they averr but by throwing in some silver unobserved by them amongst his charcoal – to this Gunsett had little more to reply then that they should then have detected him.

Ragoosett being ordered to withdraw the Goa Goldsmith was required to inform the Board what security he could give for a post of so much trust, replys he will give security for whatever we would entrust him with, which the President informs the Board he had promised him for five months past but had not yet brought any tho’ he had sometimes offered those who when called for had refused it.

The Board therefore gives him to this day se’enight for bringing his security for our acceptance & then he withdrew.

Mr Thomas Yeomans being further asked his opinion of this person declares he does not think him equal to the office & will be very much confused in working up different sorts of silver which he has already experienced in some lately come from Persia wherein he did show himself much at a loss and adds that when we are in haste for coining of our silver on the arrival of our ships he will not be able to give that dispatch that Ragoosett has done, recommending therefore if Ragoosett can be brought to give the price for the several species as per his calculate, from the produce of the chest of silver worked up by the Goa Goldsmith that he be continued in the employ.

Ragoosett is again called in and the President bid him remember that when he gave him the business from Mr Yeomans he did engage him to make the silver yield the utmost to the Hon’ble Company at the same time telling him that he did not desire otherwise but to leave him a moderate sufficiency for his trouble which he himself allowed twenty five rupees per chest was enough whereas it now appeared that he has gained more then sixty. He makes excuse of lowering his workmens wages by degrees and buying his other necessaries much cheaper than formerly, but that he has at times mett with a great many [bass] Dollars among the Mexico which he has constantly made good and consequently his profits are far less than we esteem them.

Being then told he is an old servant tho’ herein we have found tardy we were nevertheless willing to continue him in the business provided he would pay in according to the calculate made from the produce of the chest of silver worked up by the Goa Goldsmith to which replying that he could not do it without a great loss accruing to himself the Board insisted thereon and gave him ‘till this day se’enight to give his final answer, he thereupon withdrew and the Board adjourned.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/5, Friday 26th June 1724.

The competitors for the coining of the Hon’ble Companys silver attending pursuant to our resolution on Friday last, Gunsett the Goa Goldsmith is called upon to produce his security who naming Ponda Sinay – He is thereupon called in and interrogated if he would be security for this persons faithful discharge of the trust, to which he replies he is so far willing as to make a tryal of twenty five chests of silver and according as he finds he complys in coining of them he will continue to engage for him for more, that is, he will see the Ballac of the same paid into the treasury that the Hon’ble Company be no loosers but as to any other frauds that business may be liable to he has not to say which Mr Yeomans the Mint Master must look after.

The which taking into consideration that this persons having charge of our mint altho’ under the inspection of Mr Thomas Yeomans ‘tis possible he may unknown to him coin private silver of baser alloy & thereby bring discredit upon it, & if detected thereof is he of any substance to make [reparation] nor can he find security to be liable for any such fraud.

The board is therefore of the opinion that if Ragusett can be brought to give according to the calculate from what the silver produced by Gunsett that the [business] be continued in him. He being thereupon called in does at last agree rather than loose the same to give as follows:








‘For 100

ounces of

Pillar Dollars









32 ½









French Crowns






Old Sevil Dollars


















Lion Dollars






German Crowns





& in proportion for any other silver but requests if he shall hereafter make appear to this Board that thro’ any accident he cannot be able to pay in at the above prices that then we will relieve him according as we find reasonable.

And the President informing the Board that he had one hundred & twenty eight rupees surplus on three chests of treasure coined by Gunsett it is agreed that it be returned to him as a reward.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/5, Friday 19th June 1724.

The mintmaster, his account of coinage of the Hon’ble Companys silver last month where in chest No. 629 it appears that the bag No 2515 said to be Pillar Dollars is found to contain the following species [Wgt]


                                                       lb.        Oz.

       Pillar Dollars                             49         1

       & Mexico                                    1        7

German Crowns                         16         10

French Crowns                            5        2

                                           _________        lb.        Oz

72         8

which being a mixture of coins of baser alloy occasions a loss to the Hon’ble Company of Rupees thirty one quarter ninety four Raes & a half.

Resolved to give our Hon’ble Masters Acco’t thereof in our next advices’

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/6, Friday 22nd December 1727.

…The President lays before the Board the mintmasters acct of the Honble Company’s bullion coin’d in the mint this present year ending the 18th instant amounting to rupees six hundred and eighty six thousand one hundred and twenty three, two quarters, fifty one Raes which is received into the treasury and on examination found to balance the acct of silver consigned this Presidency.

In said acct it is observed that rupees one thousand nine hundred and seventy three made into twelfths for Anjengo settlement and sent thither in March last, are two per cent worse than rupee matt and fifths of rupee now coining for Tellicherry three per cent worse which is thus explained by the President: that he had direcxted the former to be made two per cent worse, one percent to provide for the extra charge of coinage of that small money and one percent is gained to the Honble Company. The other he directed to be 3 persent worse, half per cent to defray the extra charge of the workmanship and two and a half percent for an equivalent to the Honble Company for their passing at Tellicherry as fanams when rupees are exchanged at five one eighth fanams and sometimes more, which the Board approves of.

Bombay Public Consultations, India Office Collections P/341/6, Friday 9th July 1728.

The President observes to the Board that thro’ our tinn duccanees being made currant in the Portuguese country, there has been lately a considerable decrease in the Bank gain in the monthly exchange of them, but as a conveniency will hereby offer of getting rid of a good quantity of those Docanees & more so by lowering still their value.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/6, Friday 9th August 1728.

The President observes to the Board that thro’ out tinn duccanees being made currant in the Portuguese country there has been lately a considerable decrease in the bank gains on the monthly exchnage of them, but as a conveniency will hereby offer of getting rid of a good quantity of those ducannees & more so, by lowering still their value, whereby we may introduce their passing currant the copper Goz we have rece’d from Persia at seventy two to the rupee, which will be more than equivalent to answer for the loss that will accrue by lowering the value of the former, as the said Goz will yield about thirty per cent profit.Besides that we may expect on them the like gain by exchange as was before made by the other.

Which being agreed to as the President shall find most convenient. It is ordered that the warehousekeeper issues out to the bank what copper shall be thought necessary for that use to be stampt anew at twenty rupees and half per Surat maund.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/6, Friday 14th February 1729.

The President acquaints the Board that he has been informed of late considerable quantity of old Punch’d rupees have been brot upon this island from the neighbouring places of a less weight and baser alloy than those of Surat & our own mint, which are paid away to the shroffs and shopkeepers at disco’t and by them passed again at parr, to the great abuse of the publick & discouragement of trade in general. To prevent which in future he proposes the issuing out his proclamation forbidding and prohibiting all persons whatever to receive or pay any old Punch’d rupees except those coin’d here under penalty of forfeiting the same after 20th of this month, but that they bring them into the mint to be anew coined, which is agreed to

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/7A, Friday 30th March 1733

In obedience to the 39th para of our Honble Masters’ commands last received by the Mary, that for the future the officers, soldiers and sailors in the military and marine shall be paid as their covenanted servants in silver. Directed that the land and marine paymasters do accordingly pay them in silver or pice, at the rate of eighty pice for one silver rupee and that there may be no objection to this exchange, it is agreed that for the future eighty pice shall be received into the Honble Company’s treasury, the custom House cash, the warehouse and the general stores, as a rupee.

Directed that a publication be issued to this purpose that all inhabitants may be apprized thereof, to take place from the first of April.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/7A, Monday 3rd December 1733.

Whereas a considerable quantity of silver rupees of different coins and alloys are brought to this island from the inland provinces, of an inferior value to the standard of Bombay and Surat rupees and the same bought up by the shroffs and other people at an unreasonable discount and sometimes at par to the great prejudice and discouragement of trade in general and that this pernicious practice has been carried on with impunity notwithstanding a publication issued by order of this board under the date 14th February 1728/29 to prevent the evil tendency of which it is agreed that a publication be forthwith issued enforcing the observance of our former under the following penalty, namely that all persons whatever inhabitants of this island who have in their possession any number of rupees above ten of any other coin or alloy besides those of Surat and Bombay shall in ten days after the issuing of the said publication bring the said rupees to the Hon’ble Company’s mint where due attendance shall be given to receive and exchange them for their real value discounting only one p. cent for their recoinage and all persons not duly observing this publication shall forfeit all such sum or sums of foreign rupees as shall be found in their custody ten days after the issuing thereof, one third to be paid to the informer and two thirds to the Hon’ble Company, but all strangers who shall bring the foreign rupees hither and are not willing to exchange the same in the mint but desire to export them again shall in three days after their first arrival declare to the Custommaster for the time being the quantity they desire to export and it is hereby expressly prohibited that any rupee but those of Surat and Bombay shall be tendered or received in payment as current coin under the same penalty to be incur’d by the tenderer or receiver.

Directed that a publication to the [tenure] of this resolution be immediately issued in English, Portuguese and Gentue languages, and that it be added that proper persons are appointed at the land pay office to exchange silver rupees for pice at the rate of eighty pice for a rupee.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/9, Saturday 23rd December 1738.

The purshaser of the Honble Company’s copper having been allowed to coin ten maunds in order to ascertain the mint charges & to know how much more he could afford to give the Honble Company for permission to coin a quantity. The President acquaints the Board that the mint undertakers had delivered him an account coinage of ten maunds whereby the charges appear to be rupees three per maund as follows:




Waste in melting or running the copper into small bars, two seers per maund


Earthenfire places and pots


Workmanship per maund


Cutting stamps and stamping


Charcoal, three baskets used to one maund of copper, at five baskets per rupee




Charges per maund



The purchaser being then called in and asked what he is willing to give (besides paying the chargefor the liberty of coinage he makes an offer of one rupee per Surat maund, which, the Board refusing, he at length offers one rupee and half per Surat maund, declaring it to be the most he can give.

The Board debating thereupon it is observed that our giving permission for coining said copper here would occasion some trouble and dispute with the Surat Governor as it would be depriving him of so much of his revenue, besides that we have not people enough here nor would others care to come without being certain of a constant employ. We therefore don’t think proper to grant the permission requested but agreed that we represent the case to the Honble Company that if they think it worthwhile to hazard a dispute with the Surat Governor (which we believe would only be for one year) for the profit they may reap by coining the copper here they may give us and our orders accordingly; and we must observe we are informed a considerable quantity even seven or eight thousand maunds per annum may be sold and coined here if they are pleased to give permission…

The siad mint undertakers attending are called in and promises not only to keep up to the due fineness of the rupees they coin (of fifteen pennyweights at least better than standard) but also to pay the amount of the silver delivered them to coin in thirty days time, unless the quantity be too large, when they must be allowed a proportionable number of days reckoning that the most they can coin in one month is eight chests of silver. They are also ordered to clear off the amount of their bond immediately; which they promise to comply with as fast as they can. When representing their great loss and praying us to consider the same, they are told that farther than giving up the interest we cannot relieve them but that we will recommend their case to our Honble Masters favourable consideration. When the mint undertakers withdrew.

It appears to us that these people have actually been considerable suffers by coining the silver at the old rates from 1727 to 1734 and the President acknowledges that Governor (Corvan?) told him he had promised to allow the minters the difference that should arise by coining the silver per (Heathcote?) at the old rates, amounting to rupees three thousand five hundred thirteen, three quarters and thirty five reas. If no other people could make appear that the silver produced more than the mint undertakers demanded, which said promise Mr George Dudley (the then mintmaster) was witness to; and as Mr Davis thinks that one per cent is not an unreasonable allowance for waste on burning, we are of opinion the undertakers cannot make such an advantage by their employ as is suggested in the accomptants remarks received from England. However we don’t thnk proper to grant then any relief as to those parts of their petition but submit the same to the fianl determination of the Honble the Court of Directors.


There is then a long petition from Muckundsett Padamsett & Luxamonsett Ragousett about how they lose money over this. It’s supported by various assays from the assay master, William Davies


The answer of Muckensett Padamsett & Luckmansett Ragousett, undertakers of the mint of Bombay to the remarks on the new Bombay coinage dated London 30th December 1737 received by the Nassau the 5th September 1738. By them humbly presented to the Honble John Horne Esq. President & Governor [of] Council of Bombay.

A Bombay rupee was formerly reckoned to weigh seven pennyweights ten grains & one fifth but by experiment often & accurately made, we are now convinced that they do actually weigh one with another full seven pennyweights ten grains three hundred and fourteen decimals which is nearest to the Surat standard of thirty [xx] & fifty six decimals or a Bombay Tola. Mr Davis the assay master in his assay reports made [hither] last month says they came out upon an average of six or seven different weighings of several different numbers, seven pennyweights ten grains & three fifths & that he found them in fineness fifteen pennyweights better than English standard which is only fourteen grains two fifths less then they ought to be, a difference so inconsiderable that the best assay masters in England cannot we conceive alwaysascertain it. And if Mr Edlines assays vary one pennyweight from the Tower assays as we observe they do in one place, & half a pennyweight in others, it is not to be expected but that we country goldsmiths (who are destitute of the proper instruments & materials to work with) should err one pennyweight more, & indeed the best of us here do not scruple to own that we cannot prevent a difference happening sometimes of a quarter per cent either way in the fineness of our rupees because in melting a large quantity of silver together (as we must do in coining) an extraordinary heat of fire too long continued under the furnace with a greater weight of lead to refine it than what is absolutely necessary, will occasion some loss, which cannot always be prevented and if it may at any time have happened that rupees have been issed out of the mint baser or less in weight than what we are obliged to coin (which we presume cannot be laid to our charge, no complaint having ever been made of it by those amongst whom they have been dispersed) the publick siffer by such a piece of knavery & not the Honble Companyas the remarks would endeavour to make it appear. But as there is now an assay master kept here at the Honble Company’s charge he will be able to prevent any fraud or abuse of that kind & we are very desirous that he should overlook and inspect us as narrowly & often as he pleases.

The species of foreign silver chiefly brought into our mint for the Hinble Company are Mexico & Pillar Dollars the quantity of other sorts being very inconsiderable & of these only we perceive assays have been made at the Tower. The Mexico is there said to come out by four trials of different sorts in an average two pennyweights six hundred and twenty five decimals worse than standard, & the Pillar dated in the year 1728 is found to be exactly English Standard & that dated 1729 a half pennyweight better than standard English. Now for the readier calculation & because our rupees standard is (according to this counry way of reckoning) 99 touch, that is to say 99/100 parts of fine silver or 1/100 part alloy – we shall bring the Mexico Dollars to the like touch & those being 2 dwt 625 dec worse than English Standard will be found equal to touch 91 .. 4. Then if 100 ozs (or Tolas 269 .. 188 dec allowing 7d 10grs 314dec to the tola) of Mexico or 91 .. 4 touch silver be refined until it is reduced into rupee silver of 99 touch

The weight remaining will be                                      248 ,, 515

Dedust the mint charges & loss by waste @ two percent           4  ,,   97

                                                                               243 ,, 545

We deliver for 100 ozs new Mexico                            243 ,,   57

Loss to us the undertakers in every 100 ozs                        .025


Pillar dollars being found in the year 1728 to be just English standard or 92.5 touch, one hundred ounces of that specie by the same rules being reduced into rupee touch

The weight remaining will be                                      251 ,, 514

Deduct 2 per cent as above                                          5 ,,   03

We deliver for old Pillar Dollars to the year 1728                    246 ,, 484

Because we esteem them better than English Standard          247 ,, 3475

Loss to us if they are not better than standard                                .8635


So that unless the new Mexico Dollars which are by far the most material species proper to be taken notice of do actually come up to the touch or fineness above mentioned we the undertakers must demonstrably suffer and we are so far from thinking we reap any advantages by our own agreement that we are not only willing but desirous of quiting the employment.


Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/12 Saturday 7th February 1741.

The present scarcity of copper on the place having induced the people of the neighbouring countries to convey away the tin pice made of that metal, it is proposed to coin a parcel of tutenague ones to be of such weight as to reserve a profit to our Honble Masters of twenty per cent. Which is agreed to and ordered that the mint master do out of hand coin to the amount of two hundred rupees

Bombay Public Consultations, India IOR P/341/12, June 1741.

In consequence of the order passed for coining tutenague pice the 7th February last, the President had purchased from [Rupjee Dunjee] two hundred twenty seven Surat maunds and twenty six seer at seven rupees and a half per md which amounted to rupees seventeen hundred and seven, one quarter and 88 raes, and produced rupees two thousand two hundred seven and an half, from the same person, another parcel of five hundred Surat maund at six rupees and ten annas per maund; But as these were not sufficient for the current service of the place, he had promised a further quantity of five hundred Surat maunds at the like rate from the [Cursettjee] which being the cheapest rates that commodity could be purchased upon. The Board approved thereof the account. Produce of the last parcels cannot now be ascertained as the mint people have not as yet coined the same.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/12, Thursday 8th October 1741.

‘An account [of the] coinage of the several parcels of tutenague into pice being presented, we have the satisfaction to observe a neat gain of rupees 3841.1.57 accrued to our Honble Masters in this transaction’.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/12, Friday 16th October 1741.

Comformable to our Honble Masters directions in their letter of 6th February 1640, Mr. Dudley has promiscuously taken five rupees out of the money coined this month which he now delivers in, sealed with his own seal. Directed that the same be accordingly enclosed in the Fort St George Packett.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/12, Friday 15th May 1741.

Mr William Davis who was [sent out in quality] of Assay Master by our Honble Masters having hitherto delayed any report of his trials for refining silver notwithstanding, the several utensils by him required from England have been received by the Royal Guardian. The secretary is directed to remind him of this particular and that we expect satisfactory account of the progress made in ascertaining the precise standard for rupees and making them in a speedier manner than our people have hitherto found out.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/12, Friday 16th October 1741.

Read a letter (as entered hereafter) from Mr. William Davis, Assay Master, in answer to our queries in consultation of 8th August, which not being yet esteemed fully clear, the consideration thereof is deferred ‘till another time. But the mill proposed to be erected we will endeavour to get done when we are apprized of the expense, which must be calculated. Mr. Davis being then called in, the following question was put to him Vizt can you by any methods you can devise coin the Company’s silver to more advantage than the present minters do, and will you undertake the same? He declares that he can do not more than he has already. Nor will he undertake the coinage, or does he know anyone that will.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/12, [Friday 5th?] May 1741.

The humble petition of Muckansett Padamsett & Luckmanset Ragousett Undertakers to the mint.

That whereas your petitioners in the month of June 1735 did set forth to the then President John Horne’ Esq.  Etc etc – They still hadn’t been paid and the decision was deferred to sometime later so that Mr Davis the Assay Master could examine the accounts.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/12, Thursday 30th July 1741.

The matter of the mint contractors was discussed and deferred to a future occasion. There are letters from Mr. Davis the Assay Master and a letter from George Dudley, one time Mint Master, who warns that no one other than the complainants could undertake the coinage.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/12, p362, Friday 7th August 1741.

Council again considered the mint contractor’s petition but felt that they needed to direct specific questions to the Assay Master. These are listed:

Council the 30th ultimo having perused the several papers given in by the mint undertakers, as also the Assay Master’s remarks, are of the opinion that they are spun out to considerable length yet they are not conclusive to the points in dispute and therefore it will be necessary for him to give an explicit plain answer to, to which we may the better be enabled to come to an equitable determination, which the secretary is ordered to do by letter, and to the following purport

1.     what is the real difference between the new and old Mexico dollars.

2.     Supposing that the new are worse than the old, whether the difference demanded by the mint undertakers in their account now sent to you under 30th June 1735 ought to be paid them, or what part thereof. That is admitting the quantity of new Mexico [etc] as therein specified had been delivered to them.

3.     That as the mint undertakers do pretend the allowance given them for waste of one per cent and charges of coinage one per cent more, does not answer, you must again examine by a farther tryal in melting a chest how the same will turn out according to the methods which the minters pursue.

4.     You are moreover to make experiments in your own way if possible how the like quantity of silver will turn out; and if practicable bring the minters into the use of your own method, provided it should render the coinage more advantageous to the Company.

5.     You are to point out whatever may prove serviceable in regard to the coinage in any respect, knowing first whether the minters can or will execute any proposals you shall make; remembering that amusing us with what cannot be reduced to practice will answer no end.

6.     Advise what value you do imagine will remain in the sweeps on the experiment you make of a chest of money as directed under the 3rd head.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/15, 1746.

Nothing found

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/15, 1747.

Nothing found

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/15, 23rd February 1748.

It being found there are false pice made of tutenague to a considerable extent on this island which are daily passed in payment to the prejudice of the inhabitants in Genl but more particularly of the poorer sort, resolved that a publication be made requiring all persons who may be possessed of such pice to bring them to the Ho Company’s mint within fifteen days where it is agreed that they will be taken on the Honble Company’s account according to the value of the mettle such false pice are composed and be paid for out of the treasury accordingly. But any person or persons shall after the expiration of these fifteen days, attempt to pass such false pice in payment or be found possessed of any such, the same will be forfeited, one half to the informer and the other half as this Board shall think reasonable to dispose of.

It being considered on this occasion that pice made of copper from a good die which can be cut in a neat manner by an European here would be less liable to counterfeit by these country people than the pice that have been heretofore coined on this Island, it is agreed that two hundred and twenty Surat maunds of the old copper received per Drake Ketch be accordingly delivered to the mint for being coined into pice, valuing it at about rupees twenty eight one quarter, sixty four reas (28.1.64) per Surat maund, which, exclusive of the charge of coinage, will yield a profit of Rs 29.136 per cent to the honble Company as appears by the following calculation:

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/15, Tuesday 29th February 1748.

‘This day was issued in the usual manner the publication concerning false pice comformable to our resolution in consultation the 23rd instant’.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/15, 25th March 1748.

The present undertakers of the mint continuing their base practice of having a large sum constantly in the sweeps to the Honble Company’s detriment, and from indolence or incapacity are not able to coin the silver brought hither unless assisted from the treasury or by the merchants with large transfer bills which by good fortune happened last year, else the mint had been brought to discredit. It is therefore proposed to give the management to Ransorett Luckmansett, Ragousett Bhensett, Ransorrett Isimbucksett of fair characters and capable of the business, who have also a set of able assistants, but as these, nor no other goldsmiths in Bombay can give the necessary security the following regulations will obviate the difficulty by leaving them no power to defraud the Honble Company or the merchants.

The Mint Master to have an Englishman as his deputy, who will be constantly in the mint when no silver can be carried in or out without his knowledge. This person to be paid by the President and the Mint Master.

The Mint to be secured with two locks , one key to be kept by the managers, the other by the Mint Master and never to be opened or shut but when he or his deputy are present.

All bullion to be carried every evening from the mint to the fort and deposited in a chest under the joint charge of the Mint Master and managers.

The dies in like manner to be carried there every night. All receipts of silver into the mint and payments from thence to be reported as usual to the Mint Master and also undersugned by his deputy.

And that the rupees may be kept up to their due fineness it will be the Mint Masters care that the rupees are frequently assayed.

As these methods duly observed will certainly prevent embezzlements which answers the intent of any security that can be given, the Board unanimously agrees thereto.

And the new undertakers being accordingly called in were made acquainted therewith who asserting to the same the terms of the contract to be entered into with them was explained to them as follows:

That the present rates of silver be allowed and which as contained in the consultations the 26th June 1724 are as follows:








‘For 100

ounces of

Pillar Dollars









32 ½









French Crowns






Old Sevil Dollars


















Lion Dollars






German Crowns





And all other sorts of silver to be adjusted agreeable to their real value.

That they have always in store woodashes, charcoal, tamarine, earthen utensils etc sufficient to dispatch the coinage of twelve lack of rupees & if the mint business stops for want of any of these articles, they shall forfeit such a sum as the Governor and Council shall direct provided they are not impeded by a warr and other unavoidable actions [unread words].

The rupee to be an exact Tola in weight or 7 dwt. 11 gra. and in fineness 14½ dwt. Better than English standard.

As the mint can employ [x] workmen they shall procure and be assisted to procure this number and when completed they shall be obliged to keep them in constant pay and not discharge them [as] the present practice & if its proved they do, they shall be subject to such penalty as the Governor and Council may judge necessary to inflict.

The managers and their assistants be obliged to give constant attendance at the mint unless prevented by sickness during the time that silver dwells there or forfeit their contract.

That there may be no sweeps in the mint, they shall upon first coinage deliver in a calculate of what they find will remain in a lack of rupees or a less sum, & if on a trial its found just, to agree a time for payment which if they exceed interest to be allowed by them.

So long as these undertakers observe the terms of their contract, the Governor and Council to engage that the management be continued to them or either of them.

As there will be no sweeps & they obliged to keep a number of workmen in pay that theretofore the Honble Company allows them to have lead from their stores at the same rate as the former mint undertakers which is six rupees per pucca maund, and they deliver a calculate of what a lack of rupees may require and must be done after the first coinage.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/16, p.75, March 10th 1748.

…Being in want of treasure for the Coast factories as also for the new Surat investment, and having no rupees in the treasury but such as have been chopt or puncht in several of the Country Governments, altho’ they pass current in this place, but which will not pass either at Surat or Bengall without a considerable loss, nor on the Malabar Coast without a loss of at least six per cent, and as it is found that can be rectified by running thro’ the fire and stamping anew, which can be done for about half per cent, the loss in weight by wear being found by first duly weighing them to be so inconsiderable as not to deserve notice, it is therefore agreed that all the chopt rupees in the [   ] Company’s treasury be delivered into the mint for being so rectified.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/17, p. 13, December 1749.

An entry showing that Ransorsett Luckmansett & mint undertakers received in part of silver delivered them to be coined the 22nd ult 10,000 Rs

Then another 10,000 and then another

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/17, p. 47, January 1750.

Similar entries showing silver delivered to the mint

This is found in most month’s accounts

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/18, p. 134, 2nd April 1751.

There being a quantity of chopt and uncurrent rupees in the treasury, which will not pass but at a great discount, and we shall shortly be in want of a sum of new money to send to the coast settlements – Ordered that they ne new stampt in like manner as has been done the two preceding years, being the method by which the Hon Company sustains only a loss of little more than half per cent.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/18, p. 440, 29th October 1751.

The President acquaints the Board that some people are very desirous of coining copper pice, stamping them in our mint. As this will increase the Honble Company’s revenue and be a means of raising the price of copper (which is now a falling commodity) considerably, as that which comes from Europe is chiefly used for this purpose, it is assented to.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/18, p. 113, 10th March 1752.

As we shall be in want of money for sending to the Coast and Bengall and having a number of old uncurrent rupees in the treasury – resolved that orders be issued to the mint undertaker for new stamping with the utmost expedition.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/19, p. 241 25th July 1753.

Mr John Spencer, mint master, presents a letter  to the Board setting forth the incapacity & inattention of the present undertakers, which if not timely remedied may be not only very prejudicial to the Honble Company’s revenue, but productive of a great loss of trade to the Island by diverting the large quantity of silver that annually comes hither, to other channels.

Which, being taken into consideration and recorse had to the Consultations of the 25th March 1748, it appears that the principle view in admitting the present undertakers was to prevent a large balance remaining under the denomination of sweeps, which they engaged to perform, but it appears by the above letter that they have been so far complying with their agreement, that the balance of sweeps is now Rups 101,382 – 57, which with the frequent complaints of the Honble Company of late years, of the weight and standard of the rupees, it is resolved that the present undertakers be removed and Rangajee Ramsett & Kensowjee Rumsett, offering proposals more advantageous to the Honble Company & [those] concerned in the mint than any hitherto offered, and being satisfied they they are persons of sufficient capital and experience in this branch of business, it is resolved to accept their proposals, and as the Mint Master represents that Ransot Luckmonsett, one of the present managers, to be a person who has a great influence over the under-workmen, resolved that he be likewise admitted and directed the Secretary draw out a contract accordingly.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/19, p. 61 19th February 1754.

Read, a letter from Mr John Spencer, mint master, setting forth that the island is in great want of pice but that the present very high price of copper would make them turn out to the disadvantage of the Honble Company were they to be made of that article. That Toothenague is now cheaper than it has been for many years past and that 1000@1500 Surat maunds will supply the necessity of the place.

Resolved that this quantity be purchased on the most reasonable terms, and as we are persuaded that it will be for the Honble Company’s advantage to make it on their own account, allowing the minters something for their trouble, directed that order be issued to the mint master accordingly.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/19, p. 111 16th April 1754.

Read a letter from Mr John Spencer, mint master, setting forth that there are several lacks of Bombay chopt rupees in the treasury which, though current here and in the countrys (sic) adjacent will not pass either on the Malabar Coast or in Bengall and therefore he proposes recoining them, as the whole expense, allowing for the deficiency in weight will not exceed three quarters per cent. Which being taken into consideration, it is unanimously resolved for the reasons set forth in said letter, that the chopt rupees in the treasury be immediately issued to the mint in order to be recoined.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/20, 1755-56.

Nothing found

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/21, 1757 p. 249.

The poorer sort of our inhabitants complaining of the want of small money. Agreed that the Mint Master be ordered to get the value of ten thousand (10,000) rupees coined into hald and quarter (1/2 & 1/4) pice

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/22, 1759. P. 317

Ramgajee Ramsett, one of the managers of the mint, being called before us & made acquainted with our Honble Master’s late comments regarding the contract, declares his readiness to continue in the management, agreeable thereto,the secretary is therefore directed to alter the contract accordingly by giving Ramsor Luckmonsett an equal share of the management and advantages and placing his name first, who attending, is also informed of this regulation in his favour, and we understanding that Rangajee Ramsett is possessed of a penaly bond wherebt Ramsor Luckmansett engaged to relinquish all his advantages accruing from the mint in consideration of an annual allowance of seven hundred (700) rupees, Rangajee Ramsett is ordered (and accordingly agrees) to deliver it up to the secretary in order for its being cancelled. They are then both informed of our Honble Masters complaints regarding the silver being short in fineness and a large sum being continued in the sweeps and on being strictly ordered to prevent the like in future, they promise to faithfully comply therewith and to have the sweeps now remaining clear by the last of July next.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/22, 1759. p. 326

Read a foul (sic) draft of the contract with Ransar Luckmonsett, Rangojee Ramsett and Kensowjee Ramsett for undertaking the management of the mint agreeable to out Honble Masters late commands, which being approved ordered to be fair transcribed in order for its being executed.

Letter to Bombay from Surat, dated the 5th February 1760

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/23, 1760. p. 239

Not having any new rupees in the treasury, ordered that the best of the current rupees be washed to send to the Coast Settlements.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/23, 1760. p. 483

Being extremely bare of new rupees and as we shall want a number very early for the service of the Coast Settlements, ordered that a lack (100,000) be new stamped for that purpose.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/24, 1761 p. 161.

Rangajee & Kensowjee Ramset to be removed from their business as undertakers to the mint & Ranoor Luckmonseth jointly with Visoramsett and Mucondsett Savajee to be fixed therein on Vittuldass Kesondass being security for the two latter, agreeable to our Hon Masters commands, but Rangajee Ramsett etc, present undertakers, must be allowed a reasonable time or clearing their sweeps.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/24, 1761 p. 243.

Ordered that one and a half lack (150,000) rupees be restamped to be sent to Tellicherry by the first conveyance

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/25, 1762. p. 264. 11th May 1762

An examination of the treasure received by out Honble Master’s ship Royal Captain from Gombroon being now laid before us, ordered that the Nadarees be delivered into the mint to be coined & the merchants offering to take the other coins at the following rates, the same are ordered to be issued to them as we want to realize them and cannot expect at present to dispose of them on better terms.

Nadir Shaw Gold Rupees                  at 13 Rs 4 An

Venetians                                         at 4 Rs 11 ½ @ 12 [not sure what this means

Muhammad Shaw Rupees                 4 per cent discount

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/25, 1762. p. 495. 7th September 1762

The Old Mint Undertakers having a balance of toothenague on their hands, and learning that it bears a better price at Surat than at this place, ordered that it be sent thither by the Royal Admiral accordingly.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/26, 1763.

Nothing found

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/27, 1764, p 689. 13th November 1764

Being in want of Persian rupees to make fanams, and some offering at 5 per cent discount, ordered that they be purchased accordingly.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/28, 1765. p. 464. 30th July 1765

The great scarcity of silver which has prevailed for a considerable time past on the island, being attended with many inconveniences and a very great prejudice to the trade of the place, the establishing a gold currency has been thought of and the minters have delivered in a calculate of one accordingly, the same is ordered to follow this consultation, and to be sent round to the several members for their inspection before next meeting.

The calculation is shown on page 470 along with a number of footnotes amongst which are:

…4th As the making this intended coin is a new trial, we desire you will be pleased to order to be delivered to us 300 Venetians to know whether it will turn out agreeable to the above calculate or not, also to fix the exact weight of each piece.

5th That you will inform them in what manner they are to be stamped etc.

6th We offer, if the above calculate is not approved of, to make a gold coin that shall pass current for 15 rupees and to weigh 38 Vols pure gold so that 100 Venetins full weight (after having been heated) shall deliver 30 gold coins amounting to rupees 450, and stand to all our own charges, and the coinage duty. We also propose to make this coin halves and quarters for the greater convenience of the inhabitants of this place.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/28, 1765. p. 471. 31th July 1765

Agreeable to yesterday’s resolution of Council, the calculate of gold coins was sent round to the several members for their inspection, when the majority concurring in thinking it better to await the arrival of the Mocha Ships, as gold will probably then be cheaper, the same was determined on.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/28, 1765. p. 651. 5th November 1765

Read a report assay of the rupee received per Royal Admiral from Surat as entered hereafter by which we are glad to perceive they are of a better standard than those before assayed.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/28, 1765. p. 651. 5th November 1765

Resuming the consideration of the propriety of establishing a gold coin to pass current on the Island it is remarked that this seems the proper juncture for carrying the same into execution as gold is now very cheap.

Resolved therefore that a gold coin to contain exactly 38 vols of pure Venetian gold be established and to pass current for fifteen rupees, which the mint master is accordingly ordered to make, also halves and quarters of the same with the Honble Company’s arms on one side & Bombay with the year on the other.

That to the amount of 60,000 rupees to be made of this coin for the present as a trial & should it be found to answer more may be made hereafter & as from the present low price of gold the Honble Company will gain considerably by this coin it must at all times be changed at the Treasury whenever tendered for that purpose.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/29, 1766. p. 27. 8th January 1766

This day a publication was issued signifying to the inhabitants the establishment of the gold coin and enjoining them to receive the same at the rate of fifteen rupees each and halves and quarters the same

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/29, 1766. p. 501. 2nd September 1766

Some counterfeit gold coins having been lately circulated in the bazaar, it is resolved in order as much as possible to prevent their currency to issue a publication requiring all persons whatever possessed of gold rupees to deliver in the same to the Treasury within eight days that they may be shroffed and carefully inspected before they are issued out again.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/29, 1766. p. 252. 14th April 1766

Read a petition from two of the brothers of Ransor Luckmonsett, one of the Mint Undertakers deceased, desiring that his share of the mint may be transferred to them, which is agreed to.

The petition of application is on p. 256

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/29, 1766. p. 336. 17th June 1766

Wittuldass Kelsondass who was security for the due performance of the Mint Undertaker’s contract, being dead, they have been called upon for another security in his stead, and have offered his nephew until the return of the widow & to mortgage their estates, which it is agreed to accept.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/30, 1767. p. 422. 30th June 1767

The President acquaints the Board that there is reason to believe the prices given for silver by the present mint undertakers are much too low, a reputable Banian, well versed in the business, having offered to give three (3) rupees per hundred ounces more on new German crowns (in which the greatest part of the silver now imported is brought) and one (1) rupee per hundred ounces on all other silver.

Resolved, as our Honble Masters in their commands of 25th April 1760 seem to intend that the present Mint Undertakers should have the preference, that it be offered to them at our next meeting on these terms, and if they do not chuse to accept them, that it be given to the person who has offered them as it will make a very material difference to the trade of this place by encouraging all Merchants to coin their money here in preference to carrying it elsewhere, which money will all circulate in the place and will not only increase our Honble Masters’ coinage duty but the customs also by increased sale of goods.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/30, 1767. p. 424. 2nd July 1767

The Mint Undertakers now attending agreeable to our resolution last council last are informed of the terms which had been offered for carrying on the business of the mint and asked if they chuse to accept of it upon the same, which though repeated pressed to as well as jointly as separately, and assured of our inclination to give them the preference agreeable to the Honble Company’s orders, and told that in the event it weould in all probability be rather an advantage to them than otherwise, by the increased quantity of silver which would be brought to the place, they unanimously decline, in consequence of which the merchant who offered the terms mentioned in last consultation by name, Bucon Surdass Shroff is called in and asked what security he will give for the due performance of his contract, when he declares he cannot immediately give a general security as the shroffs and others may not chuse to become his surities, merely that they may not appear to be in any shape instrumental in depriving the present undertakers of their employment, but that in a few days after being established, he will give ample security and in the meantime will give sufficient security for any sum he may receive to coin. Resolved therefore that he be entrusted with the management of the mint and an order be issued to the Mint Master accordingly. We are still further induced to this measure by Ransor Luckmonsett and Muccond Savajee, two of the late undertakers being both dead, the one a man of substance and the other a man of capacity and by the present undertakers being deprived of their security by the death of Wittledass Kelsondass. They must be however allowed till the end of this month to clear any sweeps there may be, though from the small quantity of silver lately coined we do not suppose there are any.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/30, 1767. p. 301. 28th April 1767

Great abuses having lately been experienced by the petty shroffs refusing to receive rupees in the Buzar, the principle merchants and shroffs were called upon to give their opinions what rupees should pass current, when they declared no objections should be made to any Bombay rupees whatever whether cracked, broken, chopped with holes or otherwise, provided that each rupee was within one Gunge of full weight (100 gunge making a rupee) nor to any Mamud Shaw and Amud Shaw Surat rupees whether broad ones cracked or are even chopped or with holes on the rim, provided they are not chopped or have holes on the facing and are full weight.

The secretary is therefore directed to issue a publication enquiring that all such rupees as are mentioned above are received and do pass current at the full value of eighty pice per rupee.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/31, 1768. p. 443. 26th July 1768

Read, a letter as entered hereafter, from the Mint Master representing that Bhocondass Sordass, the present Mint Undertaker, having suffered greatly from the prices he engaged to, and did give last year for all silver delivered into the mint to be coined, he hopes we will take his case into consideration and accepted of two rupees and one half per one hundred ounces of German crowns, and half a rupee per one hundred ounces of all other silver, more than was given by the former managers, and which is half a rupee per hundred ounces or nearly ninety reas per one hundred rupees less than he gave last season, which being taken into account accordingly, It ios observed that our Honble Masters seem desirous of giving the former managers Sivajee’s and Luckmonsett’s sons the preference to all others, and it therefore becomes our duty to appize them of these offers, and give them the option of accepting the management of the mint upon the same terms They are therefore now sent for and offered the management accordingly, but which they unanimously decline, declaring they cannot possibly support themselves and families upon the advantages they should derive from it at that rate. Resolved therefore, as no one will undertake it upon better terms, that those now offered by Bhocondass Sordass be accepted, to commence the 1st of next month and continue till the 31st day of December 1770.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/31, 1768. p. 445. 26th July 1768

The letter from the mint master includes a list of the different silver coins and the prices paid by the mint undertaker the list is as follows:

English Crowns

French ditto

German or Hungarian ditto (coined before 1750)

New ditto (coined since 1750)

Old Piller Dollars (coined before 1726)

New ditto (coined since 1726)

Old Mexico ditto (coined before 1726)

New ditto (coined since 1726)

New Phillip (the round, new milled ditto)

Telatas and Piccasters

Lyon Dollars



Goa Pardoes

Nadarees fine


Rose Dollars


New Abassees

Old ditto


Rix Dollars

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/32, 1769. p. 661. 29th September 1769

The Warehousekeeper reports that he can purchase about 30 to 40 tons of Cowries at ther following prices, which, being the cheapest procurable, he is ordered to receive them accordingly, and to lade fifteen tone on the Deptford and the like quantity on the Speaker.

Patta Cowries           Rs 25 per Surat Candy

Maldive ditto            RS 60 ditto

Joanna ditto             Rs 20 ditto

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/32, 1769. p. 569. 5th July 1769

There being a great scarcity of pice on the Island, Ordered that Tuthenague to the amount of twenty thousand (20,000) rupees to be purchased and coined into pice at its present price of eight (8) rupees per Surat maund.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/33, 1770. p. 517. 26th October 1770

The Warehousekeeper reports that he can procure Cowries at twenty eight (28) rupees per candy, the broken shells and stones to be taken out, but the dead shells accepted. None being to be got on more reasonable terms, he is ordered to purchase them accordingly.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/33, 1770. p. 330. 3rd July 1770

It being more advantageous to coin than sell the gold in the treasury, the President acquaints the Board that having heard, and being himself of opinion, that the stamp which the Bombay Gold Rupees coined in 1765, viz. that of the Honble Company’s small seal on one side, is highly improper, as none but sovereigns have the right to affix any stamp on public coin, he proposes that those now to be coined should instead thereof bear the same inscription in Persian characters on one side as the silver rupees now do on both, and which their superior breadth will admit, the Honble Company’s privilege of coining here being derived solely from the Moghul; and on the reverse the words ‘BOMBAY 1770’, similar to those of 1765, with the addition in figures of their current value. He would propose that these should in every respect bear the same stamp of each side as the silver, and which the gold formerly coined in this mint ever did, but those being much superior in the standard to them of 1765, the last being intended solely to preserve a currency on the island, he thinks the above distinction will not be improper to prevent the credit of our mint suffering if coined [at] the place. And further that as neither those at present current, nor those now proposed, can with any sort of propriety be called gold rupees, from their differing so much in standard and value, he proposes they should in future bear the name ‘BOMBAYS’ and be stamped as follows, all which the Board concur in, and it is ordered to be carried into execution accordingly

1 side Persian characters,     Allumgueer Padshaw Gawsee 1183

                                           Hegeyra and 9th of His Reigne

2 sode English characters     BOMBAY



                                           15 Rupees

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/34, 1771. pp. 86 & 88.11th February 1771

Read likewise a letter from the Mint Master advising of the death of the late Mint Undertaker. Ordered the Mint Master to settle his accounts and recover whatever balance may appear due, that publications be issued advising proposal for a new contract will be received on the 28th of this month. In the interim the business must be carried on by the sons of the late contractor.

Letter from the Mint Master to Government dated 6th February 1771

This is to acquaint you that Boocondass Soordass  the Mint Undertaker died the 30th ultimo. His contract expired the 31st December last, of which I duly informed the Secretary shortly after. The business is for the present carried on by the late minters son.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/34, 1771. p. 176. 19th March 1771

An offer being made us of Tuthanague to the amount of Rs 30,000 at 7/4 per maund for bills on Europe, it is agreed the same be accepted as it will be a means of assisting us with so much currency & the Company gain about 15 per cent in coining the same into pice.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/34, 1771. p. 231.2nd April 1771

The sons of the late Mint Undertaker offering to carry on the business on the same terms as their father & to give the like security, it is agreed to as no other offers have been made us in consequence of the publick notice we gave for that purpose, but a clause must be added, that provided they do not deliver the monay coined within 20 days after the receipt of the bullion, they must pay interest thereon, which they on their part accept, & at the same time offering to pay 4000 rupees within seven days out of the remains of the sweeps, & the then remaining balance by 31st July next, which we also agree to.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/36, 1771. p. 1308. 17th December 1771

Also a letter from the Mint Master, entered hereafter, enclosing a report of 42 Surat rupees by which it appears the rupees of Surat are about 2 ½ per cent worse than the Bombay standard.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/36, 1771. p. 1313. 17th December 1771

Letter from John Church (Mint Master)

Enclosed is a report assay of 42 Surat Rupees taken promiscuously out of the two parcels lately received from thence. They turn out on a medium 23 rice less, and are Rs 2.5183 per cent worse than Bombay standard.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/38, 1772. pp. 845. 6th October 1772

On this head. Read a letter from the Military Paymaster in respect to the exchange on pice, which is daily rising, enclosing one to him from the Brigadier General on the subject, & requesting the directions of the Board. As the exchange of silver and vice versa was limited by a publication in the year 1757 to half a pice per rupee which if duly observed will effectually put a stop to the evil complained of. It is therefore resolved that it be republished & the most punctual observance of ot required under proper penalties.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/39, 1773. pp. 231.29th March 1773

The Contract for carrying on the mint business expiring the 2nd of the ensuing month, Ordered that the Secretary issues public notices that we will receive proposals for a new contract.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/39, 1773. pp. 264. 6th April 1773

Opened two proposals for undertaking the business of the mint, delivered in consequence of the notice that was [issued]. The proposal of the present contractor is the same as the terms of their last contract, and in the other there is no material difference. It is therefore agreed that the contract be renewed to the present undertakers, against whom we have never had any complaints, provided they give the security they did before.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/39, 1773. pp. 663. 21st September 1773

Notwithstanding the publication that was issued last year limiting the exchange to be taken on tutenague pice into silver to half a pice in a rupee which before then was very high and much complained of, yet the same has proved totally ineffectual, as the exchange is actually higher than before being about ten per cent on exchanging pice into silver, which is a great loss and detriment to the soldiers, sepoys and labourers who are chiefly paid in pice, as well as to the poor in general. The means for putting a stop thereto are therefore taken into consideration, when it is answered that from the very low price toothanague has been for some time past and from the vast quantity of pice upon the island we have reason to conclude that great numbers must be made on the other side and brought over hither. It is therefore resolved for putting a stop at present to the many inconveniences attending the same that a proclamation be issued tomorrow crying down the value of pice from 80 to 100 for every rupee commencing from the moment it is published, but as even then toothenague may be made into pice to great advantage by persons on the other side, as we suppose has been hitherto practiced, it is further resolved and agreed that all pice that may be coined in future shall be of copper and one hundred to a rupee, and that they be of such a weight as just to answer the value of copper, with the expence, and from henceforward no Toothenague pice will be coined in our mint.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/39, 1773. pp. 682.5th October 1773

Great numbers of complaints are daily made that toothenague pice do not pass current in the Bazar, since our proclamation reducing them in value, which upon consideration we are of opinion may in a great measure be owing to pice not being received from all persons in payments made into our treasury. It is therefore agreed in order to remedy the many inconveniences complained of, that from henceforward in all sums tendered at the Treasury, one half will be accepted in pice, if desired, provided the pice so tendered be of the Company’s Coinage. But as we are convinced from the vast quantity of Pice on the Island that great numbers must have been coined surreptitiously, which must have turned out to the great advantage of those who have coined them, toothenague for a long time past having been at a very low price and we understand that this surreptitious pice are easily distinguishable from those of the Company, it is resolved, in order to put a stop to this pernicious and unlawful practice of coining pice as well as to remedy evil [subsisting] by the quantity that has been already coined, that all pice present for payment at the Treasury of the surreptitious coinage shall be instantly cut in two and forfeited to the Company fro which purpose the necessary minters and shroffs must attend at the Treasury, who shall be answerable for the receipt of any not coined by the Company, and the assistant to the Treasurer must always be present in the Treasury that no favour or affection may be shewn to anyone.

But as we are convinced that the only effectual means of putting a stop to all those complaints regarding pice, is to call in those made of Tutenague, and to coin such a quantity of copper pice as will be sufficient for the currency of the place.

Resolved that to the amount of 20,000 rupees of copper be coined into pice as soon as possible, a proportionable quantity of which must be in halves and quarters, and when the same are ready to be issued, the toothenague pice coined by the Compamny will be called in and all others rendered uncurrent.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/39, 1773. pp. 694. 6th October 1773

A Proclamation

Whereas it has been represented to the Honble the President and Council that inconveniences do arise to the trade of this place and particularly to the lower sort of people because pice are not freely accepted in payments made into the Honble Company’s Treasury, the Honble President and Council aforesaid, in order effecually to put a stop thereto do hereby declare that from henceforward so far as one half of the amount of all sums paid into the Treasury will be accepted in pice, if desired, provided always that the pice so tendered be of the Honble Company’s, but as there are many pice now on the Island that have been coined surreptitiously, which are easily distinguished from those coined by the Honble Company, it is therefore further declared that proper persons are order to attend at the Treasury for examining all pice that are offered in payment, and should any be found not of the Company’s coinage, orders are given for their being [directed] cut in two, and they shall be forfeit to the Company.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/39, 1773. pp. 839. 26th November 1773

As the amount of from ten to twelve thousand rupees of the copper pice are now coined. Resolved that they be issued from the Treasury on the first of the ensuing month of December. Against that time that a proclamation must be prepared noticing that the same are to pass current and declaring all toothenague pice uncurrent from that time. All Toothenague pice that are of the Company’s coinage and may be brought into their Treasury on or before the 31st of the ensuing month of December will be received on their account and we shall hereafter determine how to dispose of them.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/39, 1773. pp. 849. 30th November 1773

At sunset this evening the following proclamation was made publick by beat of drum all over this town and fixed in the necessary languages at the usual places. It was also made publick at the same time at Mahim and other places

The proclamation states what is above.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/40, 1774. p. 277. 1st April 1774 

As we are now in immediate want of money, not only for our current expenses but also to discharge the bills drawn from Onere, which are now due, Resolved that all the toothnague oice which have been called in and are now in the Treasury, be sold at public outcry for the most they will fetch, the outcry to be made by Messrs Fletcher & Garden who are now approved a committee for that purpose & the amount to be aid as the pice are taken away.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/40, 1774. p. 298. 13th April 1774 

The Committee appointed to sell the Tuthnague pice called into the Treasury, report that they met for that purpose on the day appointed, but that notwithstanding due notice was given of the intended sale no purchasers whatever attended. Ordered that they fix on another day for the sale, when they must endeavour to dispose of it.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/40, 1774. p. 345. 3rd May 1774 

The Committee appointed to sell the Tuthenague pice that had been called into the Treasury, report to the Board that they again met to endeavour to dispose of them but that no person would be induced to offer more for them that three rupees & ten annas per Surat maund, which being so very low, they did not think themselves authorised to sell them at such a rate. The great scarcity of money was assigned as the reason for this very low offer.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/40, 1774. p. 344. 3rd May 1774 

The contract for carrying on the business of the mint being expired, ordered that notices be issued that we will receive proposals for a new contract within 14 days from this date

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/40, 1774. p. 354. 17th May 1774 

Opened a proposal for carrying on the business of the mint, being the only one that has been delivered in consequence of the notices that were affixed, which proposal is found to be from the undertakers of last year, & the conditions they propose the same except that they desire it may be for three years certain instead of one, which particular however, it is agreed not to comply with, but that their proposal be accepted for one year only as usual & the secretary is ordered to execute a contract accordingly.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/40, 1774. p. 357. 17th May 1774 

Letter from Balmuckoondass Buckandass and Goverdondass Buckondass, dated 10th May 1774

Your Honor etc having been pleased to affix notices for anyone to deliver in their sealed proposals for carrying on the business of the mint, we are willing to undertake the same on the conditions of the last contract, only requesting you will be pleased to extend the term thereof to three instead of one year.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/40, 1774. p. 417. 15th June 1774 

It having been determined that the treasure lately imported from Bussora, which we procured on account of our Hobble Employers for bills on Bengal, should be coined in our mint & that the silver should be made into rupees of the present standard, it remains now to consider of what weight & fineness to make the gold rupees, which being taken under deliberation together with a letter from our Mint Master, as entered hereafter, shewing the gain arising by coining gold rupees of the present weight & standard, Resolved after a full discussion that the gold rupees be made of the same fineness as those at present current but that an addition of two Vol be made to the weight, that is that they be now made of 40 Vol weight instead of 38 [7dwt 1gr] & that they bear the same impression as the silver rupees, by which raising the real value (as they are to pass for 15 silver rupees as before) they will be current I the adjacent countries.

As the price of gold in this place is at present low, some profit will still arise by coining it into rupees of the weight & standard above resolved on, and it is agreed, in order to increase the currency of the place, to permit private persons to coin gold in the mint on their paying the customary dities of one & a half per cent.

The gold rupees now current must be called in in proper time & recoined of the present weight standard. The deficiency in weight must be made good by the Company as they enjoyed the profit that was made on their being first coined.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/41, 1775. p. 240. 28th March 1774

Opened a proposal (being the only one that has been delivered) for carrying on the business of the mint and is from the present undertakers, offering to conduct it for the ensuing year on the same terms and conditions as before. Agreed that their proposal be accepted and they must accordingly execute the usual contract…

…Ordered also that two lacks of Patna rupees be issued from the Treasury to the mint for being recoined as soon as possible for the use of the Tellicherry factory

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/41, 1775. p. 265. 14th April 1775

Ordered as it is represent that there is a want of copper pice on the Island, that copper to the amount of 20,000 rupees be issued from the warehouse to the mint where it must be coined as soon as possible.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/41, 1775. p. 291. 25th April 1775

As there is at present a want of silver currency in the Island, it is agreed in order to obviate the inconveniences resulting therefrom to coin gold to the amount of 60,000 rupees into pieces of the value of one silver rupee each, to be in fineness exactly eqwual to the gold rupees now current and of 3/15th part of the weight of a gold rupee

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/41, 1775. p. 406. 5th August 1775

As the price of Tuthnague is now something higher than it has been for a considerable time past it is therefore agreed again to try at public outcry the large quantity if pice now laying in the Treasury. Messieurs Fletcher and Ashburner are appointed a committee for the disposal of it & the Secretary is ordered to give due notice accordingly.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/41, 1775. p. 435. 15th August 1775

The Committee appointed to make sale of the Tuthnague pice report to the Board by letter as entered hereafter that they have sold the whole quantity of Tuthnague pice in the Treasury, at four rupees and fifty reas per Surat maund & for ready money.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/41, 1775. p. 619. 12th December 1775

There being several counterfeit gold rupees now circulating on the Island, it is agreed to offer a reward of one thousand rupees to any person or persons who will make discovery of the persons concerning them, so that offenders may be brought to justice.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/41, 1775. p. 628. 22nd December 1775

Mr Draper lays before the Board some depositions he has taken in consequence of an information made before him against a Parsee Priest and two goldsmiths for counterfeiting silver rupees, and the circumstances appearing strong against them, Resolved that they be flogged at the pillory put upon the works for six months & then turned off the island & their effects confiscated. The Sepoy who made the discovery to have a reward of three hundred rupees.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/42, 1776. p. 151. 16th March 1776

The contract for the mint expiring on the first of next month, notices must be affixed for receiving proposals for a new contract.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/42, 1776. p. 162. 26th March 1776

Opened a proposal from the late minters delivered in consequence of our publication in which they offer to contract to carry on the business upon the terms of the late contract and this being the only proposal received, it is agreed to accept it.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/44, 1777.

Nothing found

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/45, 1778. p. 121, 14th March 1778

The mint contract expiring the 1st of next month, notice must be given that proposals will be received for a new contract to commence from that time

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/45, 1778. p. 185, 22nd April 1778

Opened, proposals as entered hereafter for contract for business of the mint, which, being from the late contractors and no others being delivered, it is agreed to accept them

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/46, 1779. p. 415, 4th August 1779

…and that at the same time sealed proposals will be received for a new mint contract for the term of one year.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/46, 1779. p. 425, 18th August 1779

Opened, a proposal for the mint contract, which, being the only one delivered is accepted and the proposal ordered to be entered hereafter (p429, from the same person as before).

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/47, 1780.

Nothing found

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/48, 1781. p. 532, 3rd October 1781

The President acquaits the Board that there is a quantity of private silver on the Island brought by the Freight Ships from the gulf of Mocha & that it would be of the highest benefit to the place if such an advantage could be held out to the proprietors as would induce them to continue their bullion upon the Island & convert it into Bombay currency, otherwise that they will as usual export it to Surat & Broach where it will yield a larger return from the mints.

To accomplish this end the President proposes that the mint duties should be struck off, which amount to 2 ½ per cent & are divided as follows: one to the Honble Company, one to the President & ½ per cent to the mint master.

The accounts of the coi nage duty for the last four years being sent for it appears upon inspection of them that the sacrifice to be made by the Company is very trivial & the President declares that he doubts not the saving of 2 ½ per cent. If we concur in this proposed indulgence, which when made known to the inhabitants [&] merchants will induce them to carry their silver to our mint, which at any rate will have the general good effect of throwing a greater quantity of the best rupees into circulation.

This matter being taken into consideration, it is resolved for the reasons above set forth to strike off the coinage duty of 2 ½ per cent heretofor collected on all private gold & silver coined in the mint of which due notice must be given by Proclamation

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/49, 1782. p. 635, 18th November 1782

Ordered that proposals be issued for a new contract for managing the business of the mint, to commence from the first day of January 1783.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/49, 1782. p. 799, 28th December 1782

Letter from Goverdundass Bascandass & Lolldass Goverdundass dated 26th November 1782

Your Honor etc having been pleased to affix the notices for anyone to deliver in their sealed proposals for carrying on the business of the mint, we are willing to undertake the same on the conditions of the last contract.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/341/50, 1783

Nothing found

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/1, 1784. p. 238, 29th March 1784

Read a letter from the Mint Master on the subject of the coinage of rupees which is deferred for further consideration and in the meantime the Company’s orders and the regulations which has been established at Surat and Bombay must be extracted from the records and sent round for the perusal of the several members.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/1, 1784. p. 242, 29th March 1784

Letter from the Mint Master (Charles Ware Malet) to Government, dated 28th March 1784

Mr Samual Martin, having delivered over to me charge of the mint agreeable to your commands of the 3rd instant, permit me gentlemen to lay before you a state of the department on my succeeding to the direction of it deduced for the purpose of greater perspicacity thro’ a retrospect of 17 years.

On the 26th June 1767 the prejudicial effects of base coinage issuing from the Surat mint being experienced, regulations were formed by the Governor and Council of this Presidency to obviate the detriment arising therefrom to the trade and revenue of this Island. On the 28th July following a Tankshaul Master was appointed to inspect the coinage of the Surat mint and enforce the rules made for its regulation and on the 1st October of the same year the Nabob of Surat consented that his rupee should be of the same standard as that of Bombay.

This point being effected, the Nabob, influenced probably by a consideration that as Surat and Bombay were the only places to which bullion was or still is imported in any quantity, which seems to give them a natural right to an exclusive coinage, and finding equal reason to complain of the baseness of the Broach rupee as Bombay has to criminate the Surat mint, proposed a stoppage of its currency. This measure was not only approved by the Presidency under date 22nd July 1768, but the Surat Government was further directed to take such precautions as might entirely prevent the passage of bullion to Broach.

Under the influence of these regulations the Bombay Mint continued to flourish until the year 1771 when in December of that year it was found that abuses had again crept in to the Surat Mint & that its rupee was debased 2 ½ per cent. This debasement having been suffered to pass with impunity, has been increasing with a swift progress and the check on that mint having been removed by the abolition of the office of Tanksaul Master under the 3rd April 1776, it now appears from an essay made by my direction of six new rupees sent me by the Chief of Surat, that the Surat rupee is debased from the Bombay standard no less than 10.2.55 per cent as per report enclosed. The great disuse and discredit into which the Bombay Mint has fallen by so unequal a rivalship will be seen by the enclosed statement of its coinage from 1767 to 1783 whence its decline appears to have commenced from the 1771 being the period of the debasement of the Surat mint. In considering this statement it will be necessary to observe that tho’ the replacing this mint on a respectable footing has been thought so important an object to induce the Governor and Council to deprive the Governor & Council of all revenue from it, by abolishing in the year 1781 every Government duty on coinage reserving inly a charge if 1 ¾ per cent fro the bare expense of the manager, yet that end neither has nor ever can be answered so long as the degeneracy of the Surat Mint holds forth advantage so superior to the bullion holder, and its base produce continues equally current in Bombay, with that of your mint.

The purity of the coins is deservedly an object of attention to a wise Government, but when by the neighbourhood of other independent states each claiming an equal right to coin, the pure specie of that one wise Government is exhausted and drawn into their mints to be returned in baser state, and while in that base state it is equally well received and equalkly current with the pure coin of that one Government, I flatter myself Gentlemen you will agree, that if any specie is coined, and it cannot be much in a mint labouring under such difficulties, yet will the tenacious resolution of keeping up to standard purity answer no other end than of benefiting a more designing and a less scrupulous neighbour, since even the credit of a pure coinage vanishes when the istant a rupee appears, it is hurried away to receive a new form & a new quality.

Permit me Gentlemen further to observe that such a stagnation of the mint must greatly affect the circulation of specie in this Island and that it is probable the great inconveniencies of the want of specie now universally [complained] of would in some manner be remedied by an active coinage, whereas from the great disproportion in the standard of the two mints, the Bombay merchants and all others, are now forced to have recourse to Surat, so that while this Government is deprived of a branch of revenue, and its circulation, the Nabob has artfully improved both by increasing his mint charges in proportion to the debasement of the rupee only observing in those charges to keep within such bounds as may render the process of his mint cheaper than it would be for the bullion holder to refine his silver to the standard of the Bombay rupee



Rupee Value (rounded)

1767 to 1768


1768 to




























1782 to 1783



Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/1, 1784. p. 371, 14th May 1784

The Board now resume the consideration of the letter from the Mint Master read the 29th March last, being desirous to ascertain the late debasement of the Surat coinage in the most public and unexceptional mannar, directed that the Chief and Council have orders to take samples of twenty rupees each from the different coinages of the last five years, either from the Company’s treasury, if any of that coinage be now there, or else from the most reputable shroffs immediately n receipt of our orders for that purpose. They must also procure samples of the present coinage from the Nabob’s mint without giving him any previous notice. One half of each of the said samples must be sealed up with the Company’s seal, and sent immediately to the Presidency. The other half to be essayed at Surat in such manner as the chief and Council may think will best answer the intention of the Board in ascertaining the actual state of the coinage. We would recommend that one half of the remaining samples be essayed in the Nabob’s mint, and the other by some creditable goldsmith residing under the Company’s protection. They must also be directed to procure and send hither the exact standard of the Surat mint as fixed at the time of its establishment under the Mogul Government. Also the standard and charges as fixed upon in the time of the Nabob Cooley Khan as referred to in the proceedings on that subject in the year 1767.The Chief and Council must be directed to proceed in this business with the greatest secrecy, so that it may not be known at the Durbar ‘til the samples are secured.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/2, 1784. p. 862, 9th November 1784

The President also acquaints the Board that there is a great want of small currency in the place, and proposes that a quantity of copper be immediately coined. Ordered that 100 maunds of of plate and the same quantity of Japan copper be delivered to the minters and that directions be given to the Mint Master to have it coined into single pice of 100 to the rupee of the usual weight. He must further have directions to keep a separate account of the produce and charges of coinage of each [sortment]

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/3, 1785.

Nothing found

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/4, 1785. p. 975/979. 30th September 1785

Petition of Lolldass Goverdondass. Mint Undertaker at Bombay, read on 30th September 1785

The [Betrery] has arrived from Mocha and has brought treasure in Dollars and there are the other vessels expected from thence, which will also bring treasure. The Dollars by the [Betrery] are exporting to [Nof..] to be coined then into rupees, as the rupee of the coinage of that place is less in value than Bombay rupees in 25 per cent. Dollars are therefore carried thither in order to reap that advantage. This exportation of Dollars from this Island [tends] prejudicial to the mint of this place so much that even the expenses of keeping the mint house cannot be cleared. May it please Your Honor etc, it is an established rule at Surat that all merchants who import Dollars are obliged to give in a manifest into the Phoorza office & the mint office and if afterwards found that the proprietors of the Dollars or other kinds of silver did not send their Dollars to be coined, they are charged five per cent customs on the amount of the Dollars they imported. This rule was established to prevent the Dollars being exported and thereby prevent a scarcity of cash. Your petitioner humbly conceives that if the same rule was adopted and ordered by Your Honor etc, to be observed here it will be attended with great convenience to the Publick in having plenty of cash in the place and it will also be a benefit to the Mint Officer of this place.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/4, 1785. p. 1136. 28th October 1785

Read two petitions from the Tobacco and Arrack Farmers representing the great loss they daily sustain by the very high value or exchange there is at present in the Buzar of pice into silver rupees, desiring such relief as the Board may think proper. These petitions are ordered to be entered after this consultation.

On consideration of these petitions, we have to observe that the exigencies of Government during the late war have at times obliged us to coin copper pice, which after the conclusion of peace and the restoration of our several acquisitions, have returned to Bombay. By a reference to an account (laid before us by the President) of the copper pice coined of this place within the last ten years, it appears it has amounted to Surat Maunds 6067..35 seer..15 Pice and may be valued at Rupees 199,570..-..33, a sum more than double what is required for the currency of this Island, Salsette and Caranja; and as we are desirous to remedy the evil complained of, which is now become a burthen insupportable to the laborious and poorer class of the inhabitants, from the great loss they suffer when obliged to change pice into silver rupees, It is resolved to adopt the following manners which appear but calculated to remove the grievance and [mend it] with the smallest possible loss to the Company Viz:

That the assistant to the treasurer be directed to purchase as many pice as will as will amount to two thousand maunds (being a third of the quantity now in circulation) at the present market price, which it is proposed shall be defaced and sold as lump copper.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/5, 1786. 25th January 1786. p. 61

Read a letter from sundry merchants of this place respecting the present mode of buying And selling Venetians as lately attempted to be introduced by the shroffs. On consideration of this letter and the proposal of the merchants appearing equitable & fair, a publication must be issued signifying that all shroffs, in buying and selling Venetians, are to weigh them by fifteen new Bombay rupees or a brass weight equal to fifteen tolas, which answer to fifty Venetians full weight and so in proportion for a greater or smaller number. They are accordingly directed from and after the 10th of next month to provide themselves with those weights to be stamped by the Mint Master and any shroffs acting in disobedience to this order, shall on conviction before a Magistrate be fined for the first offence, 50 Rs and for the second 100 RS.

This resolution to be communicated to the Mint Master with directions to comply therewith so far as concerns himself.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/5, 1786. 7th July 1786. p. 594

Taking into consideration the very great scarcity of silver on the Island and the evil which arises from the exportation of all the silver brought to this place, particularly to Poonah, where a mint is kept I which they coin a debased rupee, whereby it becomes an object to private persons to carry off our Bombay rupees to recoin; moreover, as this is the season when ships arrive with treasure from the [Gulph], it is resolved in order to put a stopto the above inconvenience as far as possible, that the resolutions of this Government of the 17th August 1770 be revived and that all bullion, silver, or silver coins exported from hence (except to Surat) be charged with a duty of 3 per cent, which must be made known by publication and the Bombay and Mahim Customs Masters must be directed to pay the strictest attention thereto.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/6, 1786.

Nothing found

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/8, 1787.

Nothing found

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/9, 1788.

Nothing found

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/10, 1788.

Nothing found

Bombay Public Consultations, 2nd December 1788. India Office Collections

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/11, 1789. 2nd October 1789. p. 648

Letter from the Clerk of Works (J Stewart) to Government, dated 26th September 1789

I have examined the different roofs belonging to the Mint House which are much decayed and agreeable to your directions have drawn out an estimate of the expense which will be incurred by making them new. The estimate if for Bations which, although attended with a greater present expense than Boondy Bundles, yet are in the end much less expensive for they last a number of years longer and save the great charge for repairs which roofs covered with Boondy Bundles constantly require. I have made an allowance for the old materials. I suppose about a third of the rafters may be used again and all the tiles, making a deduction of one fifth for breakage.


As the necessity of repairing the mint is evinced by the representation before us, ordered that it be carried into execution. Care be enjoined that the estimate be not exceeded.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/11, 1789. 4th December 1789. p. 838

The information of Loldass, the Honble Company’s Mint Contractor

That as he was passing through the Buzar the day before yesterday, he saw Bicardass and Jevandass, two shroffs, disputing with each other. That on enquiring the cause, he found that the former had just received one hundred gold mohurs from the latter, and that he was challenging six of them as uncurrent. That, suspecting the rupees were false, he, on his return home, sent his servant for Jevandass, desiring him to bring with him the six rupees in dispute. That, finding them not to be the coinage of the Honble Company’s mint, he, in presence of Jevandass, immediately cut in pieces two of the rupees and found that each of them contained a plate of silver in the centre. That on his asking Jevandass where he got the rupees, he answered he had received them in the course of business but could not tell from whom. Jevandass has lately arrived from Radalpore, a place near Bhwanagar and opened a shop here. The rupees are worth about ten rupees each.

In conseqwuence of the above information, we think it necessary that the shroff on whom the debased gold rupees were found should be taken before the sitting Magistrate for examination, in order that a discovery may be made if possible by what means he became possessed of the rupees in accusation.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/12, 1790. 22nd January 1790. p. 80

Rama [Sinoy Lottiwur], who was security for the Mint Contractors, Balmacondass Goverdandass Bookandass and Loldass Goverdandass, having died the 31st ultimo, I conceive it my duty to inform you of the same. At the same time permit me to submit to you the propriety of immediately calling on the contractors above mentioned to renew their contract and find fresh securities.


In consequence of the above intimation, the Mint contractors must be called upon to renew their contract.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/12, 1790. 2nd February 1790. p. 102

The Mint Master acquaints the Board that the Contractors have tendered Baboo Sinvy and Ram Sinvy as their securities in the event of Government renewing their contract.

Ordered that the Solicitor report to us what property the above mentioned persons may be possessed of and are willing to make over by mortgage, when we shall judge of its sufficient

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/12, 1790. 19th February 1790. p. 135

The Company’s Solicitor lays before the Board the final draft of an engagement for the Mint Contractor to execute, which os approved, but as we observe the former contract have fixed no standard for the fineness of the gold coinage, a matter we think it highly proper should be inserted, the Mint Master must be called upon to inform us what orders are extant in the mint on that head and by what standard gold and silver coins have been hitherto regulated.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/12, 1790. 26th February 1790. p. 163

Letter from the mint master (Edward Galley) to Government, dated 24th February 1790

In reply to your letter of the 22nd instant communicating to me [from] the Honble Governor in Council his commands that I would inform him from the documents in my office what  weight and fineness is the standard for gold rupees, I have to request that you will inform him that there are no records in the mint office prior to 10th August 1773, not any subsequent orders of Government relative to the fineness of the gold rupee further that they should continue to be made of the same standard as previous to the 18th June 1774. What that standard was no where appears except in a letter from the Mint Master, Mr Church, to the President in Council dated the 16th Mat 1774, in which he says “one gold rupee weighs 7 dwt 1 grain or 38 Vols of the fineness of 24 Carats, which is Venetian standard”. The Mint Undertaker confirms the gold rupee being of the same standard as the Venetian, but says the Venetian is only 99 touch, which answers to 23..76 [dwt], which fineness he has invariably followed in all the gold rupees coined by him since his first contract with the Honble Company in July 1678 and agreeable whereto he is ready to renew his contract. Under the 18th June 1774 the Honble the President and Council directed that the gold rupee should be made of the weight of exactly forty Vols or 7dwt 16 2/3 grains, at which weight it has continued ever since.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/12, 1790. 26th February 1790. p. 164

Letter from the mint master (Edward Galley) to Government, dated 25th February 1790

In reply to the commands of the Hinble the President in Council communicated to me in your letter of yesterday, I haveto request you will inform him that the Bombay rupees should weigh exactly 1 Tola or 7 dwts 10 1/3 grains and in fineness should answer 14 ½ better than English standard or 591 [Reio] ..25 [dwt] of pure silver and 8 [Rui] 75 of alloy


As there appears to be no precise statement for the fineness of gold the Secretary is ordered to insert a clause in the Contractors new engagement to fix it at the fineness of Venetians or 23.-.26

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/12, 1790. 22nd June 1790. p. 396

Letter from the mint master (Edward Galley) to Government, dated 18th June 1890

Having assayed the two parcels of muster rupees just received from Surat, I am to request you will inform the Honble the Governor in Council that they not only proved of a superior quality in point of silver to any lately received, but likewise exceeded in weight, the alloy on each tola of silver being on a medium of 31 ¾ Rice and excess of weight about 5 Rice

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/13, 1791. p. 233

Letter from the assistant to the treasurer to Government, dated 12th April 1791

In obedience to your directions I herewith send a statement of the Mint Undertaker’s account in which 21 days credit is allowed on all the Treasure delivered to him for coinage on account of the Honble Company & he is credited interest on all his payments from their respective dates. For the greater perspicuity the account of every delivery to him of treasure is stated separately and from the General Interest as drawn out at the conclusion a balance appears due from him thereon of Rs 1651..3..88 on 31st ultimo besides a further sum of Rupees 48.562..0..28 sweeps notwithstanding he has paid no money into the Treasury since 31st January last.

On 19th November last I delivered him for recoinage 373 counterfeit gold mohurs & 60 2/3 gold mohurs which were cut in the treasury from a supposition of their being counterfeit but were found to be standard coin. On my daily report these are stated at Rs 6505 but as yet no part of this sum has been returned into the Treasury.

When I was informed by him in January that the Company’s coinage was finished, I delivered to him 50,000 Dollars of my own for coinage, an account of which made up in same manner as that of the Honble Company. I beg to lay before you as a balance of interest is due to me thereon of Rs 231..2..16 on 31st March last.

Ordered that the Mint Contractor be called upon for the balance in his hands and in case of his not discharging within ten days, it must be put in the solicitor’s hands to recover

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/13, 1791. p. 453

Resolution 17th June 1791

By the Treasury report of this day which Mr Carnegie lays before the Board, it appearing that all the recoined counterfeit gold mohurs have been delivered in from the mint, ordered that the Acting Mint Master lay before us a specific account of their produce and the loss attending them.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/13, 1791. p. 480

Letter from the Acting Mint Master (Patrick Crawford Bruce) to Government, dated 25th June 1791

Agreeable to your order of the 18th instant, I have the honor to enclose an account from the Mint Undertaker of the recoinage of the counterfeit gold mohurs delivered to the mint from the Treasury by which it appears the actual loss is one hundred and seventy five gold mohurs, as follows:

Gold mohurs counterfeit received from the Treasury   433.666

Ditto paid into the Treasury                                                   258.666

Balance                                                                                175

Lost by burnage from the admixture of silver and other metals

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/14, 1792. p. 507

Resolution 7th August 1792

The Board now proceed to take into consideration the 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th paragraphs of the Honble Company’s commands of the 8th February last respecting the copper coinage sent out by the ships of the season. Agreed that a publication be issued as soon as possible signifying that all persons in possession of copper pice of the Company’s former issues do, on or before the 30th September next, bring them into the Company’s Treasury for the purpose of receiving in lieu thereof an equivalent in the new coinage now sent out and for which the public will receive for each rupee a quantity of pure copper equal in weight to 10,000 avoirdupois grains, and by the coin now in circulation they only receive 7314, the difference in this respect alone is nearly equal to 50 per cent. As it is hereby declared that from and after the 1st September next the old pice shall not pass current in this town or Island of Bombay nor shall any person or persons be obliged to receive or accept the same in payment and that any coin of a counterfeit kind shall immediately be cut in two and forfeited to the Company for which purpose the necessary minters and shroffs must attend at the Treasury, who shall be answerable for the receipt of any pice not coined by the Company, and the Assistant to the Treasurer must always be at the Treasury at the usual office hours that no favour or affection may be shown to anyone.

Agreed also that the Assistant to the Treasurer be directed to issue the new coinage after the 15th of the month in all payments to be made in pice.

Resolved also that copy of these paragraphs from the Company’s commands and our proceedings thereon be sent to Tannah and Tellicherry and they be directed to acquaint us what quantity of pice they have in circulation in order that we may send a sufficient quantity of the new coinage to replace them.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/14, 1792. p. 510

Resolution 7th August 1792

As we thought it proper to issue the new coinage sent out by the Company, we think it also necessary that the public be acquainted with their value. Agreed that publications be issued accordingly.

Bombay Revenue Consultations, IOR P/366/15, 1793. p. 174

Mr Duncan’s minute on the Government of Malabar. March 1793

There shall remain only one mint for all the ceded countries, to be established at the seat of supervisorship, under the exclusive administration of the Company’s Government, in the manner to be more fully detailed under the separate mint regulations.

Bombay Revenue Consultations, IOR P/366/15, 1793. p. 505

Letter from Jonathan Duncan and William Page to William Gamul Farmer, Supravisor and Chief Magistrate of the Province of Malabar, dated 17th September 1793

We have been favoured with your letter of the 13th instant.

All the knowledge we have acquired on the subject of the coins in Malabar will appear in our report to Government, of which Mr Travers will be instructed to furnish you with a copy, and also of the voucher accompanying it, and in the meantime we believe you already posses a transcript of what we have hitherto written on the subject, which we doubt not will sufficiently attract the attention of our superiors to induce them to pass such orders on the subject in general as may tend to the public advantage.

Meanwhile, what Colonel Hartly has mentioned to you, is certainly our opinion, formed in consequence of a correspondence with, and letters from, that Gentleman under date the 21st of last month, apprizing us that in accounting for their pay, the troops suffered a loss of 5 per cent, which as far as we can [understand] of the sentiments of our superiors, they must, we think, wish to avoid and will, we imagine, be induced to join in our and your opinion that the troops ought to receive the full value of their appointed pay in whatever coin it may be necessary to issue it. Of the particulars you should monthly give notice to the commanding officer of the troops, that he may be enabled to advise the officer in command of corps, who will thence have it always in their power to see and be satisfied that justice is done to the troops under their respective orders.

As to the cause of the present value of the [need] verayes (which differ a little in their inherent weight and fineness from either the Sultanee or any of the other coins hitherto struck in the Calicat mint) we imagine that they will again rise now that the season for commercial intercourse by sea and land is opening on this coast, which end you may also accelerate by stopping the further coinage of these fanams for a month or till they attain their standard value.

Altho’ we have little doubt but by one or other of the means above indicated the present depreciation on the Bazar rates of these fanams may be shortly obviated, yet we advise that before adopting the step of altogether putting even a temporary stop to the viray coinage you take advice of the best informed merchants and shroffs, such as Sheikh [Cory…] of Calicut, and of Putteram shroff of the same place with such other as you may deem most trustworthy and after enquiring fully as to what they deem the best remedies you will thereon adopt such part of our preceding advice as you may deem most salutary or let it altogether remain without effect if on mature consideration [you] shall believe that it would not be productive of any good consequences…

The letter was passed to the Bombay Government:

Minute of the Bombay Council

It appears by our proceedings of the 8th October we have already given it as our opinion that we cannot make any permanent regulations respecting the coinage, until we receive the final report of the Commissioners with orders and instructions from the Government General. In the meantime the Supravisor must adopt such temporary expedient as he may think most effectual to prevent any loss either to the Honble Company or to the troops, and to conform as much as possible to the recommendation communicated to him by the Commissioners in their letter of the 17th September 1793.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/15, 1793. p. 507

Letter from the acting mint master (P. Crawford Bruce) to Government, dated 10th May 1793

As the contract with Lolldass Goverdundass and Manordass Goverdundass [these seem like the right spellings] the mint undertakers is now expired, I take the liberty to mention the same to you and likewise to acquaint you they stand indebted on balance as per account current accompanying amounting, with interest to the 1st instant, to Rupees 24,402..2..37

On demanding this balance from the contractors they allege a claim on account the quality of the dollars which were delivered them for coining in the year 1790 from the Treasury, and by which they were very heavy sufferers, but acknowledging with much gratitude your goodness in consenting to withdraw the suit formerly instituted against them, and wishing to avoid every dispute on this account, he has requested I would entreat the favour in his behalf to have the matter either submitted to arbitration, or to be investigated in such other manner as may appear proper to you


He must be informed that we have agreed to give up to the mint undertakers the interest on their account, but they are to be called on immediately to pay the balance due on the 1st May 1792.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/15, 1793. p. 573

Letter from the acting mint master (P. Crawford Bruce) to Government, dated 22nd June 1793

In obedience to your orders I beg leave to acquaint you that the former regulations respecting the coinage was a duty of 2 ½ per cent on silver and 1 ½ per cent on Gold collected on all bullion coined in the mint and which was divided as follows:


On silver      1 per cent to the Company

1 per cent to the Honble the Governor

½ per cent to the Mint Master

2 ½ per cent


On Gold       ½ per cent to the Company

                   ½ per cent to the Honble the Company

                   ½ per cent to the Mint Master

                   1 ½ per cent


But under the 21st October 1781 this duty was struck off by order of the Honble the Governor and Council and a proclamation was issued to that effect, and since that date there has been no coinage duty collected from individuals and the Mint Contractor has always coined both gold and silver according to the terms and restrictions of his contract with Government.

Agreed that we advertise to receive sealed proposals on Friday 28th instant from any person willing to contract for carrying on the business of the mint at Bombay from the 1st July next ensuing to the 30th April 1796

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/15, 1793. p. 590. 28th June 1793

Opened four proposals for contracting to carry on the business of the mint at Bombay from 1st July next to the 30th April 1796 when that of Curson Veddadhur being the most eligible, agreed that it be accepted  upon his finding two responsible persons to be security for one lack of rupees.

[all the applications are fully reported here. One from the old mint contractor].

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/15, 1793. p. 603. 2nd July 1793

On enquiry into the character of Curson Veddadhur we find he is not a man of sufficient respectability to be entrusted with an undertaking of such importance & as the proposals of Narrondass Tulsidass are more advantageous than any of the others, agreed that they be accepted on hisfinding two responsible persons to be security for one lack of rupees.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/16, 1793. p. 645. July 1793

The Acting Mint Master must be directed to call upon the securities of the Mint Contractor for the balance due from him and in case of a non compliance to report the same immediately.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/16, 1793. p. 728

Letter from the acting mint master (P. Crawford Bruce) to Government, dated 18th July 1793

Agreeable to the directions which I have been favoured with from the Secretary of Government to specify the regulations of the mint office and what are the terms on which people are allowed to coin, I beg leave to mention that there are no particular regulations in the Mint Office respecting the coinage because, the business being done by contract, the Contractor is at every expense for the coinage. When any person wishes to coin either silver or gold bullion he makes application to the Mint Master and as there is no particular restriction of Government against the coinage of silver, the Mint Master immediately gives direction to the Mint Undertakers to receive the silver bullion and to coin into rupees in the mode described in his contract with Government, but for coining gold, the Mint Master is to make application to the Honble the Governor specifying the person who has made application to him and the number of Tolas of gold he wishes to have coined, and must receive the permission of the Honble the Governor previous to his giving any directions to the Mint Undertakers, and to prevent any improper conduct in the Mint Undertakers, there is an Assay Man who receives a monthly pay of four rupees from the Company and who attends all meltings of gold or silver to take care that it is equal to standard and it is likewise the business and duty of the Mint Master to attend the meltings and to be careful that the Assayer makes a proper examination.

The Mint Undertaker has an allowance for burnage, wastage etc, on Gold one val for each Tola, and he is obliged by the terms of his contract to deliver the whole money whether silver or gold, in twenty one days, and for whatever part may be detained beyind that time, he pays an interest to the Proprietor.

In consequence of your orders of the 12th instant, I have called on Ramdass Manondass, the security for the late Mint Undertaker, Lolldass Govundunass, to pay the balance due from him by the account which I had the honor to lay before you, and he has given me an accepted draft payable in four months on Gopauldass Manordass, the Shroff, for the sum of Rupees 22,362-..-22, being the amount to be recovered from him agreeable to your orders to me under 25th May last. If the mode of payment is acceptable to Your Honble Board, I will then keep the draft and give Lolldass Goverdondass a discharge.


He must be directed to observe the established usage of his office

He is at liberty to accept the draft and give Lolldass Goverdondass his discharge

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/18, 1794. p. 55. 28th January 1794

The Mint Master must be desired to inform us at what rate fanams were coined before

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/18, 1794. p. 66. 22nd February 1794

Letter from the mint master (Richard Church) to Government, dated 30th January 1794

I beg you will inform the Honble Board that the last coinage of fanams took place in 1789 at the following rates:

New Pillar Dollars

Current Rupees


…at the rate of 520 fanams for 100 rupees

As the price of Dollars is so extremely high and there would be a loss of near three percent in coining them into fanams, we do not think it advisable at present to purchase any for that purpose.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/18, 1794. p. 1196. 14th November 1794

Letter from the mint master (R. Church) to Government dated 13th November 1794

Be pleased to acquaint the Honble the Governor in Council that from the following statement it will be most advantageous to coin the fanams from Dollars

100 Dollars produce 1072 fanams at the rate of 219 for 100 Dollars

200 Bombay Rupees produce 978 fanams.

There is then a calculation which I don’t understand but it shows that that they could get more fanams from Dollars than rupees. It then goes on:

I have particularly mentioned Bombay Rupees as I find upon trial that the current (or Surat) cannot be made into small coin , having too much alloy in them.

Resolved that the Assistant to the Treasurer be directed to purchase Spanish Dollars in order to be coined into fanams to the amount of fifty thousand rupees.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/19, 1795. p. 126. 20th January 1795

The Accomptant General lays before the Board a statement of the difference in produce between delivering the copper coin by weight and by tale.

This showed that approximately 50 tons of coins had been delivered by three ships: The Raymond, the Woodford and Sir Edward Hughes

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/23, 1796. p. 1015-1021.

Letter from the mint master (Wm Simpson) to Government, dated 19th April 1796

The contract with the Mint Undertaker expiring on the 1st of next month, I take liberty of acquainting you with the same. I request your orders on the subject.

Ordered that an advertisement be issued in consequence to the same effect as was before done on a similar occasion.

There is also the complete contract that had been signed between the Company and Narondass Tulsidass in 1793.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/23, 1796. p. 1358. 31st May 1796

Opened Mint Proposals from the following persons:

Mr Miguel de Lima Souza

Ramchunder Madowsett

Lalla Nagidass for Chooney Loll

Pestonjee Eduljei

Agreed that these proposals be referred to the mint master and he be desired to prepare and send in a comparative statement showing which may be the most advantageous for the Honble Company and the Public to accept

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/23, 1796. p. 1371. 2nd June 1796

Dr Helenus Scott appointed a member of the Committee for reporting on the current coins

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/23, 1796. p. 1386. 7th June 1796

A letter from the mint master was read but the records are blank about the contents. It seems to have been about the contract for the mint.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/26, 1796. p. 3222/4.

Letter from the mint master (William Simpson) to Government, dated 2nd December 1796

The person who was employed to coin the fanams lately sent to Malabar having addressed me a letter enclosing an account of the loss he affirms to have sustained by burnage etc on the German Crowns, as also his charges for workmanship,I take the liberty of submitting the same for your notice observing that it is the first time fanams were ever made from German Crowns. There is no regulation in the office fixing the percentage to be allowed for the trouble and expenses attending this coinage. The contract with the late minter expired in June last, since which period he has wished to decline acting. By persuasion I have engaged him to carry on the business. He is now unwilling to undertake the coinage of the fanams ordered to be made immediately, unless his account is approved by Government and similar charges allowed him in future.

Agreeable to the terms of the late contract the minter was obliged to deliver Rupees 221..3..36 for 100 ounces troy weight of German Crowns, at this rate I offered to settle for the fanams, calculating five fanams to the rupee. This he rejected alledging that the trouble and expense of coining of one fanams was nearly the same as on a rupee and that such an allowance was by no means sufficient to reimburse him the loss on the burnage of the silver and the other expenses he had incurred for artificers.

There then follows the letter from Narrondass Tulsidass to the mint master explaining his position.

Agreed that copies thereof be sent to the Committee for reporting on the several coins current on this side of India directing them to deliver in their former report as also on the merits of the present application.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR z/p/3397, 1797.

Nothing found

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/29, 1797.

Nothing found in the index

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR z/p/3398. Index for 1798

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/31, 1798. p. 661

Letter from the mint master (Willm Simpson) to Government, dated 28th February 1798

I have agreeable to your orders consulted with the Mint Undertaker regarding the number of fanams he can coin by the 1st of April. He has promised to have about 75,000 ready by that period on condition of his being allowed 4½ per cent for Wastage, burnage & other charges he must necessarily incur. The coinage of fanams is far more troublesome than rupees as each rupee must be divided and weighed into five equal parts, which requires a good deal of nicety and attention, and in consequence artificers must be employed in proportion.

I therefore take the liberty of recommending that his proposal may be accepted, being according to the best of my judgement fair and reasonable.

Agreed that the Mint Master’s recommendation on behalf of the Undertaker be in the present instance complied with, but not to operate as a precedent & on the express condition that the 75,000 fanams above mentioned be actually ready by the time specified.

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/31, 1798. p. 973

Letter from the mint master (William Simpson) to Government, dated 9th April 1798

I have informed the Mint Undertaker that you have directed six lacks of rupees to be coined into fanams annually, which he will do his utmost to comply with, whenever he can procure a sufficient number of artificers from Surat. For the present he promises to coin about Rs 20,000 into fanams every month, the number of workmen in Bombay being too few to carry on the business on a more extensive scale

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR z/p/3399. Index for 1799

Bombay Public Consultations, IOR P/342/39, 1799. p. 3067

Letter from the mint master (William Simpson) to Government, dated 1st November 1799

I have been honoured with your commands of the 8th and 22nd ultimo. In reply to the former I beg leave to observe that the Mint Undertaker positively affirms not a single fanam was ever issued from the mint of the coinage from German Crowns but of the specifick standard without the smallest diminution of its purity by the introduction of an alloy, which I really believe to be the case. He is however willing to bear the expense of the re-coinage at Tellicherry of all the broken fanams, or such as were from any accident in the stamping rendered uncurrent. With regard to the deficiency he cannot be held accountable as the fanams were paid into the Treasury and receipts passed him to the full amount from whence they were afterwards consigned to the Coast.

On the subject of your orders of the 22nd ultimo I take the liberty of observing that only two descriptions of fanams have been coined in this mint for Malabar: the first from Chandoly rupees as per your directions of 11th April 1796; the second from German Crowns as per ditto of the 2nd June following. It is much to be regretted that the specimens of the old and new fanams sent there, as noticed in the extract of the letter from the Northern Superintendent, were not forwarded to the Presidency to be assayed by a regular chymical process, that there relative value might be accurately ascertained. The Spanish Dollars from which the fanams must now be coined are above 4 per cent superior to the German Crowns but as the standard of Chandoly rupees is scarcely ever the same for a year together, I cannot say what proportion it may now bear to the fineness of the fanams coined from those rupees formerly, which are the same alluded to (as the first coinage from Bombay) in the correspondence sent for my notice. At present the Spanish Dollar is reckoned 3 per cent better than any of those rupees to be met with in the place. From this circumstance the Mint Undertaker has requested me to submit your directions whether he is to proceed immediately on the coinage of fanams of the same standard with the Spanish Dollars, or to wait until a specimen of the composition of the Tellicherry fanams can be delivered here, that the standard of both mints may agree in point of the purity of the silver.

This was sent to the Accountant General for his opinion.

Requested Bombay Public Proceedings 1800/1801/1802

Index for 1800 under Governor in Council subtitle President has an entry:

Delivers in specimens of the new rupees intended to be struck in the Bombay mint for the Boards opinion – and report to the standards of Surat coinage & thereon to consider whether the Bombay Standard should be fixed or whether the proposed rupees should be struck of greater purity. No page number but could be after 894?

Also under mint there’s an entry about the mint master being instructed to have the dies cut for the new coins but no page number

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/41. p. 634

Petiton from Candass Bullackedass dated 19th March 1800

That your petition[er] begs leave to request your Honble Boards permission to coin about twelve thousand tollas Venetian gold into mohurs in the Honble Company’s mint, therefore humby begs your Honble Board will be pleased to order the mint master for the same

Resolution dated 21st March 1800

The mint master will be instructed to cause the monay above mentioned to be coined into mohurs as requested.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/42. p. 935

Resolution 18th April 1800

…The following allowances are also authorized, Viz

To the Mint Master the sum of 280 rupees per annum for keeping the building under him in repair…


Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/43. p. 1520

Letter from the acting mint master at Surat (George Brown), dated 21st July 1800

I have the honor to transmit a staement of my receipts and disbursements for last month accompanied by a cash account.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/43. p. 1658

Letter from the mint master at Bombay (William Simpson), dated 12th August 1800

I have been favoured with your letter of the 8th instant and copy of a petition from [Hullysing Dongursey] praying to be allowed to coin silver rupees in this mint of the same standard as the Surat coinage, in reply to which I beg you will inform the Honble the Governor in Council that they can be made in every respect similar to them whenever he may be pleased to give me orders to have stamps cut, bearing the impression of the Surat rupees at present in currency.

Resolution of 22nd August 1800

There being no solid objection to agreeing to the request of [Hurrysing Dongursey] as recorded under date of the 8th instant and several advantages attending it, the Mint Master was instructed on the 19th instant to have the necessary stamps cut for the proposed coinage.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/43. p. 1724

Letter from the Collector at Surat (Edward Galley), dated 25th August 1800

Encloses an account of receiving 100,000 dollars by tale, which proved to be light by 4 dollars. They were coinaed as follows:


June 26th


June 27th


July 1st


July 3rd


July 7th


July 9th



These produced at 216.3.24 per […] dollars: 216801.1.31 rupees

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/43. p. 1768

Letter from Bombay mint master (William Simpson), dated 9th September 1800

I take the liberty of submitting extract of a letter received from Mr De Souza dated 8th instant on the subject of your orders of 5th instant relative to the commission to be collected for the Honble Company, from merchants coining rupees of the Surat standard in the mint, on which I beg leave to solicit your further directions as soon as may be convenient.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/43. p. 1769

Extract of a letter from Mr Miguel De Souza, dated 8th September 1800

I have received your note and much obliged to you by the order you have sent to receive my dollars and to coin them into Surat rupees, but I understand the Board have ordered to collect 2 ½ percent commission, therefore it is necessary for me to know what number of rupees I am to get for 100 Spanish dollars clear of the commission and all other charges. I understood that we were to get 219.1.50, just the same as at Surat. If so I shall send about 200,000 dollars, but if the commission is to be deducted from the above sum, I shall only get 213.3.97 for every hundred dollars, which will not answer as I can disposed of my dollars in the bazar for 215 rupees.

It is impossible that the proprietor of the dollars can subject himself to such an expense if they are to get no more then Surat rupees 219.1.50 per hundred dollars. The commission was at one time considered so heavy a tax that Mt Hornby, when Governor, after examining into the business and by way of encouraging merchants to send their dollars into the mint, struck off the commission, but such have been the high price of dollars since, that for upwards of 16 or 17 years nobody has sent any to be coined. The present measure of coining Surat rupees is very wise as it will prevent the exporation of dollars and increase the currency of silver in the place, but there should be no commission to bring it upon a level with the price in the bazar.

Resolution, 12th September 1800

On the above representation it was resolved on the 11th instant that the Company’s fee on the coinage should not, under these circumstances setforth, be exacted.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/44. p. 2233

Letter from Smith Forbes & Co to Bombay Government, dated 7th November 1800

We request your permission to coin in the Honble Company’s mint here about 32,000 Spanish dollars and about 4000 tolas China gold into Gold mohurs


In reply to the above application Messrs Smith Forbes & Co are to be advised that they need only apply to the mint master from whom they will receive the requisite permission to coin their gold and silver provided they conform to the regulations of the mint at present in force respecting the standard of the coins & all other points.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/44. p. 2282

Letter from Bombay Assay Master (Scott) to Government, dated 12th November 1800

By your desire I visited the mint and I took from the hands of different workmen 4 rupees still unfinished. It appears from assays that these rupees contained 8.3 per cent of alloy or each rupee had 64.15 grains of pure silver. I do not know the present regulation of the Surat mint for fineness but none of the Surat rupees formerly examined by me were one per cent superior to these Bombay rupees.

By the report of the mint master of Bombay for many years past it will be seen that the Surat standard has frequently varied as it appears at present to be between 7-8 per cent. It would be right to ascertain from Surat the exact fineness now established there that precisely the same degree may be fixed on here. The allowance for the variation to which the mint is always subject may then be determined. From what I have said it will appear to you that there is little variation here at present from the established fineness of 8 per cent.

The inquiry regarding weight is in favor of the Bombay rupee.

Four rupees coined in Bombay taken from four different bags in the treasury weighed as follows:




No. 1


No. 2


No. 3


No. 4



Two rupees coined at Surat also taken from others in the treasury weighed:




No. 1


No. 2



From this it appears that both of those kind of rupees are heavier than the standard weight which is 178.31 grains.

In order to compare together the weight of Surat and Bombay rupees, Mr Simpson and myself  took indifferently from a number of each as follows:

Thirteen Bombay rupees were put in one scale of a balance & thirteen Surat ditto in the other


Trial 1, Bombay rupees weighed more by 5’

Trial 2, ditto

Trial 3, ditto


Fifteen of each were then put in the scales


Trial 4

Bombay rupees weighed more by


Trial 5

Bombay rupees weighed more by


















I have heard one or two people suppose that the present Bombay coinage was much inferior to that of Surat and this has arisen from two circumstances: first the alloy of the present Bombay coinage is entirely of copper which gives a yellowishness to the rupees to which they are unaccustomed. Secondly, the Bombay rupees are at present not so well made as those of Surat, which the workmen tell me is for want of proper anvils but I suppose is in some degree also from want of experience.

I think it would be proper to [incise] the word Bombay on the coinage of this place.

Every government may make when it pleases some difference in the standard of ots coin, nor could this be attended with any inconvenience or deception to the public, as all the rupees in circulation are Surat rupees tho’ called Bombay rupees. It surely would be satisfactory to both mints to have their rupees thus distinguished.

Upon the whole I hope it will appear from what I have said that such a difference as I have mentioned not [exceeding] one per cent on the value of the rupee of Surat and Bombay should [create] no kind of complaint amongst the shroffs. The Surat rupee has often undergone much more material variations without being the subject of either observation or complaint that the mints should be put on a footing of perfect equalityis but fair and proper & the same regulations of all kinds should be established for both.

PS Since writing the above I have received and read over the Surat diary of the mintage. It commences in 1762 and concludes in 1790 but several parts of it have been lost. From the diary it appears that in 1765 the Surat rupee was worse than that of Bombay by 5.5 per cent.

In Novemebr 1771 the Chief and Council write to the Court of  Directors “that they had with the Nabob fixed the standard of the rupee at an alloy of 22 rice which makes it 2 1/3 per cent superior to the Bombay mint”. Hence the Surat rupee contained 4 per cent of alloy & the Bombay rupee only 1 2/3.

In 1784 they write to the Bombay Government “that on the establishment of the Surat mint the standard was 538 rice pure silver and 12 rice of alloy”, that is the alloy was 2.18 per cent. Only the same was continued during Hyder [Konle] Khan’s time. In the time of [Jikhbeghkan] it contained, they say, 526 rice pure silver & 24 rice of alloy. This amounts to 4.36 per cent alloy.

In 1772 I see a further change was made on the fineness of the rupee for the standard was now fixed at 514.5 rice of pure silver 35.5 rice of alloy. This is an alloy of 4.956 or 5 per cent nearly. But the Surat mint in its actual coinage never kept even to this standard, for by assays of its rupees for 7 years viz: 1773, 80, 81, 82, 83 and 84 (sic) the alloy had increased above the standard from 1569 to 3364 [this doesn’t make sense].

In 1775 the Court of Directors recommended the rupee to be of the same fineness that it had been in 1767. That is to say that it should be of the same fineness that it had been in the time of Hyther Coolie Khan, or that it should contain no more than 2.18 per cent of alloy (see regulation by the Surat Committee in August 1767). This, like all other repetitions for the standard of the Surat mint seems never [to have] taken place. I do not observe that such rupees were ever coined either in 1767 or after the Company orders in 1775.

Last of all I observe that in February 1789 the chief fixes that standard of fineness for the Surat rupee at 35.5 rice of alloy or 6.454 per cent. This is the latest regulation for standard that this diary contains. Like the rest it appears not to have been put in execution.

What the present [regulation] is for fineness I do not know but it is very necessary to get this information from Surat when no rupee that shall in future be coined either there or here should exceed it by the smallest fraction. With regard to the weight of the rupee the diary contains no information but I imagine it is the rupee of the Mogul of 178.314 grains.

The diary of the mint of Surat might furnish abundant materials for reflection and shows in many respects the danger of speculating in a political matter of so great difficulty & delicacy. A good state of the coinage is at once the interest of the sovereign & the people, nor does it appear to me to be possible consistently with the welfare of either to make […]. The mintage was at once a source of revenue to the King of Dilhi, the Company, the Nabob & the Mahrattas. Under those circumstances we constantly kept pressing the Nabob to make his coinage very pure but still insisting on our portion of the profits of it. It surely was forgotten during a period of 30 years that it is only from the alloy of a coinage that any profit whatever can arise. We tried to get the advantage undiminished from him while at the same time we endeavoured to take away the very means that produced it.

I think it would be advisable to keep at present to the standard now fixed for the Surat rupee whatever that may be, for all chages are atteded with loss or inconvenience. The complaints of the shroffs and merchants on this subject are often short sighted or interested. They are fearful at one time (surely without reason) that a pure coinage would be bought up by the neighbouring mints, at another time they complain that the coin is not sufficiently good for the purposes of commerce or exchange.I image it is not difficult to see on which side of the question the real cause for apprehension lies.

I have had but a few hours to consider this Surat diary which I hope will plead my excuse if any error should afterwards appear in what I have said.

Letter to Alexander Ramsay, Magistrate at Surat, dated 12th November 1800

I enclose a copy of the report of Mr Helenus Scott on the value of the rupees lately coined in the Bombay mint in view to the Surat standard and which were indeed intended by the Government here to be in exact correspondence with it; and the difference if any (taking fineness and weight together) seems so small that I concur with Mr Scott in thinking it need not occasion with respect to the few that have been issued any alarm to the money interests either of Surat or Bombay, being from other assays made here probably still within the constituent admixture of pure silver and alloy, in a considerable proportion of the Surat rupees coined at the mint there, that are now, nevertheless, in a course of circulation, equal even to the standard value of the Bombay rupee; and which it might prove very inconvenient and prejudicial to raise a question about. I wish you and the mint master and the other gentlemen at Surat to avoid as much as possible its further discussion whence also the present degree of [demur] will I trust, entirely subside, the more especially when it is known that the coinage here has been stopped since the receipt of your notice, until an answer be received to a letter Mr Grant has by the land post written to your mint master to procure an authentic statement of the real standard ingredients in the Surat rupee as now coined to the end that the very same may be observed here, that which has been lately fixed on having been taken from the general result of Dr Scott’s assay of those now in circulation, which under the denomination of Surat rupees constitute the general, or rather the only, received and ordinary circulation at the Presidency, although they are knownto be all considerably inferior to the proper Bombay rupee, which hath long ceased to be met with from having during many years been struck at our mint.

Resolution 14th November 1800

The Board taking into consideratio the stae of the coinage above mentioned and the necessity of establishing a full and effectual contract over the mint, are of opinion, without meaning in the smallest degree to derogate from the merits of Mr Simpson in whose conduct on the contrary has been perfectly satisfactory to Government, that the business of this department may be more effectually conducted and contracted by a person permanently resident on the spot than one whose public avocations necessarily require his chief attendance at a distance from it. With this view solely the Governor in Council is pleased to relieve Mt Simpsonfrom the charge of this department and to rest it in Mr J.A. Grant as mint master with Doctor Helenus Scott as assay master an appointment which appears to have become essentally necessary for the better regulation of the coinage of this Presidency and for which Mr Scott’s knowledge in this particular branch eminently qualifies him.

In communicating these appointments to the parties they are to be additionally advised that it is the Governor in Council’s order that all silver presented in future or until at fursther orders at the mint is to be coined into rupees with an admixture of ½ per cent only of alloy whereby it is presented that the standard of the coinage in this mint will be rather higher than even the very best Surat rupee now in circulation.

The alloy is also to consist of lead instead of copper whereby a greater similarity will be preserved in the colour and appearance of the respective coins.

In nominating Mr Grant to the office of mint master, the Governor also recommends and it is accordingly resolved that the office of General Storekeeper held by that gentleman be abolished from the date and that the same be only communicated to the departments concerned.

Resolved also that Mr JA Grant and H. Scott be required to take into their immediate consideration the present stae of the Bombay mint and the relation it may be found to bear to that of Surat whence they will report with as little loss of time as possible the regulations they may deem most effectual to preserve the purity of the coins in both mints equally free of diminution adding what in their opinion would be most advantageous standard to be established for the general silver currency under the jurisdiction of this Presidency.

Resolved that the Assistant Treasurer be instructed to select all the rupees now in the treasury of the late coinage and transmit the whole to the mint where the mint and assay master are to be instructed to recoin them as well as such other rupees of the same description as there may now be in the mint agreeably to the above.

They are also to include in this report the whole of the charges of coinage now incurred in the Bombay mint inclusive of fees and emoluments of all descriptions to the mint master and present undertaker or contractor on which the Government Council will determine the allowances to be annexed to both the appointments now made.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/44. p.2352

Letter from the Surat mint master (John Church), dated 8th November 1800

The letter starts with an introduction and then describes the various people in the mint and their activities:



It was, in former times I understand, the custom for the people who bear this designation and who have gradually increased from four to their present number twelve as their means admitted of paying the usual Nuzzerana, to make their own agreement with the possessors of bullion and bringing it into the mint, to be themselves responsible for the stipulated return. In the course of time however the competition of parties to monopolize the business producing (as might have been expected) the failure and ruin of some of them and a considerable loss to those whose bullion they had received, the [credit?] of the mint became of course, materially affected & it was thenceforth established that all bullion should be brought to the [Chabooha] and that the Sarcar should be responsible for the return at a fixed rate. This practice has since prevailed and the Bhurteahs may now be regarded as contractors with the Sarcars from whose agent the Darogha or mint master [may?] receive the bullion making the same return as is delivered to the merchant with the difference of the customs and fixed charges. […] this profit under the old Government amounts nearly to an impossibilty since a general collusion would seem to have prevailed throughout, paid for by the Bhurteahs and in course allowed by the Daroghas. The stipulated returns however to individuals is 214 ¾ rupees per 100 Spanish Dollars and 207,,92 per hundred German Crowns at which rate the avowed profit to the Bhurteahs is 2 Rupees per hundred dollars of either description.


Chandee Sodahs

These people (22 in number) have the exclusive privelege of milling the silver brought into the mint into plates (chandee) mixing at the same time proper proportion of alloy. They receive the dollars for this purpose from the Bhurteahs under whose superintendance they are milled and are recompensed with Rs [1/2] for every fourteen plates which they are prohibited by a [Muchuler] from making of a greater size than five and thirty dollars each


Chandee Juthah

The plate having cooled and been separted from the [cupel] are carried to the Chabootra where they undergo an examination by a Chokesey (mention hereafter) and if apparently correct receive a stamp as an authority for the Juthas or cleaners (who are 10 in number) to perform their duty by hammering them until perfectly free from all the little particles of lead or the cupil which adhere to them in melting. Their recompanse is half a rupee per fourteen plates.



When the operation just described is completed the plates are returned to the Chabootra and re-examined by the Chokesus under the immediate superintenance of the Mint Master and his people. If found clean they receive a second approving stamp sanctioning of their being milled in a crucible for the purpose of being run into ingots. This is the business of the Godasgurs (who are eleven in number) and is recompensed by half a rupee for every fourteen plates. This part of the process takes place as well as the assay [insmall] immediately under the eye of the Mint Master who is careful that all the ingots be collected and (with the exception of two selected for the assay) the whole deposited in a bag which is closed and sealed with his seal until the result of the assay is known.



The milled metal being carefully poured from the crucible into shapes for the ingots, the first and last ingot are selected for the assay and the requisite weight being cut from the centre of each is delivered to the Chasneegur. The loss that is sustained by the assay determines the acceptance or rejection of the whole contents of the crucible & on this part of the process does everything depend. The Chasneegurs receive half a rupee for each assay which is divided amongst five of them.



When the assays are terminated, such part of the silver as equals the standard is called for and delivered by weight to the Zerraban of whom there are eight principal ones responsible for the others they employ. These divide the plates into the standard weight of the sicca, round them and prepare them for the impression. The Zerab receive Rs 2.2.25 per mil and has moreover has a surplus weight delivered to him equal to 2 ½ tola in each thousand rupees weight, of which Ra 1 ½  is considered as a further recompense for his labour, the residue as an allowance for wastage.

The Zerab having completed his portion of the process as above described returns the rough rupees to the Chabootra where as a preventative being sent to the sicca Khanah and a preventative to fraud on his part a handful is taken promiscuously from every thousand and each one compared with the most standard considering the […] materials with which the artisans of this countryperform their work it can scarcely be expected that the exactist precision should prevail throughout, mean therefore of no such directions appearing as to authorize a suspicion of intentional neglect. The rupees are weighed off against the standard weight of fifty rupees and proving right in this process pass again under examination for correctness of shape, freedom from crack or holes and are then delivered into the sicca Khanah.

The duties of the sicca Khanah it is almost superfluous to describe since they consist only in placing the round piece of silver between two stamps, the upper whereof receiving a blow from ahammer. This terminates the process of coining. The [sickelees] who hold the stamp and the [Gunwahees] who deal the blow receive at the rate of five annas & a half and the engraver five annas per mil.



The duty performed by these people, of whom there are five, has been described in the course of the preceding detail. They are goldsmiths by profession and are conversant or ought to be in the nature and qualities of all metals. On their ability and fidelity the correct execution of the business greatly depends & their recompense is half a rupee per thousand.


Exclusive of the people here described there are others also entertained under the denomination of [Khakohe] or washers of the ashes and Koty [Khurrur] or those who revivify the lead used by the [sodahs] in refining the silver, whose profits are altogehter adventitious. There are likewise several others employed in the process of making [Neda] or pure silver for the purpose of wire drawing etc, but these are wholly unconnected with the coinage and the revenue of yields is paid in [Mocaul] to the collector.

In thus [in…ing] minutely into everything that relates to the coinage of silver and of the nature of each individual’s process, your Honble board are I trust afforded the information that is required in the first part of Mr secretary Grant’s letter now under reply, but before I venture to enter upon an estimate of the amount of those profits of the coinage for the last three years must be had refrence to and the result will be as particularized  in the sunsequent table.

Account of the coinage of gold in the Surat mint from 1st May 1797 to 30th April 1800


From 1st May 1797 to 30th April 1798


1798 to 1799


1799 to 1800


Medium of three years



Account of the coinage of silver in the Surat mintfrom 1st May 1797 to 30th April 1800 inclusive




From May 1797 to 30th April 1798


1798 to 1799


1799 to 1800


Medium of three years

703,248 2/3


Account of the coinage of copper from 1st May 1797 to 30th April 1800




1797 to 1798


1798 to 1799


1799 to 1800


Medium of three years



Before I proceed further, I conceive also it may be proper for me here to state that what is comprized in the account of gold and copper coinage is not by any means to be understood as intended only for the currency of the place, since for many years past the coinage of gold has been confined to a conversion of the mohurs of Auranzub’s and antecedent reigns into half and quarter mohurs of the present sicca for the exclusive purpose of women and children’s ornaments, whilst that of copper has also been principally of the description called Khoondeh alamghuree and calculated only for currency in the adjacent villages..

To describe the coinage itself appears to be the next desirable object since in the charges attendant on that of gold and copper is involved, equally with the silver coinage, a proportion of the advantages derived by those who have employment in the mint. In treating upon this part of the subject I shall at the same time take advantage of the opportunity to include under it an account of the customs collected by the sarcar as well as the charges attendant on the process.


Gold Coinage

If my information be correct, the gold coinage of the Surat mint has been for many years confined as already mentioned to small pieces intended for children & women’s ornaments. The little experience I have had has not permitted of my tracing to its correct source the reason for this [defalication] tho’ the first glance would induce a supposition of its being greatly imputable to the very heavy imposts collected on it, which would appear to have been at the rate of Rupees 14.1.75 per cent under the denomination of mint customs, for those divided between the Honble Company, the marrattas & the Nabob, and rupees 28.1.50 as a Balai or extra duty levied by the Nabob himself. The charges extra to these imposts exclusive of a fee to the people of the mint of Rs [6/4] per hundred mohurs amount only to Rs 4..25. Its weight is 11 mashas and its purity is ascertained by comparing it on a touch stone with the standard [N..dle] of the mint.

There is then a list of the amount paid to the different people (as described above) for gold coinage.


Silver Coinage

Reference to the records of the settlement has shown repeated variations to have occurred in the silver standard of this mint and to carry my information on this subject to the remotest period in my power I have availed myself of the [recedintal?] discovery of a quantity of rupees in a house at [Rhanden] about three months ago, to ascertain even the standard of the reign of Shah Johan, which according to an assay made by the Chasneegur of the mint proved the rupee to contain only eighteen rice of alloy in 543 rice weight, equal to 330149 per cent.

In following up my inquiries on this subject I have found the standard undergoing constant alterations as the neglegence of the mint people on the one hand or the exactions of Government on the other (with the consequent disinclination of the possessors of bullion to resort to the mint) have imposed the necessity of lessening or increasing the proportions of alloy to correct the baseness of the currency or to augment the return to the merchant. In the course of these variations we see the alloy in Hyder Kooly Khan’s times at 12 rice in the rupees. During the government of Teg Beg Khan at 24 rice, subsequently changed to the Bombay standard, increased again in the year 1770 to 35 ½ rice and again reduced in 1771 to 22 rice. This last proportion was in 1775 ordered by the Company to be relinquished for that of the year 1767 when the interference [on them past first place] and 35 ½ rice of alloy to 514 ½ of pure silver was thence re-established and prevailed. I observe in the year 1789 on my receiving charge of the mint I found the proportions of standard silver to be 508 rice of pure silver with 44 of alloy agreeably whereto the rupee weighing 548½ rice contains 43.72 rice of alloy or 7.97 per cent of its weight, at which rate I have sedulously endeavoured and I hope successfully to maintain it.

The charges attending the coinage of silver are estimated at 25 per mil whereof Rs 9.2.50 are the customs collected for and divided by the Honble Company, the Nabob and the marrattas and 1.50 an impost by the Nabob to defray the petty expenses of the mint, such as iron for the stamps, oil for the Chokey etc etc. The remaining 15 per cent comprizes all incidental charges as per the following accounts.

There is then a chart showing the breakdown of the expenses for coining silver.


Copper Coinage

Under this denomination are pice of two descriptions: one of a large die called Khoordar alumghuree, twelve hundred to the maund and intended for the currency of the [circumjacent] country. The other, sixteen hundred to the maund for the use of the town. The customs on this coinage are 1.50 per maund exclusive of a balae of five annas and a half exacted or relinquished by the Nabob according as the price of copper stood in the bazar, & of a further collection of 0.0.30 per maund made for the masha kutch or petty expenses.

There then follows an account of the expenses of coining copper.


In regard to the system itself in which you are also pleased to call for my opinion I must confess that considering one circumstance with another tho’ under the disadvantage of but little experience in the line, I am not sensible of being able to suggest any improvement in it. That all bullion should in the first instance be brough to the [Chabootra] and the proprietor have to regard Government as their security, seems indispensibly necessary. That any servant of the Company should be sufficiently master of the business to undertake the management of it throughout the whole process appears altogether unlikely and would therefore induce in preference its being entrusted to a native or natives under agreement to make a stipulated return and under ample security to Government for the bullion that may be from time to time entrusted to them. To this may also be subjoined a penalty against fraud or tricks which with unwearied vigilance the mint master cannot surely fail of effectively preventing them. That the number of people now entertained in the capacity of Bhurteahs should be continued is certainly unnecessary since the profits of the business cannot be so great as to afford a maintenance of twelve persons of this description without constant attempts at fraud. The other persons whose avocations are delineated in the foreging detail must still continue to be employed, and in regard to an establishment, I respectfully beg to submit the following as that which occurs to me to be indispensible for the correct executionof this very important trust.

The next and indeed only remaining object on which you have done me the honor to call for my report is an enumeration of the other coins currect in Surat with their relative value to the standard of this mint and any means that occur to me for preserving the Surat rupees in the circulation instead of the inferior Broach rupees.

Altho’ a great variety of coins are in the course of the influx of strangers and constant intercourse with different parts of Hindustan brought into Surat, the only two silver coins that can be properly considered the currency of the place are the rupees from this and the Broach mints. In order to ascertain in the correctest manner the relative value of these I have procured three of the latest coinage from the Broach mint and by an assay made by the Chasnegurr of this have established it to be as follows:

One rupee of 546 rice contained pure silver 480 ½ alloy 65

One rupee of 546 rice contained pure silver 486 ½ alloy 59.5

One rupee of 546 rice contained pure silver 474 ½ alloy 69.5

Conformably with the closing paragraph of Mr Grant’s letter, I have hitherto continued to conduct the business of this department according to the subsisting regulations and have in course collected and retained in deposit, the usual entrance fees to Government from those who it has been found necessary to entertain as my accounts will have evinced a complete list of those fees and of the [sallianahs] paid to the Nabob by the people subordinate to the mint has already been laid before the Honble the Governor, and a further copy is hereunto subjoined in the hope that I may be honored with instructions as to the future receipt or abolition of them.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/44. p. 2368

Letter from the Surat mint master (John Church), dated 13th November 1800

I was just closing my report on the subject of the mint when I had the honor to receive your commands through Mr secretary Grant of the 8th instant.

Although that report contains the substance of those commands I conceive it my duty to reply to them separately.

It appears that after constant alterations in the standard of silver for coinage in the Surat mint, Mr Griffith, then chief, fixed it in September 1793, at 508 rice of pure silver with 44 rice of alloy, agreeably whereto the rupee which is 548½  rice in weight, contains 504.78 rice of pure silver and 43.72 rice of alloy, or the alloy is equal to 7.97 per cent, and at this proportion it has ever since remained.

Resolution of 19th November

Resolved that the Mint Master and Assay Master at Bombay be desired to adhere to the standard above specified in the future coinage of silver in this mint, and to recoin such new rupees as may not have been issued from the mint, in conformity to it.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/44. p. 2379

Letter from Simpson and Grant (old and new mint master at Bombay), dated 18th November 1800

In obedience to your orders of the 14th instant we beg leave to acquaint you Mr J.A. Grant has this day received charge of the mint with several books and papers.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/46 p. 205

Letter from the mint and assay masters, dated 28th November 1800

In answer to your commands of the 14th of Novemebr, we have now the honor of replying as far as we can, from such information as we have been able in so short a time to procure.

In paragraph 1 of that letter you direct us to take into our consideration the present state of the Bombay mint and the relation it may be found to bear to the Surat mint.

We have attentitively read the very distinct report of the Surat mint master, which you transmitted to us on the 19th instant. It appears to us that both mints have been conducted, but with some circumstances of difference, by contractors, who receive the bullion from the public and return in exchange a certain number of rupees. It is eveident to us that this system is altogether wrong, and that the intervention of contractors of this sort is unnecessary. They are people who do not contribute to the expense of the coinage but who come in for a share  of advantage for soing nothing. What is worse, they get an advantage that the public cannot calculate, which, again, is increased by any degree of debasement of the coin.

To show this in a clear light we have found that a quantity of Spanish dollars were of late sent to the house of Smith, Forbes and Company, which being of recent importation will enable us with precision to estimate the weight and value of the dollars now in question.

5 chests of Spanish dollars in tale 20,790 at 1155 dollars per 1000 ounces, are equal to 1800 ounces

6 chests ditto containing tale 27,000 Spanish dollars or 23,382 ounces at 1154¾  dollars per 1000 ounces

6 chests ditto containing tale 36,928 Spanish Dollars or 32,000 ounces or 1154 dollars to 1000 ounces

If therefore we allow that 1155 dollars are equal in weight to 1000 ounces, 100 dollars will be equal to 86.58 ounces. In every ounce there are 480 grains troy so that 100 dollars are equal to 41,558.40 grains, but as the dollar contains 10 per cent of alloy, in order to ascertain the amount of pure silver in the dollar, we must deduct one tenth. From this then it is evident that 100 dollars contain 37,402.56 grains of pure silver.

As the Surat rupee contains 7.97 parts of alloy, the whole rupee weighing 179 grains contains 164.73 grains of pure silver, and if by this number we divide 37,402.56, the number of grains of pure silver in 100 dollars, we shall have the number of Surat rupees that 100 dollars ought to produce which is Surat rupees 227..26.

We observe that the Bombay mint contractor has agreed to deliver to Mr DeSouza 219 rupees for 100 dollars, but the Surat mint delivers only 214¾ per 100 dollars.

It will be evident from what we have said that the profit in both cases is considerable and that it falls unaccounted for into the pockets of the contractors. It is to be feared that in bullion, and with coins, the value of which are less understood, that this abuse is still more considerable. There ought to be no secrets in the transactions of a mint. Every man should receive the whole number of rupees that his silver produces after the deduction of such a public duty as government may choose to impose.

Iate business of the coinage be put under the direction of a native, who shall agree to accept of a fixed salary, or rather of a certain percentage every thousand rupees that he coins. From this sum he should pay the artists employed in the different operations of refining, cutting the rupees, stamping them etc. By Mr Church’s report we observe that these duties are executed at Surat for 15 rupees per mille, which seems to be very reasonable.

You desire us, onble sir, to report what we conceive would be the most effectual means of preserving the purity of the coins in both mints. On this subject we can suggest nothing more effectual than the Bengal Regulation which orders occasional visits to be made to the mint, and at unexpected times, when pieces are to be taken from the hands of the men at work, and assayed. There appears to be no principle in human nature but this constant fear of detection by which we shall be able to preserve the purity of the coin.

With regard to the standard of the rupees to be coined, you have already determined that they be made of the Surat standard, which 91.03 parts in 100 of fine silver.

In respect of the weight of the rupee of Surat, we labour under some difficulties. We observe that the Bombay government fixed the weight of the Bombay rupee by consultation, December 1738 at 7 dwts, 10 grains 314/1000, that is at 178.314, and this regulation still continues in force. When we got possession of Surat, it was understood that our rupees and the rupee of Surat, should in all respects be equal. We observe that the Surat rupees are now coined of a greater weight than this Bombay rupee of 178.314 grains. On enquiry at the mint here we are assured that the rupees of Surat and Bombay have always been of the same weight, having both of them one tola, or 40 valls.

On weighing some of the rupees both of Surat and of the late coinage here, with accurate troy weights, we find them at a medium fully equal to 179 grains each, and as such, at present, until the matter can be more accurately determined, they may be considered. We do not know how the Bombay and Surat standard weight came to differ from the other Moghul mints, which is 179 2/3. In Stevens’s guide the Surat rupee is rated at 179.51219 grains, but the weights of India have never attained any great degree of accuracy.

It would be desirable that each mint should be furnished with, at least, one set of accurate weights and scales from England, that we might have some determinate standard to refer to; for every place in India has its own method of calcuating and none of them appears to be sufficiently exact.

With regard to gold it has now become absolutely necessary that some new regulations should be adopted here. It has been found to be requisite to all governments who employ both a gold and silver coinage, to adjust in the coins the respective values of those metals, by the value they respectively bear to each other in the market. A little lattituse seems to be admissable without inconveniency, but this must not extend far. I June 1766 the Bengal gold mohur weighed179.66 grains, was of the fineness of 20 carots and it passed for 14 silver sicca rupees. The gold was here over-rated, for it bore the proportion to the silver of 16.45 to one. It was found absolutely necessary after great loss to the Company, to remeday this and in March 1769 it was ordered that the Bangal gold mohur should weigh 190.773 grains, be 23 carats 3 ¾ grains fine and pass for 16 rupees. In this coinage the value of gold to silver was nearly as 14.8 to one. By regulation 35, anno 1793, we see that some further alteration has been made in the gold mohur of Bengal, both with respect to purity and weight, for the 19 sun gold mohur is now fixed at 190.894 grains and contains ¾ of a grain in 100 of alloy. It is ordered to pass for 16 nineteen sun sicca rupees, and the pure gold to the pure silver as 14.85 to one.

We shall now trace as far as the imperfect records of our mint permit, the progress of the coinage of gold at this Presidency.

It appears by a letter from Mr Church, mint master to the governor and council on the 16th May 1774, that our gold mohur then weighed 7 dwt 1 grain and was of the fineness of the Venetian, and it was ordered to pass for 15 silver rupees. We have said that our rupee then weighed 178.31 grains. From which deduct alloy 2.22/176.9, there remains 176.9 of pure silver, which multiplied by 15 gives 2,653.5 grains of silver that were to be exchanged for this gold rupee of 7 dwt 1 grain or 169 grains. As Venetion gold contains one grain of alloy in 192 parts, this gold mohur contained nearly 168 of pure gold; but 2653.5 divided by 168 gives 15,79 as the proportion of gold to silver in that coinage. The value of gold was certainly here over-rated and accordingly on 5th of August 1774 the mint master was directed to receive all the gold mohurs in circulation and recoin them of Venetian standard, and of the same weight with a silver rupee, or 40 valls or 178,31 grains. This is the regulation to which the mint contractors are still subjected.

In this coinage the rate of pure gold is to that of pure silver as nearly 14.9 to one. The proportion that silver bears to gold in this coin is nearly or entirely what it ought to be, and corresponds with the value of Venetian gold when sold in the bazar as ascertained by the committee on the coinage in 1796. They found that Venetions are purchased at a rate which gives the value of gold to silver as one to 14.98.

While the Bombay rupee continued in circulation, the proportion thus fixed on between silver and gold in our coinage was unexceptionable, but when the Bombay rupees had disappeared, by the operation of the inferior rupee of Surat, and when this became the only silver coin in circulation, it is evident that the proportion between silver and gold in the rupee and gold mohur, was destroyed. The regulation for the purity of gold still remained and a Bombay gold mohur was exchanged for 15 Surat rupees, which were not nearly its value. The consequence of this has been that but little gold has been coined here, and that never kept up to anything near the standard for purity. In debasing the standard a correction was thus impercetibly made from necessity, for the debasement of the Surat silver coinage, which had become the only medium for estimating the value of gold.

As the Surat standard of fineness and weight is now adopted at Bombay for our silver coinage, it is indispensibly necessary to adjust the gold rupee to it. We have seen that gold was, in the last coinage, and is still in the market very nearly to silver, as one to 15. We would propose therefore that this proportion be adhered to, and that the gold mohur shall in future be of the same weight as the silver rupee, or 179 grains troy, that it shall contain like the silver rupee 164.73 parts of pure metal, and 14.27 parts of alloy. This gold mohur should pass for 15 rupees and it may be desirable to coin thirds of it in preference to halves or quarters. We cannot help thinking that this regulation will be altogether more simple and more convenient for arithmetic than the Bengal method, which makes one gold mohur equal to 16 rupees.

We shall find much more difficulty in preserving here the true standard of fineness of the gold than of the silver coin. The natives are acquainted with no method besides the touch of determinign the value of gold, a practice that is liable to the greatest deceptions, being merely a guess from colour, and any colour may be perfectly imitated by the base metals.

In answer to the 2nd paragraph of your letter regarding the charge of the coinage, inclusive of fees and emoluments to the mint master, we beg to refer you to the third paragraph of this letter, where we have stated the mode of conducting the mintage by a contractor, so that the expenses of the mint do not appear. There has been no fee allowed to the mint master on gold, and it is but a few days ago after a long period that our silver coinage has begun again. In consequence of an application of Mr DeSouza’s, Government were pleased to relinquish their duty on his coinage but they allowed a fee of ½ per cent to the mint master, which of course remains unappropriated.

There has been a small establishment only paid by the Company, on account of the mint, at the following monthly rates:


1 [Purvoe]


1 ditto


1 assay master


4 Sepoys







We hope Honble sir, that we have said enough to show that a change is highly necessary in the mode of conducting the mintage at this Presidency, and we shall by your authority endeavour to make such alterations as appear to be beneficial. This cannot be done at once, nor can we hope to see the business carried on for some time to come, with the expedition and accuracy that is so very desirable.

From the calculations that we have made regarding the produce in rupees of the dollar, you will be able to judge what duty, without injury to the public, may be laid on the coinage, the actual expenses of which should not equal 2 per cent.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/46 p. 214

Report from the mint and assay masters, dated 20th January 1801

Read also another report of the Mint and Assay masters being in reply to the reference made to them under the 17th instant [i.e. 17th Jan 1810] on an application from Bruce, Fawcett & Co to coin mohurs in the Bombay mint.

We find on enquiry of Lalldass, who many years ago was a contractor of the mint at this place, that the Surat gold mohur was coined (of late they have coined no gold) of 95 and 96 touch, for one or two touch is as near to the standard as the native can, with any certainty, attan. Of such a standard, we can easily coin gold at this place and with the Surat impression.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/46 p. 215

Resolution of 27th January 1801

On full and mature considerationof the preceding reports it is resolved to allow the coinage of gold mohurs in the Bombay mint of the standard specified in the 17th paragraph of the Mint and Assay Masters report of the 28th November last in pursuance of which the Board conclude that the following rules will be deemed applicable and as such accordingly adopted:

1.     That the silver rupee like that of Surat shall invariably weigh 179 grains troy of which 164.74 grains are to be pure silver and 14.26 alloy.

2.     That the gold mohurs shall be of the same weight and standard as the silver rupees and shall pass for 15 rupees.

To provide a fund for the future general expenses of this detachment it is also resolved that a duty be collected both on gold and silver of 3 per cent and to be considered as the only deduction to which either coinage in the Bombay mint is for the future liable. The full amount of this collection to be held at the disposal of Government in such a way as shall hereafter be decided upon.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/47 p. 1009

Letter from the mint and assay masters, April 1801

In pursuance of your Honble Boards commands of the 27th January last we have, after much hesitation and delay got the present mint contractor, Narondass Toolsidass to agree to carry on the business of the coinage and to pay all its expenses (except such servants as have been usually kept up by the company) and at the following rates:

For gold he is to receive for every 100 mohurs that he coins, one and one quarter, but out of this he is to furnish the silver alloy.

For silver he is to receive for every 100 rupees that he coins two and one half rupees

For the due performance of his duties he agrees to enter into a penalty bond with proper securities for a lac of rupees. This bond should specify that he is responsible for issuing no base coin; for keeping it as near as possible to its standard; and for returning to the mint master the whole of the gold or silver that he receives from him.

This is the best agreement we can at present make with Toolsidass; nor do we think considering the importance of his situation that his profits can be much too great.

There is at present a great scarcity of silver owing, it is said, to the failure of many of the great dealers in cotton in Broach, Guzratt Etc etc, so that the business formerly transacted by bills can now be carried on by ready money only. From this it has arisen that it is chiefly gold that is in circulation here. It answers very well for large payments but not for small ones. It would therefore be a conveniency to the public if government would authorise us to coin a certain proportion of the whole coinage of thirds of a gold mohur. We should on several accounts prefer the thirds to halves.

The board having taken into consideration the above letter in continuation of their proceedings in the public department of the 27th January respecting the mint it was on the 2nd instant resolved that the duty of 3 per cent ordered to be levied on silver and gold being the only deduction to which either coinage in the Bombay mint was now liable, be appropriated as hereafter specified:

The principal native overseer in the mint to receive on the gold coinage 1¼ per cent which was considered as a sufficient allowance for his own trouble and also for defraying all other expenses, inclusive of alloy and of course of pay to all the artificers and labourers employed in the different operations of the coinage of gold, whilst the remaining 1¾ per cent was ordered to be deposited in the treasury liable to such disposal thereof as government might hereafter direct in payment of the allowances to the mint master and assay master or otherwise.

On silver the native overseer to be allowed 2½ per cent to answer every description of charge as above mentioned and the residuary ½ per cent to be deposited as above directed in repect of the gold coinage.

The Company’s solicitor was on the same day furnished with a copy of the secretary’s letter to the mint and assay masters of the 27th January and of their reply, with directions to prepare a penalty bond to be entered into by Narondass Toolsidass, the principal native overseer in the mint with proper securities for one lac of rupees as suggested in the second paragraph of the last mentioned letter.

It was at the same time ordered in pursuance of the recommendation contained in the last paragraph of the above letter that for the convenience of the public the coinage of thirds of a gold muhur be authorized.

Copies of the above resolutions were at the same time transmitted to the Accountant General for his information and guidance.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/47 p. 1484

Letter from Mr Grant (Bombay mint master) to government, dated 19th June 1801

I beg leave to acquaint you for the information of the Honble the Governor General in Council that, in pursuance of the directions conveyed to me in your letter of the 2nd ultimo, I have paid into the Honble Company’s treasury the proceeds of the commission levied on the coinage in the Bombay mint on account of government, since the 14th Novemebr last (the date of my appointment to that office), amounting to the sum of rupees 20,844.3.74½ (twenty thousand eight hundred and forty four, three quarters, and seventy four reas and a half) as per enclosed copy of the sub-treasurers receipt under date the 1st instant.

The sub-treasurer’s receipt then follows.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/48 p. 1674

Letter from Mr Grant (Bombay mint master) to government, dated 11th July 1801

I have the honor to acquaint you for the information of the Honble the Governor in Council, that I have this day paid into the Company’s treasury the sum of rupees 9,896..23½ (nine thousand eight hundred and ninety six and twenty three reas and a half) being the amount levied on the coinage in the mint since my report on the 1st instant as per enclosed copy of the sub-treasurer’s receipt.

The sub-treasurer’s receipt then follows.

It was also directed that the mint and assay master’s salaries would be very shortly proposed to be fixed when these officers would draw the same as others do from the civil pay office.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/49 p. 2671

Letter from Mr Halliday (superindent of police) to government, dated 20th October 1801

In consequence of your orders communicated to me thro’ Mr Grant three days ago, I have called the pice shroffs before me in order to ascertain from them the reason of the scarcity of silver rupees in circulation and have received from them the following account.

That very few silver rupees have been coined lately in the mint. That those persons who have any silver rupees such as the grain merchants, the cloth merchants, etc, demand 1½ and 1¼ per cent.

Besides this the great shroffs purchase up what silver they can and send it to the northward and whenever any of the rupees which are coined at Surat come into circulation here the great shroffs purchase them up and send them back to Surat to discharge bills drawn by them there, the exchangebeing at present in favour of Surat 1½ per cent. Formerly when gold mohurs were of a superior quality then bills of exchange were paid in that coin but since they have been reduced they do not go for more than the quality of the gold and therefore a certain loss to the merchants. The shroffs are opinion that if one rupee pieces & five rupee pieces of gold were coined in numbers that the evils would be considerably if not entirely remedied.

What becomes of the silver rupees issued to the different commanding officers of corps every month, which on average has been about 17,000 per month for the last three months?

At present persons possessed of silver rupees demand from these shroffs 7.8.9 and even as far as ten pice for every gold mohur when the regulations oblige them to exchange the same to the inhabitants for 1½ pice.

The mint and assay masters were on the 21st instant called upon to deliver in a report on the subject of the above letter by 23rd instant.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/49 p. 2751

Letter from the mint master (J.A. Grant) and the assay master (A. Scott) to government, dated 31st August 1801

We have perused Mr Constable’s report on the coinage. We approve much of the regulations that he proposes for protecting the coins against the risk of being counterfeited and we think that what he says in paragraph 23rd is the most deserving of attention. These, no doubt, will have their effect, but unless we can stamp our coins in a way that cannot be imitated in India, all the regulations that can be adopted against false coiners will be insufficient.

A false coinage made its appearance here some months ago. It probably came from a Maharatta mint where we had not the power of getting satisfaction. All that could be done was to stop it where it could be found in circulation. If our coins were impressed by Europe machinery this could not possibly have happened.

Our gold coins will be gladly received in Malabar, where they will be found very convenient for they are of a determinate weight and value and superior in the standard to the pagoda or any gold coins to which the people are accustomed. This will give a much greater latitude to our coinage of gold, which has hitherto been confined to the narrow circulation of this island, and the revenue of the Compnay from the coinage will be increased in the same proportion. But it is not only Malabar that would circulate our gold coinage. We imagine that it would soon become current over all the southern parts of India, where coins of gold have long been in use. It will, we have no doubt, acquire in time a character for uniformity that would make the people receive it with confidence. There is however no possible means of extending the currency of our gold into remote countries but by fixing on it a form that cannot be imitated. It is this only that can enable it to retain its character.

We have, honble Sir, recommended before now, in the strongest manner, the adoption of Europe stamps such as the machinery of Bolton and Watts for our coinage. If this recommendation should be adopted, we beg leave to remind you of W. Goodhew who is not only extremely well qualified to execute such a scheme (and he has offered to do it without additional expense to the Honble Company but eho has some claim to your favour from the attention he has paid to the subject). Nobody knows our wants better than he does, nor is any person better qualified to satisfy them.

While we approve of a part of Mr Constable’s report, we cannot do so on the whole without some reservation. In paragraph 19, W. Constable says, “from these circumstances, the causes of which are not unknown to government, it has happened that no standard has ever, that I know of, been publicly declared or promulgated by the government of this island in respect either to the weight of the coin or its fineness, denomination, or impression. These different properties of the standard circulation so requisite to be publicly known are not even precisely defined in the indentures which are made from time to time between the government and the mint undertaker, so that it would be next to impossible to convict anyone of the counterfeiting the current coin of the island etc etc”. We are surprised at this paragraph for nothing is more certain than that standard of both the gold and silver coins were settled by the resolutions of government at this Presidency at an early period and with as much accuracy as the subject can be admitted of. In 1738 it was ordered that the silver rupee should weigh 178.314 grains and should be better than the English standard by 15 dwts. This surely in all respects is a clear and sufficient regulation. This is the silve rrupee that in all cases was considered by government and mint contractors as the established rupee of the Bombay coinage, which it still continues, altho’ rupees of that standard be no longer struck, the Surat rupee being, since Novemebr last ordered to be coined as well here as at that subordinate.

With respect to the gold mohur, the orders of government were equally accurate and in fixing its standard they were just and enlightened. Until 1774 the gold mohur weighed 7 dwts 1 grain and contained one part in [90] of alloy or it was of the fineness of a Venetion. In this regulation the value of gold in proportion to silver was over-rated and accordingly government in August 1774 called in the gold mohurs and fixxed their standard and weight. The weight was that of a silver rupee or 178.31 grains and the standard that of a Venetion, as before. This regulation did very wisely determine the value of gold in proportion to silver as 14.9 to one. This is the regulation that subsisted until Novemeber last. There surely has never been a mint master nor a mint contractor who could, as Mr Constable thinks, be ignorant of those standards for silver and gold (see on this subject a letter to government from Mr [Galley] mint master in 1790). The mint contractors in their contracts are expressly bound to coin according to the existing regulations and have been perfectly acquainted with the established standards. By the regulation of November last, where everything is as clearly defined as in those that preceeded it, the value of gold is fixed to that of silver at 15 to one, a proportion extremely near to the preceding regulation of 1774. The gold mohur and the rupee are each to weigh 179 grains, and each to contain 14.26 grains of alloy or nearly 8 per cent. All these acts appear on the records of government or the mint.

In paragraph [20 or 26], Mr Constable thinks that our gold coinage is at present rather over-rated with regard to silver. This has been a matter of much consideration. The object was to fix them with perfect justice. The market will vary somewhat at times with respect to their different values, but if any error has really been made, we do not think with him that it can have a salutary operation. It should be corrected.

Mr Constable begins by saying in his 18th paragraph that, “at this time the gold mohur is the only species of which there can be said to be said to be any standard for all attempts to preserve a standard of silver circulation have proved abortibe etc etc”.

Mr Constable does not seem to be sufficiently acquainted with the history of our mintage. We have at this moment a very accurate standard fixed by government for the silve rupee, both in respect to weight and prity, and by this standard we coin every day considerable sums of money.

To the remainder of this 18th paragraph we have to answer that on our getting an influence in Surat, an agreement was made with the Nabob to allow his rupee to pass thro’ the whole of this Presidency as a legal coin, and on a footing of equality with the Bombay rupee at the regulated value of the Bombay rupee. He soon, however, allowed it to be debased, while this government kept up to the original agreement in their coinage. The consequence of this is evident. The Bombay mint was obliged to relinquish entirely the coinage of silver, for the Surat mint had an advantage in its favour of at least 6 or 7 per cent. These two rupees of so unequal value were permitted to pass on a footing of equality thro’ this Presidency. It is evident therefore that the mint that debased its coin must silence the other which preserved its standard. This is the true reason of the stoppage of the Bombay mint in the silver coinage. In no degree was it occasioned by the inferior standard or weight of the rupees of the country mints in the neighbourhood as some people have been apt to suppose. If those foreign rupees were brought to our market, they passed like bullion at their real value, but were not like the Surat rupee received at the treasury, or by individuals, as equivalent to the Bombay Rupee.

We are not ignorant of the difficulty of keeping a sufficient quantity of silver in circulation of this place and this arises from very different causes than the purity of our rupee, its perfections or its imperfections. It arises from the great purchases that our merchants make of cotton or of goods in the Guzarat, or the Northern Countries. The amount of the purchase of cotton alone may be estimated at 60 lacs of rupees a year. Our merchants who purchase it get bills from the Bombay shroffs on Surat and other ports to the amount they require.Our shroffs repay those northern shroffs by accepting bills on Bombay for the purchase of goods at this place or by sending them silver. As the value of the goods that are carried from hence is but small in proportion to what are brought from Guzarat, the Bombay shroffs are obliged to send great sums in silver to make up the difference, as gold does not circulate as a coin in those northern countries. It is therefore evident that our silver must be carried away. This stae of trade makes bills much more frequently in demand on Surat and the northward than on Bombay, and hence too the reason is apparent, why the rate of exchange is commonly two percent or more against Bombay.

It has been supposed that by putting in a great quantity of alloy in our silver, for instance one half, we should keep it to ourselves. It is probable that we should, but we suppose that government will never be disposed to try such an experiment. The alloy of our silver has been fixed at 8 per cent, which is nearly that of Great Britain. From considering that state of the coinage of the neighbouring mints such an alloy seems to be not exceptionable. No objection has yet been made to it and as every change of the standard of the coin is attended with many inconveniences, we trust that this regulation will long remain.

W. Constable says P. 20, “ It is as impossible now as it generally has been to establish effectually our exclusive standard of the silver coin”. In this we can conceive no impossibility nor difficulty. A standard, and a very precise one, has long existed. Another has lately been established by government and our mint is every day issuing silver coin by this standard, which, in point of accuracy, would not, we hope, dishonor any mint in Europe.

On the subject of this letter, we beg to refer government to their own records, in many instances to the mint book of Bombay and Surat which, altho’ mutilated, will show much of what has been done with regard to the coinage, and above all we beg to refer them to the reports of the committee on the coinage in 1797.

We should not have taken the lierty of occupying so much of your time but, as Mr Constable’s report will appear in England, where the means of informationare not readily to be gotten, we have thought proper to state our sentiments. At the same time you can judge how far the regulations have been so defective as W. Constable has supposed; how far the practice of this mint has deviated, or does deviate from the regulations.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/49 p. 2760

Letter from the mint master (J.A. Grant) and the assay master (A. Scott) to government, dated 30th October 1801

We have received Mr secretary Rickards’s letter of the 21st instant.

We agree with Mr Halliday that the issuing of gold pieces of the value of one and of five rupees will afford a considerable convenience to the inhabitants of this island although it may not in all respects answer the purposes of a silver coin.

We find that a few gold mohurs have been occasionally sent to the northward by the shroffs, but the number of those were really very insignificant as they are received as bullion not as coin.

We have not doubt but that the silver rupees issued monthly to the troops are carried away in several ways. Many of them are paid to shopkeepers & are thence carried to the shroffs, and a good many also are sent to the Mahratta country monthly by the sepoys who have left their families behind them.

On the last of the above recorded letters it is resolved that the mint master be authorised by way of experiment to coin gold pieces of the value of 5 and 1 rupee to the amount of a lac of each description when, if they be found to answer the purpose intended, this amount may be increased.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/50 p. 3699

Letter from the mint master (J.A. Grant) and the assay master (A. Scott) to government, dated 16th December 1801

In our letter of the 28th April last, we had the honor to report to you that Narondass Tulsidass, the principal native overseer in the mint, was ready to enter into a penalty bond, with proper secirities to the amount of a lac of rupees, for the due performance of his duties, but having afterwards found it impracticable from the largeness of the sum to fulfill that engagement the deed still remains to be executed. It has, however, been lately intimated to us that Mr Henry Fawcett is willing to become surety for Narondass Tulsidass in the sum of rupees fifty thousand, an offer which we beg leave to recommend the acceptance, being satisfied that the amount is sufficiently considerable to answer every necessary purpose.

The bond should specify that the native overseer is responsible for issuing no base coin; for keeping it as nearly as possible to its standard; recoining of a proper standard at his own expense all that shall be discovered to be exceptional; & for returning to the mint master the whole of the gold and silver that may be delivered to him


Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/52. Nothing in index for this volume


Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/53 p. 738

Letter from the assay master to Bombay Board dated 12th March 1802

Account of the revenue of the Bombay mint from 1st January to 1st March 1802. Appears to show only a small amount of silver was minted and more gold.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/54 p. 1471

Letter from PA Grant, Mint Master at Bombay to Bombay Board dated 24th June 1802

In answer to your letter of the 13th instant enclosing for my report an extract (paragraph 34) of the commands of the Honble the Court of Directors in the public department, dated the 31st December last, I beg leave to submit to you for the notice of the Honble the Governor in Council an account of coinage in the mint at this Presidency during the last year, inclusive of duty collected as well to defray the expense of the establishment on account of the Honble Company.

From this statement it will appear that the coinage of silver during that period amounted to Rupees 484,303 . 2. 25 and of gold to Mohurs 156,942 or Rupees 2,354 . 1 . 23 and that on the entire amount a duty of 3 per cent has been collected, out of which ½ percent on silver and ¾ per cent on gold have been realized on account of the Honble Company, and whilst the residuary 2/4 per cent on silver and /4 per cent on goldhave been appropriated by the native overseer in payment of wages to himself and to those employed by him as authorized by the orders of Government of 2nd May 1801.

To shew how far the receipts from this department exceed the charges incurred by Government I beg leave to otice that during the last year I paid into the treasury the sum of Rupees 44408 . 3 . 43 ½ whilst an account of the Assay Master’s and my own salary and of pay to the [Purvoes?] and Peons attached to the office, the disbursements amounted to Rupees 24636 thus leaving to Government a surplus revenue from the mint of Rupees 19772 . 3 . 43 ½

As to the general effect of the regulations now in force in the mint, it may, I believe, be said that the operation of the new system has been attended with all the advantage expected from it, but as this subject has been treated of in a memoir submitted to Government by Doctor Scott, the Assay Master, in the month of December last, and since transmitted to the Honble the Court of Directors, I cannot better acquit myself of this part of the duty assigned to me than by refering to that paper for an account of our coinage and of the means suggested for its [moderation].

PS In addition to the reference made to the Assay Master’s memoir as per concluding paragraph of the above letter, it is necessary that I should remark that in pursuance of the orders of Government of 5th of February last,founded in Doctor Scott’s previous suggestions, the gold coins in the mint have since that period been raised two per cent or from 92 to 94 touch so as to contain in 100 parts no more than 6 of alloy. All the gold coin of this improved standard is distinguished by the insertion in small characters on the stamp of the present year, 1802.

There then follows a detailed breakdown of the number of gold coins produced. It shows the person(s) presenting the gold for coinage and the month of coinage. There is also information about the silver coinage, but not as detailed a sfor the gold.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/54 p. 1618

Letter from PA Grant, Mint Master at Bombay to Bombay Board dated 16th July 1802

He reported that the roof of the mint had collapsed and a wall appeared to be flling down. He requests permission to get it repaired. This was granted.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/54 p. 1671

Letter from the Superintending Engineer to Bombay Board dated 24th July 1802

Reported on the damage to the mint and gave an estimate of the cost of repairs. It was agreed that the work should be put out to tender.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/55 p. 2012

Proposals reviewed at meeting of 11th August 1802

A number of proposals for repairing the mint buildings were received. It was agreed that that of Ragoonath Wittorjee should be accepted.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/56 p. 2520

Contract between Ragoonth Wittojee and the EIC , 31st August 1802

The contract is to repair various parts of the mint buildings

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/56 p. 2693

Letter from Mr Grant and Mr Le Messurier to Bombay Council, dated 9th September 1802

We beg leave to acquaint your Honble Board thet in pursuance of the directions conveyed to us in your secretary’s letter of the 7th instant, Mr Le Messurier has this day received charge of the office of mint master with the books and papers appertaining to that department.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/56 p. 2956

Letter from Mr Le Messurier to Bombay Council, dated 20th September 1802

He submitted a statement showing the duty collected on the production of gold single rupees minted during August 1802.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/56 p. 3033

Letter from Mr Le Messurier & Mr Scott to Bombay Council, dated 24th September 1802

According to your orders of the 21st instant we have enquired concerning the coins brought from Egypt by Assistant Surgeons Colquhoun & Grisdale. They consist entirely of gold gubbers. Their present value in the bazar is rupees 4.2.62 per gubber. Gold is at present scarce and uncommonly dear or they would not be worth so much. These gentlemen inform us that they received them at the rate of 4.3.53 per gubber, which makes a difference against them at the present bazar rate of 91 reas each gubber. If the Company allow them however the rate at which they received them there will still a gain arise on coining them in the mint, as they are above 98 touch

Resolution 25th September 1802

On the ground of the above opinion the foreign coins tendered by Assistant Surgeons Colqahoun & Grisdale are ordered to be accepted at their current exchange & recoined in the mint.


Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/57. p. 3778

Letter from the mint master (P. Le Mesurier) and assay master (H Scott) to Bombay Government, dated 15th November 1802.

The scarcity of copper money has become so great that it is now very difficult to pay the troops or marine, or for the people in the buzars to carry on their small transactions. The price of copper is usually from 14 Rs to 16 the Bombay maund in the buzar, but it now sells for 17.1 while the Company’s price is 19.3.50.

If at the lowest of these rates (17.1 per maund) we were to coin copper money here of the same weight and fineness with the present coin, a considerable loss will arise to the Honble Company. A maund of 28 lb is coined into 980 pice which are worth 20 rupees. But a maund costs Rs 17.1. Charges and losses on coining Rs 6.2. Total Rs 23.3.This would therefore produce a loss to the Company of Rs 3 An 2 on each maund.

In order to obviate this loss & at the same time supply a copper coinage we would recommend a reduction of weight in the coin so that a maund may be coined into 1200 pice instead of 980. Twelve hundred pice are worth 24 rupees so that the Company will be very little more than indemnified for this coinage.

An Avoirdupois pound contains 7000 grains, which, multiplied by 28 gives 196,000 or the number of grains in a Bombay maund. If therefore, as we propose, this be coined into 1200 pice each pice will weigh 163.3333 etc grains or 164. At present a pice weighs 200 grains.

The present copper coinage consists of four values. 1st double pice worth 8 reas  each. 2nd pices worth 6 reas each. 3rd single pice or 4 reas each. 4th half pice or two reas each.

We would further recommend that the pieces of 6 reas be no longer coined for they are easily mistaken for the 8 or 4 reas pieces & they are quite unnecessary for accounts.

Resolution dated 16th November

Government acquiesce in the suggestions of the mint and assay masters and authorize them to proceed accordingly, reporting in due time on the result of the experiment now made.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/342/57. p. 3780

Reference to exploring etc the port of Dolerah

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/1. p. 4198

Letter from Le Messurier & Scott to Bombay Board, dated 12th December 1802

As it became necessary to coin copper money at this place from a great scarcity of that which had been sent from Europe, we recommended in our letter of the 15th ultimo a reduction of the weight of it so that a pice which weighed of the Europe coinage, 200 grains, should weigh no more than 164 in the proposed coinage. We were induced to this in order to save the Company from loss during the present high price of [copper] & from being convinced this alteration in weight in a metal of so little value would produce no material inconvenience. This has been found to be the case.

It is not only very expensive to coin copper in this country but it is impossible with the present machinery to do it well. It is harder than silver of gold & the natives work it with less perfection. On this account it is certainly desirable to have the copper money sent hither from England.

Should the present price of copper in England permit it we would recommend that the copper be sent of the same weight that they were in 1792, for any [change] in the coinage should be avoided unless very necessary. If however it should not be advantageous to the Honble Company of such a weight, we do not see any material objection to reduce it to the rate that we proposed in our letter of the 15th November. We refer to that letter regarding the copper coins of 6 reas which weigh 150 grains. We are still of opinion that they are unnecessary or inconvenient & that the other three pieces of 200, 100 & 50 grains each are quite sufficient for the purposes of this place.

By the accounts of copper coins in the Accountatnt General’s office, it appears that the Honble Company in the years 1791, 2, 3 & 4 sent them from England to the amount of rupees 70,592 . 2 . 57 by which there was a clear profit of rupees 38,194 . 2 . 75. This is a considerable advantage & it is one that will continue for our copper coins are in demand not only in the countries subject to the Company’s authority but in a certain degree also in the Mahratta Territories. Whither they are gradually carried & never return to us.

It would be very desirable to be able to determine the amount of copper coin required for this side of India but after all our inquiries we are not as convinced that it can be done with much accuracy. If this Government should judge it proper to give them currency at Surat & its neighbourhood, which has hitherto not been the case, a much greater number could be disposed of than has yet been practicable.

Mr Galley, the Mint Master in 1788 stated that the amount of copper money in circulation under this Presidency was about the following values:

In Bombay                 Rupees 100,000

Salsette & [Carabjah]  Rupees 25,000

Tellichery                    Rupees 10,000

                                 Rupees 135,000

Since that time the whole provinces of Malabar & Canara have come under the Company’s authority & our monay will be received in every part of them, for altho’ they are placed at present under the Madras [Presidency] yet the commercial connection & natural intercourse remain with Bombay.

Upon the whole we are of opinion that the Company may now send out from England a quantity of copper coin equal to a lac of rupees, a certain proportion in each ship. This may probably be disposed of without much delay, when an estimate may be formed with more certainty then at present of the annual quantity that is required for this Presidency.

Resolution 14th December 1802

Ordered that the subject of the above letter be brought to the notice of the Honble the Court of Directors by the ships under dispatch with a recommendation that the quantity of copper coin suggested in the concluding paragraph may be consigned to this Presidency.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/1. p. 4223

Letter from Le Messurier & Scott to Bombay Board, dated 15th December 1802

We beg that you will be pleased to order from England for the use of the mint, one set of assay scales & weights and one ditto for silver.

The mint contractor having made several applications to us to procure for him a quantity of crucibles for the melting of gold in consequence of the very great loss to be constantly felt from the badness of such as are to be procured here. We are induced to solicit that you will likewise be good enoiugh to order a  supply of 10,000 crucibles from England by the first shipss, each crucible should be capable of melting 60 tlas of metal or 109,40 grains. For the expense of them he agrees to reimburse the Honble Company.

Resolution of  17th December 1802

The articles above required for the mint office were on the 15th instant ordered to be noticed to the Court of Directors.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/3. p. 372

Letter from Le Messurier & Scott to Bombay Board, dated 18th January 1803

Mr Forbes has offered to the mint for sale 6927 tolas of gold at 100 touch and 3240 at 98 touch, which we have assayed. For the whole of this (one touch with another) he demands rupees 15 ¼ per tola which amount to rupees 155,046.3

This is at the rate of 15.1.39 for a tola of pure gold and rupees 15. . 16 for a tola of gold 98 touch.

Considering the state of the market this is an advantageous offer, by which the Compnay will clear their duty of 3 per cent, but Mr Forbes expects that this agreement is to take place from the date of this letter.

We request to know if you will authorize an agreement to be made with him on these terms for the Honble Company.

When Mr Forbes delivers the gold, he will obtain a receipt from the treasurer and mint master for the amount, and the mint contractor will get it in such portions as he wants it by the mint master’s notes on the treasurer, as has been customary. We beg Honble sir to be favoured with you commands on this subject.


It was on the 19th instant ordered that the gold tendered by Mr Forbes as above reported should be received ans secured during the coinage in the manner above proposed by the mint and assay masters to which effect the necessary orders were on the 19th instant issued by the secretary.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/3. p. 664

Letter from Le Messurier & Scott to Bombay Board, dated 12th February 1803

Syed Tuckey has offered to the mint for sale 1500 tolas of gold of 98 touch, which we have assayed, He demands rupees rupees 15. .16 per tola which amounts to rupees 22,560. This tender being exactly upon the same terms as Mr Forbes, which considering the state of the market is an advantageous offer, by which the Company will clear more than their duty of 3 per cent, Bur Syed Tuckey expects the agreement is to take place from the date of this letter. We therefore request you will be so good as to inform us whether you will authorize an agreement to be made with him on these terms for the Hoble Company.


The above reported tender of gold by Syed Tuckey was on the 13th instant agreed to.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/4. p. 1055

Letter from Le Messurier & Scott to Bombay Board, dated 25th March 1803

Gopaldass Manordass has offered to the mint for sale a quantity of gold bullion of 100 touch and some of 98 touch for which he demands, one touch with another, rupees 15.1. This is at the rate of 15.1.39 for a tola of pure gold, rupees 15.-.16 for a tola of gold of 98 touch and amounts to about 2 lacs of rupees or thereabouts. This tender being exactly upon the same terms as Mr Forbes, which considering the present state of the market is an advatageous offer by which the Company wil clear more than their duty of 3 per cent. But Gopaldass Manordass expects that the agreement is to take place from the date of this letter. We therefore request that you will be so good as to inform us whether you will authorize an agreement to be made with him on these terms for the Honble Company. Should this tender meet with your sanction, we will assay it in the customary manner, when the mint master will receive charge of it, as he did with that from Mr Forbes.


The Board agree to the proposal contained in the above letter and the gold is accordingly to be received from Gopaldass Manordass for coining in the mint.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/4. p. 1079

There is a coloured plan of Bombay Castle which shows, inter alia, the position of the mint in 1803. The plan was produced following a major fire.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/5. p. 1686

Letter from Le Messurier to Bombay Board, dated 29th April 1803

The time draws near when the public buildings of the Honble Company should be put into sufficient state of repair at least to withstand the inclemency of the approaching monsoon.Permit me therefore to respectfully represent the present decayed state of the roof of the mint house, which absolutely requires being put into some immediate kind of repair so as to render it tolerably habitable for the several workmen during the rains. The damage which it has sustained in consequence of the late disastrous conflafration tho’ not very considerable, yet it is the chief cause of my soliciting your sanction of expending the sum of rupees 300 on the Honble Company’s account in addition to my annual allowance of rupees 280, which I trust will not be considered extravagant. You may rely that the greatest attention and will be [paid] to the strictest economy on my part.


Ordered that the additional charge above adverted to, be sanctioned and the mint master accordingly be advised.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/5. p. 1777

Letter from Le Messurier to Bombay Board, dated 3rd May 1803

I have the honor to forward an acocunt of the profits arising to the Honble Company on the coinage, as also on the purchases of gold bullion for one year, which nearly covers the expenses of the mint establishment. I beg leave to notice that the principle causes of the present reduction in this years income arises solely from the non-importation of gold from Egypt and other parts, which there was every reason to have expected long ‘ere this. However, I make no doubt that the current year will produce an income which will amply compensate for the present unexpected deficiency.

There then follow the accounts of the gold coinage. There is no mention of silver being coins at all.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/5. p. 2125

Letter from Le Messurier & Scott to Bombay Board, dated 6th June 1803

Messrs Bruce Fawcett & Co has offered to the mint for sale about 1500 tolas of gold of 96 ½ touch at the rate of rupees 14.3.23 for the tola, which price is on the same terms with our former purchases and considering the state of the market it is a very advantageous one for the Honble Company. They expect that this agreement is to take place from the date of this letter as also that the amount is to be paid them in cash. We therefore request you will have the goodness to send us your instructions on this.


The mint and assay master were on the 7th instant informed that Bruce Fawcett and Co could not be paid cash for their above reported tender of bullion.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/5. p. 2202

Letter from Le Messurier to Bombay Board, dated 13th June 1803

In obedience to the verbal authority I received from you on Wednesday last at the Government House, to accept the offer of gold bullion made by Messrs Bruce Fawcett & Co, on their terms, payment in cash, I have the satisfaction to inform you that the whole quantity being 1500 tolas 14 val has been coined to the standard of 92 touch, and the amount purchased accordingly paid into the hands of Messrs Bruce Fawcett and Co, which came to rupees 22,216-1-12. After paying the expenses of coinage it yields a profit to the Honble Company of rupees 1007-2-40, which has this day been paid into the Honble Company’s treasury.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/9. p. 4320

Letter from  William Crawford (mint master) & H Scott (Bombay assay master) to Bombay Board, dated 12th November 1803

Charges on Japan copper

The warehousekeepers charge                         Rs 16.-.70

Burnage                                                                -.3.87

Minters charges for smiths charcoal etc                  5.1.50



The above will yield in pice                              Rs 24


It is however to be observed that those pice will be square like the Mahratta pice and not round. I suppose this is very immaterial.If they are to be made round the 3rd charge will be increased by Rs 1-1-50. This is owing to the necessity they are under for melting the Japan copper before they make it into round pice which additional melting they avoid for square. From the above statement it appears that the Japan copper is more advantageous for the purpose of pice than the sheet copper.


The mint master was on the 16th instant ordered on the ground of the preceding statements to coin to the value of a lack of rupees from Japan copper into square pice and annas or sixteenths of a rupee in the proportions of 2/3rds of the former and one third of the latter, which copper coins were to be paid into the treasury as speedily as possible.

That’s about 50,000 annas (4 pice) and 3.2 million pice.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/9. p. 4467

Letter from Crawford & Scott to Bombay Board, dated 23rd November 1803

We are offered about 1500 tolas of gold by Swabjee Muncherjee of 98 touch @ Rs 15.7 annas per tola and it is likely that we may get about 1000 tolas more from other persons at the same rate. This offer is one anna under the present bazar rate and after paying the mintage will leave a profit to the Company of about 1 ¾ per cent.

We consider this offer as deserving the attention of your Honble Board in the present scarcity of bullion.


The tenders of the gold above submitted was on 24th ultimo ordered to be accepted.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/9. p. 4845


The mint an assay masters were, on the 20th instant [i.e.20 December 1803], ordered to receive such gold bullion as Forbes & Co might send to the mint for coinage on account of the Honble Company to be settled for at the fair market price which they were desired to ascertain and report.


1804 – Public Consultations – nothing useful found in index


Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/20. p. 999

Letter from Crawford (mint master) and Helenus Scott (assay Master) to Government, dated 18th February 1805

We have received your letter of the 16th instant conveying to us the instructions of the Honble the Govr. In Co. to consider maturely the remarks made by Mr Henshaw as Reporter Genl on External Commerce as connected with the mintage of Bombay & to submit thereon such observations as may occur to us.

We shall lose no time in fulfilling these instructions but as we consider the subject as of the most important nature we trust that the Honble the Gov in Co will be pleased to dispose with our observations, which are on the eve of the present dispatch, we have not time to prepare in that full and connected manner which Mr Henshaw’s report renders necessary.

We have however no hesitatio in offering as our opinions to the Honble the Gov in Co that the reasoning of Mr Henshaw shews no well grounded argument to alter the sentiments which we have had the honor on submitting on a former occasion & we shall avail ourselves of this opportunity of treating so fully on the subject as will, we trust, finally dispose of it.


Ordered that the purport of the above report be noticed to the Honble Court when sending home Mr Henshaw’s report

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/21. p. 1724

Letter from William Crawford (mint master) to Government, dated 27th March 1805

In reply to your letter of the 23rd instant forwarding for my report copy of a petition from Waman Ballajee carpenter, I request you will be pleased to acquaint the Hinble the Governor in Council that this practioner has been in the practice of making the annual repairs to the mint buildings, that instead of applying for the superintending engineer’s certificate, which is a necessary voucher to pass his bill, he entirely neglected this form (with the necessity of which he was well acquainted) in the last year until the monsoon was entirely over and when it was consequently out of the power of the engineer to say whether the work for which he required to be paid had been really executed.

It remains for the Honble the Governor General in Council to decide on the sum which he will be allowed to receive.The amount of his claim is Rs 280 but as far as I am capable of judging, I do not think that the petitioner expended one half of this sum in the last year.

The whole of the mint buildings are now in such a general state of decay as to require a thorough repair to prevent them falling in during the next monsoon and as these repairs are under the late orders of Government to be made by Captain Brookes, it will be necessary that he should examine their present condition, when he will be able to form a more correct judgement than I possibly can of the sum which is justly due to the petitioner.


The preceeding letters ordered to be referred to Captain Brookesfor the purpose suggested by the mint master.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/21. p. 1815

Letter from William Brookes (Captain of Engineers) to Government, dated 1st April 1805

In reply to your letter of the 28th ultimo, enclosing a copy of a letter by the mint master, I beg that you will inform the Honble the Governor General in Council that I have looked at the mint and that I find that some repairs have been made to a back veranda. It is however, now impossible for me to say what the contractor alluded to, ought to have [been done].

The old building is in a most dangerous state for the walls are pressed outwards and the refters in one place have drawn from the wall plate. This part must therefore be taken down or it will certainly fall.

I hope to be excused in mentioning a mistake which the mint master has fallen into when stating that the repairs to that building are placed under my care by the orders of Government.

It is only such civil repairs as are already not provided for by contract or which are not placed under the heads of departments. The mint has long been placed under the mint master and an annual allowance made for the ordinary monsoon repairs, which is now requisite for the mint buildings.


Ordered that Woman Ballajee be referred to the party who employed him for any remuneration he may be entitled to for the repairs which he staes to have made to the mint office.

Resolved that Captain Brookes be desired to fix upon a proper place within the town for rebuilding the mint office which is to be removed from its present site and after consulting the mint and assay masters, to submit a plan and estimate for constructing the new mint after which the whole of that range is to be removed.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/21. p. 1815


Following a discussion of the mint and assay master’s pay a decision was made not to reduce them, although this had been ordered by the Court of directors. It was resolved:

In communicating this proposal to the mint master he is to be informed that the order will not be applicable to him unless he determine to relinquish his commercial pursuits, pursuant to the Court’s order, his answer to which he is to be called upon to give.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/22. p. 2010

Letter from Helenus Scott (assay master) to Government, dated 8th April 1805

Be pleased to inform the Honble the Governor General in Council that I am extremely grateful for the unsolicited favor they have conferred on me as conveyed by your letter of the 5th of this month. I shall make the deposit and enter into the legal objections as required by Government.

I may now perhaps venture without impropriety to express my very firm conviction that this mint in common times will not only pay its expenses but that it will with honest management be a source of revenue can be more unexceptionable for it affect not the justice of the coin. It is derived entirely from the purchase of bullion when it is cheap & when by coining it a reasonable profit must arise. These purchases were formerly made by minters & mint contractors who alone derive any advantage from the coinage, who constantly made fortunes by it whilst the Company expended yearly a sum of money to pay a mint master and his establishment, not one rupee of which ever retrned to them. The sole difference between former times and the present in this respect is that the advantage derived from purchases was then kept for the benefit of individuals whilst it is at present carried to the public account.

The present state of Europe, of the Red Sea and of India has deranged and nearly stopped the usual importations of bullion and the extensive currency of paper which has of late become necessary in India has affected the coinage and every payment in money. Under these circumstances the mint regulations could not yet shew their beneficial tendency or realize those hopes and calculations which were formed for ordinary times.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/22. p. 2186

Letter from William Crawford (mint master) and Helenus Scott (assay Master) to Government, dated 19th April 1805

We have now the honor of submitting to the consideration of your Honble Board our sentiments on that part of Mr Henshaw’s remarks as Reporter General on the External Commerce under this Presidency which are connected with the mintage of Bombay, being from the 63rd to the 108th paragragraph.

We are of opinion that all the observations which Mr Henshaw has offered may be reduced to two simple and distinct points. 1st whether the mint regulations of 1800 have, as Mr Henshaw asserts, been the cause of a deficiency in the circulating medium, which has produced the present unfavourable exchange with Surat and the northward, or to what cause it is attributable.

It is our wish to avail ourselves of the opportunity to bring the subject of the Bombay mintage in the fullest manner to the particular notice of your Hinble Board, as well as those high authorities to whom Mr Henshaw’s report will be submitted.

We think we shall have no difficulty in proving that the mint regulation of 1800 was necessary, equitable and even indispensible; that it has produced all the good effect which were expected of it at the period of its introduction, and none of that pernicious nature which Mr Henshaw has attributed to it.

Considering therefoe the first of these queries we beg leave to refer to a report, copy of which is annexed, which was furnished to Mr Henshaw under the 24th October last, and which shews that the total of gold coinage in the mint of Bombay amounted from the year of account 1770/1 to 30th September 1804 to Rupees 7,659,122, of which the coinage since November 1800 when the present mint regulations were introduced, or in four years is 5,017,382 and shewing the amount coined in the previous 20 years as rupees 2,641,740.

With the evidence of this statement it may be deemed unnecessary for us to follow Mr Henshaw to follow Mr Henshaw thro’ the causes he has assigned for the deficiency of circulating medium from which he apprehends such incalculably ill effects. It is perhaps enough for us to prove that the position he has assumed is fundamentally erroneous, and we here shew that the mint regulations of 1800, instead of occasioning a decrease in circulating medium, has produced a very considerable addition.

We deny that the disappearance of the Surat silver rupees from our circulation is at all attributable to the mint regulation of 1800. As soon as the demands of Surat and Guzerat on Bombay exceeded the ordinary means of paying the balance, the Surat coin in our circulation was applied to that purpose as long as any of it was to be had, and as soon as it was exhausted the exchange advanced in proportion to our increased demands for money here.

For the purpose of explaining the necessity there was for the mint regulation of 1800, we shall take a concise view of the mintage of Bombay to as distant a time as authentic documents can be traced.

Among other regulations which were at different periods entered into between the Government of Bombay and the Nabob of Surat, was that in the year 1768, when for the purpose of mutual accomodation, it was agreed that the rupee of the two Governments should circulate at Bombay and Surat on a footing of equality, the Nawab engaging to keep his coin of the same purity and value as ours.

This engagement he soon however violated and our circulation was in time engrossed by debased rupees of the Surat coinage, varying from 7 to 14 per cent below the standard of the Bombay rupees, all of which were withdrawn from circulation for the purpose of being recoined in the Surat mint and returned here in a debased state.

We observe that frequent representations were made to the Nabob, particularly through the Chief and Council of Surat,for the purpose of inducing him to conform to the original agreement with the Government of Bombay but these remonstrances failed to produce the equalization on which that agreement between the two Governments was founded. Owing however to this repeated interference, the Nabob’s coin in later years, acquired a character of greater regularity and tho’ it contained near 8 per cent of alloy, had a preference thoughout Guzerat as being the most pure and most regular of the coins current there, and indeed of any rupee on this side of India.

It requires to be noticed that the coinage of rupees of the old Bombay standard has been nearly discontiued for twenty five years past, during which time our circulation has been supplied with the debased Surat rupee, to which mint all bullion was in consequence drawn.

The forgoing observations apply only to silver coinage. That of gold was also extremely circumscribed till the year 1800, and had the regulation of 1774 being strictly conformed to, it would have been utterly impossible that any gold coinage whatever could have taken place in our mintfor many years previous to the repeal of that regulation.

The Bombay rupee was by the regulation of 1774 to weight 178 grains 31 pennyweight and to contain 1.24 per cent of alloy. The gold mohur was, like the silver rupee, to weigh 178-31 and to be of the fineness of Venetian gold or about ½ percent alloy whereby 14 grains 9 pennyweight of silver represent one of gold.

The circulation of the Bombay rupee being usurped by that of Surat, the gold coinage under the regulation of the year 1774, would have been exchanged for silver at the proportion of about 13 to 1, had not the ingenuity of the native mint contractor applied a remedy, by departing from that regulation, and debasing the coinage to 5 per cent of alloy instead of less than ½ a per cent. In support of this assertion we have, besides our own assays, that of a report made by a committee of Government in the year 1796, wherein it is stated that the Bombay gold coinage then contained “about 5 per cent of alloy”.

We request to draw the particular notice of your Honble Board to this circumstance, because it is in contradiction to what Mr Henshaw has stated in the 65th paragraph of his remarks. Instead of the alteration being as Mr Henshaw has represented it, from 99 to 92 touch, it was in fact from 95 to 92.

From the preceeding remarks it will be seen that the mint regulation of 1774 was unrepealed until the year 1800, although such a change had taked place by the debasement of the Surat silver, as rendered that regulation no longer adequate for the purpose for which it was planned, that of securing to us a regular currency of sufficient purity to be respected and received in the neighbouring country, and at the same time so proportioned to the value of the metals as an article of trade, as to prevent it becoming an object to withdraw our coins altogether from circulation.

It will also be observed that the coins current at Bombay were the Surat rupee, the standard of which is now settled at 7.97 per cent of alloy, in violation of the mint regulation then in place, by a practice unsanctioned by Government, but which was nevertheless unavoidable if any gold coinage was to be made.

Value of gold and silver being in our bazar with little variation as 15 to 1 it was impracticable for Government or individuals to coin gold mohurs with less than half a per cent of alloy, to be exchanged for 15 rupees of equal weightcontaining 8 per cent of alloy because the gold which would be contained in one gold mohur would , if sold as bullion, command 16 of these rupees.

Such was the situation of the currency of Bombay as previous to the regulation of 1800 and every desciption of man at all conversant on the subject entertained but one opinion on the necessity of such an alteration as would restore and preserve to Bombay a coinage of its own.

In this state of things Government had to decide whether it should be allowed to a mint contractor to continue the coinage of gold below the standard and that Bombay should remain without a silver coinage of its own, whether the regulation of 1774 should be enforced by coining gold mohurs at the standard of a Venetian, and directing them to pass at 15 Surat rupees, or 7 per cent below their real value, whether the old coinage of the Bombay rupee gold mohur should be restored, or whether a medium could not be adopted calculated to remove the objectionable and insurmountable obstacles which presented themselves.

The first it is obvious could not be adopted. The second was impracticable unless by Government bearing the loss on supplying the circulation with gold coin which from its superior value could not remain.The third was long thought of but difficulties of the same nature as to the second were opposed to its adoption.

At length a system was introduced which in our opinion founded on the experience of 4 years practice has proved itself the best which circumstances would admit of being resorted to.

The Surat rupee which had so long occupied our circulation was allowed to remain in it and Government authorized the coinage of rupees of that standard in the Bombay mint, the gold mohur was therefore adjusted to the silver rupee on principle of perfect equity.

The new gold mohur being ordered to be coined with the Surat stamp was to weigh one silver rupee, to have the same alloy and to pass for 15 rupees, thereby making one grain of gold represent 15 of silver. This si a proportion sanctioned by the relative value of the metals in our bazar and nearly so by the regulation of 1774, as well as by the coinage of Bengal. Our proportion of alloy is within a mere fraction of what enters into the gold and silver coins of Great Britain, and the value put on the metals is nearly a meanterm between that of Bengal and Great Britain, nor does it differ much from that of any European nation.

We cannot offer a more convincing argument that our present coinage is of sufficient purity for our purpose than by stating on the opinion of those most capable of forming a correect judgement, that of 50 lacs of rupees of gold which have been coined within 4 years, not more than 20 remain in our circulation.

We trust that we have completely answered Mr Henshaw’s observation with regard to the present state of the mintage of Bombay, and the regulation of 1800, and that we have shown that the alteration in our coin was partial and limited, by no means warrenting the general expression which Mr Henshaw has introduced in the 65th paragraph of his remarks. Instead of the value of the coin being lowered from “99 to 92 touch”, we state as fact that no alteration whatever took place in the silver coin and the change in the goldwas from 95 to 92, a change which for the reason already stated, we consider to have been equitable and indispensible.

We are further of opinion that if this chage had not been introduced, with such unexampled demand as has existed for the metals, our currency would have consisted at this time of copper only. We find that at one period of Mr Hombey’s Government when war and similar causes to those which have now occurred, produced a similar effect, Bombay was for a time deprived of silver currency and its place supplied by single rupees of gold.We cannot subscribe to r Henshaw’s principles of reasoning which regard the exchange between Bombay and the northwood. It is a subject that of late has been much canvassed and which is now ingeneral, well understood. There is a balance of trade against Bombay to the extent Mr Henshaw says, of between 20 and 30 lacs of rupees annually. This balance must be paid, and silve ris the commodity whichcommands throughout Guzarat at all times the mostnmcertain price and readiest sale. It is therefore most sought after by those who have the balance to pay, and they must a will purchase it, whatever may be its price while it affords to them a better remittance than other articles of commerce would yield. The price of silver here must depend then on the proportion which the quantity imported bears to the other means we have to discharge the balance of trade against us.

If the quantity of silver bullion imported and applicable to the paymeny of that balance of trade, the exchange would be in course near par. The silver would be coined here because it would be no longer the object of anyone to give more than its standard value as a metal and the rate of exchange would not be much more than its standard value as a metal, and the rate of exchange would not be much more then to pay the expense of transporting the money.

We are decidedly of opinion that the high rate of exchange against Bombay with the northward is attributable almost entirely to the demands which Government has of late had for money in Guzerat. It appears that a sum exceeding a crore of rupeeshas been raised there betweenthe 1st May 1802 and 31st December 1804 and it is within the same period that the exchange has become so unfavourable. This amount is made up by remittances in shroffs bills and in silver bullion and by bills drawn from thence on Bombay, an enormous sum which seems to have escaped Mr Henshaw’s notice altogether and which is perfectly sufficient to account for the unfavourable alterationin the exchange, more especially as it has been raised chiefly on credit and by payment in bills on Bengal.

By the 66th paragraph of Mr Henshaw’s remarks we are to understand that the circulating medium never could have been more scarce than at the period immediately subsequent to the introduction of the mint regulation of 1800, yet we find that notwithstanding the scarcity he represents as existing, and as being the grand cause of the unfavourable exchange, that it was at that time rather in favor then against Bombay, and the reason is obvious. The cotton crop of 1800 failed throughout Guzerat, and thence the large funds which would have been required there early in 1801, were saved to Bombay Government besides needed no considerable funds to be remitted from thence.

In the year 1801/2 there was an abundant crop which was to be paid for with decreases means, because few cargos having been sent in the preceeding year, the returns were proportionably diminished. It was also at this period that Government began to have occasion to interfere in the money market, and the exchange was in the course of this season as high as 105 rupees at Surat for 100 Bombay.The silver Surat rupees then in our circulation were in course returned thitheras affording a remittance without further loss than was occassioned by the expense of transport.

In April 1803 the exchange was 107½ per 100, and Government remitted in the year of account 1802/3 to the amount of 2,500,000. In the following year, 1804, at the same time, the exchange was also about 107½  and Government remitted in that year of account Rs 2,700,000.

Towards the close of the year 1804, the exchange was as high as 112 per centand Government remitted upwards of 50 lacs between the months of April and December. Thus we see the exchange continued to increase with our demand for money, while the Bombay currecy remained all the time without further change than had taken place in the year 1800, and which did consequently not produce the ill effect on our exchange which Mr Henshaw attempts to attribute to it.

If the principle laid down by Mr Henshaw that the alteration in our coinage produce the unfavourable exchange, is correct, it must apply in all cases where our coin is concerned. We shall therefore examine the accuracy of the principle as far as regards to our situation with Bengal.

For the same reason that more Bombay rupees should be paid for any given number at Surat, a like increased proportion should be paid for any given number at Calcutta. When the exchange on Surat was 105 per cent, it was on Calcutta 110 per 100. If the alteration ois produced by debasement in our coinage, when we pay 112 for 100 at Surat we should pay more than 117 per 100 at Calcutta, whereas when the exchange was 112 for 100 with Surat, it was 104 for 100 at Calcutta.

This comparison is sufficient evidence that we must look to other causes than that laid down by MR Henshawfor the alterations which we have of late witnessed and which we consider reasonably accounted for in our preceeding remarks on this subject.

Our coins of gold and silver contain something less than 8 per cent of alloy, and are the purest on this side of India. The star pagoda contains no less than 20 per cent and yet we hear from Madras of no very ill effects from this impurity.The alloy in the pagoda has been long established, the alteration in our gold is very recent, and on this account some people look at it as the cause of every extraordinary occurance connected with commerce or exchange.

They will continue to do so for some time longer, unless they make themselves masters of the first principles which govern the fluctuations in exchange.

We have endeavoured to confine our remarks to the two principal questions which we deduced from Mr Henshaw’s report, and if there is any force in these observations we have now the honor of submitting to your Honble Board, it is quite unnecessary for us to enter into further discussion on the means by which Mr Henshaw has proposed to remove the inconveniences and disadvantages which the commerce of Bombay has of late laboured under.

The port of Bombay is the chief emporium for the supply of this side of India, with all articles of foreign manufacture and produce, which are chiefly imported in return for articles of commerce which are drawn from the neighbouring country.

If therefore the commerce of Bombay is, as MR Henshaw has termed it, extensive and increasing, it must be also lucerative. To be lucerative the value of the imports must exceed that of the exports and therefore there can be no balance of trade against Bombay, which it has not the power of discharging without resorting to extraordinary means. As soon therefore as Government withdraws from the money market, our exchange will rest on the ordinary transactions of commerce and it will then in our opinion seldom be more against Bombay than will be sufficient to paythe necessary expense of sending up bullion to Guzerat.

We observe many inaccuracied in the course of Mr Henshaw’s remarks, which being however subordinate to the principal questions on which we have offered our opinion, we have not considered it necessary to bring them to particular notice in our present address.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/22. p. 2197

Letter from William Crawford (mint master) to Government, dated 19th April 1805


Statement of the Gold Coinage in the Bombay Mint from 20th December 1770 to the 30th September 1804

Year of Account




Thirds of Mohurs

Single Rupees

Total Value in Rupees

































































































































































To 30th September 1804












Total (Not sure these totals are correct








Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/22. p. 2604

Letter from Charles Watkins (mint master) to Government, dated 10th May 1805

Agreeably to the orders of the Honble the Governor in Council, I have received charge from Mr Crawford of the office of mint master, to which I had the honor to be nominated under the 7th instant.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/23. p. 2950

Letter from Charles Watkins (mint master) and H Scott to Government, dated 30th May 1805

Agreeably to the directions conveyed to us in the sub-secretary’s letter of the 24th instant, we have the honor to submit the accompanying list of punroes [could be purvoes], peons etc employed in our departments for the information of the Honble the Governor in Council

Punroes 2 Viz

1 Purshohim Mungajee                        25-1-33

1 Dadajee Sumkerseljee                      8


1 Arzam Ragojee                                4

Sepoys 4 Viz

1 Dhurma Gunpatill                             4

2 Nanna Appajee                                4

3 Mados Shullia                                  4

4 Shikh Ahmud                                   4




Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/23. p. 3207

Letter from Charles Watkins (mint master) and H Scott to Government, dated 1st June 1805

Candass Boolakedass offers gold to the mint at 15 rupees and 3 annas of 98 touch. This is the rate at which we purchased the last gold we bought and is not unreasonable considering the state of the market. He has about 4000 tolas for sale. We beg to be favoured with the orders of the Honble the Governor in Council on this subject.


Messrs Watkins and Scott were on the the 4th instant authorized to accept the offer of gold made by Candass Boolakedass.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/24. p. 3558

Letter from Charles Watkins (mint master) and H Scott to Government, dated 17th June 1805

In reply to your letter which we received yesterday, we beg that you will be pleased to inform the Honble the Governor in Council that the Bombay gold mohur passes for 14 rupees of the present currency at Mangalore by order of the Madras Government.This is the sole cause of its depreciation at that place for that is the rate at which payments made in it were ordered to be received into that treasury. The same is the case at Goa and from the same cause. At Tellicherry on the contrary, as appears by Mr Torins table of coins, it passes for 15 rupees so that it is a matter of speculation and advantage for individuals to collect gold mohurs at Mangalore and send them to Tellicherry and other parts.

We may just observe to you that a gold mohur of the present currency contains 164.74 grains of pure gold and a rupee of the present currency precisely the same of silver. If therefore 14 rupees are exchanged for one gold mohur it is evident that 14 parts of silver are exchanged for one of gold, which is not the value of the gold in Malabar nor anywhere else in India.

We observe that arbitrary values not drawn from the real intrinsic value of coins were in like manner put in Malabar on many foreign coins by order of Government. Whether such rates can have continuede to the present we cannot tell.


Ordered that a copy of the above letter be sent to the Madras Government for their notice, the Governor in Council having no doubt but the Right Honble the Governor in Council will issue such orders in reference to the depreciated value that thence appears to be put on the Bombay gold mohur at Mangalore as the case may to his Lordship appear to require.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/24. p. 3862

Letter from Charles Watkins (mint master) and H Scott to Government, dated 1st July 1805

In reply to your secretary’s letter of the 24th instant desiring to know “if the relative proportionate value between the new and old gold mohur of Bombay be preserved at Anjengo” we beg to inform you that they have at that station given too high a value to the new gold mohur. They estimate it in proportion to the old as 99 to 105 which is as 94- -3 to 100. As the new gold mohur contains 8 per cent of alloy and as the old gold mohur was pure gold, it is evident that they should be estimated as 92 to 100.

This estmate however is not far wrong but it is on the opposite side of the question with the error in the estmate at Mangalore.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/31. p. 1469

Letter from Charles Watkins (mint master) and Helenus Scott (assay Master) to Government, dated 2nd April 1806

In reply to your secretary’s letter of the 4th ultimo, accompanying copy of a letter from Messrs Bruce Fawcett & Co to Government of the 27th of January on th4e subject of the returns of silver from the Surat mint for bullion sent to it for coinage, we have to observe that there is no kind of doubt but that the Surat mint does not deliver the number of rupees to the holder of bullion which it ought to do and that it is, and long has been, the practice of that mint to keep back a greater sum than the expense of coinage, together with the Company’s duties [amount to].

It is evident (for example) that 100 dol.lars contain silver enough to make very nearly 227 Surat rupees. Something is lost by the melting and refining. The expense of coining is 2 per cent and the Company’s duty ½ per cent. Our mint contractor here has delivered for 100 dollars, as far as 220 Surat rupees, but he complains that he suffered a little loss and we may perhaps be obliged to be satisfied with a fraction of one rupee less on 100 dollars. With this however, he will be quite satisfied. Nor can we see any reason why such conditions should not ve very satisfactory to any fair minter, either here or at Surat.

We have had repeated conversations with the mint contractor with regard to his coining the Surat rupees, at Surat, on the above mentioned conditions. With the conditions he is perfectly satisfied, but he tells us that he forsees that at Surat he will meet with great opposition from the shroffs and others who have an interest to keep the Surat mint on its present footing.He further says that his absence would materially interfere with his engagements at Bombay. These difficulties however, may be got over by Government assuring the contractor at Surat of their full support against the combinations of individuals. On such terms we have no doubt but our mint contractor will get one of his own family to carry on the Surat coinage at Surat, or men will be easily found there to do so, when they are sure of receiving the protection of Government. The resistance from interested individuals is the only difficulty that can arise in such a case.


Ordered that copy of the preceeding report be referred to the mint master at Surat with intimation that Government expect he will reduce the expense of coinage at Surat to the same standard as at Bombay or to report the obstructions he may experiaqnce in carrying the same into effect, being authorized for this purpose to correspond with the mint master at Bombay, who is to be directed to communicate with Mr Wren the expense of coinage in the Bombay mint.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/31. p. 1682

Letter from Charles Watkins (mint master) to Government, dated 18th April 1806

The officer on guard at the castle date having evinced a disinclination lately to let the bullion pass thru’ from the mint [past the … hour], I am to request an order be issued that the bullion may be allowed [past] without impediment at any hour within […] evening as the work people at the present […] unusual exertion will very often be kept [..] late hour.


Copy of the above letter was on the 19th instant referred to General [Nevills?] that he might cause the necessary intimation to be given on the subject to the officer at the castle guard.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/31. p. 1835

Letter from Charles Watkins (mint master) to Government, dated 25th April 1806

In reply to your secretary’s letter of yesterday’s date, just received, informing me that the appropriation of the ravelin occupied with military stores, for the mint, is to be postponed, I beg leave respectfully to intimate that, should you think proper to sanction the measure, an appartment adjoining the refimimg room (the walls of which are standing) might be roofed in at a very trifling expence, which would obviate the necessity of having recourse to any other buildings as a temporary [suceedarevum]. The room alluded to with the other plans in the mint already prepared for the work-people would afford space for the whole number we are likely to collect.

I beg leave to add that no danger could reasonably be apprehended from fire in bringing this portion of the old building into use again.


The Board cannot agree to the temporary expedient above suggested, as it is intended to remove the mint to another site whence it becomes unnnecessary to incur any expense by repairing any of the apartments of the old office for the purpose for which the ravelin is required.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/36. p. 4747

Resolution at a meeting held on 9th September 1806

The mint master was on the 5th instant directed to receive from the sub-treasurer the sum of 62,682 dollars now in the treasury for the purpose of being coined with the least practicable delay on the grounds of a recommendation from the accountant general.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/36. p. 4984

Letter from Charles Watkins (mint master)  and Helenus Scott (assay master) to Government, dated 19th September 1806

In reply to your letter of the 16th instant, be pleased to inform the Honble the Governor in Council that we shall find some difficulties in coining silver rupees in this mint so like those of Surat that the shroffs shall not be able to distinguish them. We are at the same time pleased to see that the shroffs of Surat are obliged to acknowledge that the Bombay rupees are of the full value of those of Surat & that they are driven in support of a profitable trade to bring forward a number of petty and insignificant objections. The reasoning of Mr Crow on this subject appears to us to be perfectly conclusive. He is well aware that their ostensible, are very different from their real, reasons.

The Surat shroffs say that there is some difference to be observed in the colour of the Bombay and Surat rupees. This is true & it arises from the circumstance that at Surat the whole of the alloy is lead, at Bombay one half of the alloy is lead and the other half copper. We were aware long ago that it might be better to remove this small difference of appearance but the workmen here cannot make rupees with an alloy wholy of lead. They are apt to crack under the hammer, nor can it be avoided but by long experience.What is the advantage of an alloy of lead above that of copper we cannot conceive. We believe that Surat is almost the only mint in the world where an alloy of lead is in use. In all the mints of Europe, in those of Poona, Baroda, Broach & everywhere else, we believe, in India, a copper alloy is prefered. It is not the kind of alloy but the quantity of it that alsters the value of rupees.. We therefore beg leave to suggest to Government that as a little difference of colour seems to be so essantial to the shroffs of Surat, that the Surat mint be ordered to use an allow of copper instead of lead or an alloy of one half copperand one half lead. In either case the Bombay mint can do the same. There aeems to us a further reason for making the Surat mint use a copper alloy for we see by the Surat mint master’s letter to Government of the 21st ultimo that he says that this leaden alloy is one of the causes of the smaller return of silver at Surat from the mint than at Bombay.We certainly cannot admit this any reason whatever for a smaller return nor indeed any other of the reasons that he has assigned.

The second difference in appearance between the Surat and Bombay rupees as mentioned by the shroffs of Surat is some difference in a letter and a point of the inscription on the coin. We believe that this may also be the case but why it should induce a shroff at Surat to reject, or rather to force a discount on a Bombay rupee, we cannot understand. They cannot deny that they are of the same values, that they know them both & know that they emanate from the same authority. By their own confession it is not the people who observe any difference, or hold any doubt. It is themselves alone who raise the difficulty that they may subjectthe holder of a legal coin to loss & fraud.

In order as far as possible to remedy this second objectionwe beg that Government will order from Surat a set of dies which we shall immitate with as much care as possible.If the difference of the workman’s hand shall still appear, we see3 no other recourse but that of ordering a number of dies from Surat altho’ (for reasons that we shall not now detail) that would be attended with much inconvenience. Even then we may not wholly elude the vigilance of the shroffs.

By the above means the difference of colour will be entirely obviated and that of the inscriptions very nearly so.


A copy of the preceding letter was, on the 20th instant, ordered to be sent to the chief of Surat with directions to ascertain from the mint master and his people the practicability of introducing the alteration of the alloy above mentioned, and likewise to procure and send the die as recommended by the mint and assay masters.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/38. p. 6302

Letter from Charles Watkins (mint master)  and Helenus Scott (assay master) to Government, dated 28th November 1806

According to the order conveyed to us by you we have attentively considered the mint master of Surat’s letter of the 15th ultimo and the following reflections have occurred to us:

It is, we conceive, the intention of Government that a percentage be levied on the coinage at Surat by which the expenses of the coinage shall be fully paid in the first place, the remainder going to Government. After the payment of this percentage the bullion holder is to receive back all that remains of his silver, not a grain of which is to remain unaccounted for.

On this principle we are not yet satisfied with the offer [of] the Surat mint master of 220 rupees for 100 dollars as expressed in his letter, for a good deal of the silver he receives would remain entirely unaccounted for.

To make this perfectly evident let us examine his proposals.

The expenses of making the coins at Surat are no more than 1½ per cent but the Surat mint master states in his letter of 15th July that the use of a lead instead of a copper alloy creates an expense of ½ per cent. If therefore a copper alloy be adopted at Surat the expenses of minting will be but one per cent

100 dollars gross produce      Rs 266

The Surat mint master returns  Rs 220

Leaving rupees                               6


Now, 6 rupees equals to per cent        2.2.60

Deduct Government customs as

Stated by the mint master                   -.2.-

Leaving                                              2.-.60


If the mintage costs 1½ per cent, the

usual rate he would have to pay for it  1.2.-



or nearly ¾ per cent which seems to be entirely unaccounted for


If however the adoption of a copper alloy saves him on the mintage ½ per cent as he states then there remains in his hands no less then Rs 1.-.60 or nearly 1¼ per cent of which he gives no account. This is above twice as much as he proposes paying to Government.

We now beg leave to recommend that the Surat mint master be called upon solumnly and upon honor to declare at what rate per cent he can conduct his coinage, 1 with a lead alloy and, 2 with a copper alloy. When we know this we know as well as they can do at Surat what return they ought to make to the bullion holder & what should go to Government. In Bombay the deduction from the bullion holder is 3 per cent. If Government choose to make the same deduction at Surat it is evident that the Honble Company ought to receive 2 per cent clear, instead of half a per cent as stated by the Surat mint master, The bullion holder will get in that case the same return from both mints.

The Surat mint master offers to return 220 rupees for 100 dollars, observing that the Bombay mint returns only 219.80 (he should have said 219.88). That is to say he offers to return a little more than 1/3 of one per cent above the return of the Bombay mint. The reason is evident.

We pay our mint contractor per cent                2.2

He pays for his mintage at the most                1.2

Hence he gains per cent on

Making of the coin                                          1


His is at one the secret of an offer that has the superficial appearance of advantage. It may be asked why the Surat coins can be made so much cheaper than those of Bombay. We answer that it chiefly arises from the great difference of expense of labour and also in part from the constitution of their mint which as we shall presently see is defective in this very respect. Our mint contractor positivel refuses even with a copper alloy to abate more than a few reas of this percentage. It may be seen that not a grain of silver is left unaccounted for here if anyone should choose to make the inquiry.

We have long considered the constitution of the Surat mint and we think it is radically wrong. No mint master there however great his knowledge or however just his intention can protect the public at all times from fraud. Accordingly for 30 years past with an exception of a few years of late, it has exhibited, as the records of Government abundantly show, a scene of disorder. It has given rise to a most disordered state of the coinage both here and there. The cause of the evil still remains altho’ it has ceased for a time to operate so extensively. This great cause, of which we so much complain is the employment of men called Bhurteahs, who exclusively are authorized to bring the silver of individuals to the mint. They have no acknowledged profit but it cannot be believed that they labour without profit. They are permitted against all the ordinary practices of Government to bargain with individuals who have bullion for return in rupees, which they will agree to make. Thus the bullion holder is left (as the former returns from the Surat mint will prove) to their mercy. We anxiously recommend that the office of Bhurteah [must] cease forever & that individuals may be allowed to carry their silver to the Surat mint whenever it suits their conveniency.

Instead of Bhurteahs we advise that a mint contractor may be employed to make the coin at Surat. He should be a man of character & give security in a large sum for his honestly both with regard to the public and individuals. Such a man would certainly not make the coins for 1 or perhaps even 1½ per cent. He ought to have a reasonable & an open profit for his office is most important. From such an office we should have a great degree of security & his avowed and honorable allowances would support some of the Bhurteahs whom we wish not (so far as is possible) to deprive of their bread. Until this regulation is adopted we confess that we do not expect to see the Surat mint on that footing which is so desirable unless those who make the coins are bound by penalties and held by heavy responsibility. It is impossible that any mint master can protect the public or Government in the coinage of Surat.

We conceive that 3 per cent collected on the coinage of Surat would in this way amply reward a mint contractor besides paying a mint master & affording a certain revenue to Government.

We do not say that this last proposal from Surat keeps back much more of the silver from the bullion holder than may be absolutely necessary to pay the contractor & the other demands in a well regulated mint, but we complain that this silver is kept back there from the bullion holder secretly without an avowed object & (as we conclude) that it must be absorbed by the Bhurteahs without answering any good purpose. Men will never labour without reward in any situation, but to employ men in a mint without any open and avowed means of living is of all systems the most ruinous.

Should Government be pleased to adopt our suggestion with regard to placing a mint contractor in the Surat mint, we should think it proper that this person should pay a visit to the Presidency that he may be made fully to comprehend our systems and that an agreement in all respects may be established between the two mints intimately connected as they are. Until this is done we recommend that the Surat mint may be stopped altogether.

We shall at a future time take the liberty of recommending a further system of check on the Surat coinage for it cannot go materially wrong without damaging both our gold and silver and producing as it did for many years both loss & inconveniency to Government & the public.

The specimens sent us of the Surat coinage with a copper alloy is unexceptionable. No objection would be made to it here but before it is adopted by Government (and it would be very desirable to have it adopted) it should be ascertained at Surat if it would be willingly received there. We still think that such objections would be unreasonable and ill-founded.


Ordered that a copy of the preceding report be forwarded to the mint master at Surat for such remarks as occur to him repecting more especially the manner in which the Bhurteahs derive their emolument and the expediency of dispensing with their services as above proposed. Another copy to be sent to the chief at Surat for his final opinion in the question suggested in the last paragraph as to the currency of the Surat rupee if coined with copper alloy

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/41. p. 250

Letter from Charles Watkins (mint master)  to Government, dated 9th January 1807

We have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Mr Secretary Wardens’ letter of the 30th ultimo, enclosing copy of a letter from the chief at Surat of the 23rd preceding and the proceedings in the subject of it, and informing us that the mint master at Surat had been desired to adopt a copper alloy there in future. We conclude, in consequence, that it is of course your intention that the same kind of alloy should be adopted in this mint.


The mint and assay master were on the 10th instant informed that it was the intention of Government to introduce at Surat an alloy in the coinage similar in all respects to the materials used for it at the mint of Bombay. The mint master was therefore called on to specify what that was, whether copper or lead and if both, in what proportions of each, to the end that a correspondent mixture might be used at Surat

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/41. p. 288

Letter from Charles Watkins (mint master)  to Government, dated 13th January 1807

In reply to Mr secretary Wardens’ letter of the 10th instant, we beg leave to inform you that the alloy used in this mint is composed of equal parts of copper & lead.

We request to be favoured with any directions you may think necessary regarding any alteration therein and remain etc


Ordered that the subject of the above letter be communicated to the mint master at Surat with instructions that the same proportions of alloy are to be used in the coinage of that mint.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/45. p. 3112

Letter from Charles Watkins (mint master)  and H Scott to Government, dated 1st May 1807

We received the orders of the Honble the Governor General in Council on 21st instant.

With regard to the insinuations that have been made of undue preference in priority of coinage, the mint master who kept the register of such applications and directs the order in which individuals are to coin, will as sson as he can make up his accounts to 30th April, lay them before Government who will then be able to judge how far he has acted with impartiality.

In answer to the second question of the Hinble the Governor in Council, we can say that the mint in its present state is very unequal to the supply of a considerable quantity of silver coinage. We can hardly coin 8000 rupees a day, or 240,000 a month. This is owing in great measure to the ruinous state of the mint, which some time ago fell down suddenly, leaving no more than one small room for all the purposes of the coinage. We are at all times however, confined in our operations from the want of machinery, everything here being done by the hands of men, and it frequently happens that a sufficient number of such artists can not be procured.


It was, on the 6th instant, observed that by order of the 13th May 1806 one of the ravelins was offered to be assigned to the mint master in aid of the insufficiency of space at the mint office, and to call upon Mr Watkins to report why that had not proved available.

The town committee were at the same time to give their opinions as to the most eligible spot to erect a mint on, without the fortifications and to present a plan thereof with an estimate of the expense and the time in which, in their opinion, it might be got ready for the purposes of the coinage.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/45. p. 3117

Letter from H Scott (assay master) to Government, read at a meeting on 8th May 1807

I received an hour ago your letter of this date accompnaied with the gold mohurs for assay. It fortunately happened that Mr Watkins was with me in the mint when I got those gold mohurs. I instantly shewed them to our mint contractor who acknowledged that every one of them was of his coinage. I next and without [ ] them for an instant out of our sight weighed them with a very accurate balance and I found that the weight of them all was correct. It now only remained to determine the standard and for this purpose I had for the sake of expedition recourse to the touch stone. I was soon convinced as well as several other people about me, that the standard was right, or at least very nearly. I cannot pretend to judge in this way within a fraction of one per cent but from experience I know very nearly the truth. I should here have rested satisfied that all was sufficiently correct for the general purposes of a coinage But I was desirous of having the opinion of experienced judges. Mr Watkins and I therefore went to the pay office and then to the treasury where, without saying a word with regard to our motives we begged of the Honble Company’s shroffs at both places to examine them. They tried them both with the touchstone and then weighed them in thir scales and they at both places declared them that they were (as they ought to be) 92 touch and full weight.

Nothing further remains but to subject the gold mohurs in question to chemycal analysis by which the smallest fractions of a touch may be determined but this will require [lime] and indeed in the present case appears to me perfectly unnecessary.

Those gold mohurs beyond all doubt came as near in all respects to the standard fixed by Governmentas our mint can ever attain. I am happy to add that Mr Watkins will be happy to confirm what I have said and I doubt not the head shroffs of the pay office and treasury will do the same.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/45. p. 3373

Letter from the mint master and H Scott (assay master) to Government, dated 18th May 1807

We received your letters of the 1st and 4th instant accompanying the orders of the Honble Court of directors with regard to the ciculating coins under the different collectorships.

We also received the various coins as per your list from the districts of Salsette, Baroach and Kaira. Accompanying we have the honor to report on their different values as far as it is possible to do so with any degree of accuracy in such a subject.The Cambay mints are in general so inaccurate in their coinage that the coins of the same denomination differ from each other at times several per cent in purity as well as weight. This is remarkably the case with regard to the mints of Broach, Cambay and Ahmadabad so that even a large specimen will hardly afford the means of forming a general value with much accuracy.

We beg you will have the goodness to inform us how we are to dispose of the money that remains with us of what you sent in for assay.

There then follows a list of the assay results

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/46. p. 3861

Letter from the mint master to Government, dated 30th May 1807

I am concerned to announce to you that Tappidass Nunsidass, the person who used to conduct the business of the mint, died yesterday evening after a short illness. Nurbaram Bhowanydass, the grandson of Narrondass Tulsidass, and the representative of that house which has heretofore managed the coinage, is here present. I am to request to be honored with your decisions in consequence of the death of Tappidass.


The mint master is to be called upon to report the age of Nurbaram Bhowanydass and where his residence is, and to state under what securityship the late Tappedass Nunsidass conducted the duties of the mint undertaking

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/46. p. 4094

Letter from the mint master (Watkins) to Government, dated 8th June 1807

Your commands through Mr secretary Warden of the 5th instant, I had the honor to receive yesterday and in reply beg leave to acquaint you that Nurbaram Bhowanydass, the grandson and representative of Narrondass Tulsidass acquaints me that his age is about 32 years, his place of residence within the fort in the principle street of the bazar, opposite the shop of Gopalldass Manordass. Permit me also to inform you that the existing contract entered into with Government, Nurbaram Bhowanydass and not the late Tappidass Numsidass, signed, in the name of Narrondass Tulsidass, which has been made use of in every engagement of the kind since the first contract in 1793 (which the late Tappidass Nunsidass sined in like manner). The securities are the house of Messrs Bruce, Fawcett & Co.. The contract paper I am to observe, is not in my office.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/46. p. 4206

Letter from the assay master (Scott) to Government, dated 10th June 1807

As I suppose that no further enquiry will be necessary with regard to the ten gold mohurs which you sent me for assay in April last, I have paid them as usual to the mint contractor and desired him to account for them to the mint master on account of Government.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/49. p. 7552

Letter from the mint master (Charles Watkins) and the assay master (H. Scott) to Government, dated 23rd September 1807

We yesterday received your letter of the 18th with enclosures and we now proceed to give you all the information in our power on the subject of it.

That our coinage can be carried on but to a very limited extent is too true, and this arises chiefly from the want of machinery for coinage here. The coins are made entirely by the hand so that the amount of the coinage must be exactly in proportion to the number of smiths that we can hire in Bombay. We have at present at work sixty smiths and forty more might be procured in Bombay. This is the greatest extent of our coinage and is impossible to extend it. Smiths might be found from Surat but the employment for them in the mint is very uncertain as the silver coinage depends on the cheapness of silver bullion in the market, which for some years past has continued but for a short time. If we could assure the mint contractor that he could find a regular employment for a considerable space of time he would agree to bring down a number of smiths from Surat, but this we cannot do.

If the mint were not in a ruinous state we could easily accommodate all the smiths to be found in Bombay and a much greater number. We can, as we have said, get forty more smiths only, and when the rains are over we can employ them all as they can then work in the open air.

With regards to the comparitive execution of the mints of Bombay and Broach, we may observe that our coinage of silver last season was at times three lacs a month. These two last days we have made ten thousand rupees daily, [is] that allowing for holidays we may promise about two lacs and a half monthly. During the twenty days in which we coined for Messrs Forbes & Co they received […] & no more than rupees 46,500, but there were from two to eight other bullion holders who received their proportions also during that time.

The ravelin of which we were put in possession last year was found not to answer the purpose and it was relinquished at the entreaty of the contractor. It held twenty five men by his business being divided between the mint and the ravelin, he was not able to protect himself from theft & to our certain knowledge he suffered very serious losses from that cause.

From the above statement the Honble the Governor General in Council will see that our coinage has never been greater then at present, that it may be increased as soon as the rain ceases in the proportion of perhaps sixty to a hundred, but it never without coining machinery can have anything resembling the expedition that is customary in Europe.

We beg to be allowed to remark that if it were to please the Government to put a roof over the [that] fallen in of the mint that it would then without further expense be sufficient for all our purposes.


Ordered that the preceeding letter be referred to the committee of buildings with instructions to communicate and concert measures with the mint and assay master with the view of fixing on a proper spot on which to erect a new mint office within the walls of the town.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/49. p. 7748

Letter from the mint master (Charles Watkins) to Government, dated 26th September 1807

In compliance with the instructions conveyed to me in Mr Secretary Warden’s letter of the 22nd instant I intimated to the mint contractor, Nurbaram, the necessity of his providing other security in lieu of the firm of Bruce, Fawcett & Co.

I have the honor to report in consequence that Nurbaram is prepared as security to deposit in the treasury, Government obligations to the amount of fifty thousand rupees, which he trusts will be approved by the Honble Board.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/50. p. 7956

Letter from the mint master (Charles Watkins) to Government, dated 8th October 1807

Agreeably to the directions conveyed in Mr Secretary Warden’s letter of the 29th ultimo, I called upon the mint contractor to provide security to the amount of one lac of rupees.

The house of Ransondass Tulsidass are ready to deposit fifty thousanf rupees as a security, which is the amount heretofore required but they assure me that it is not in their power without materially [affecting] their to appropriate a larger sum.

They may get some of the wealthy natives to be secuirty for them to the amount required by Government but I think it my duty to call the notice of the Honble the Governor in Council to the ill effects that were formerly found to arise from permitting a security of this kind to be established. It appears to be a custom among the natives to consider the person standing for them as security, as a kind of partner, entitled to a certain share of the profits on that account. On settling the security some years ago, for the mint, all security by natives were rejected, for at the time it was discovered that several of the monied men who had engaged in this way for the mint contractor had forced him to give them a part of what he gained, a practice which led, and which evidently has a tendency to lead, to improper gain and fraud. From the above considerations, I respectfully submit to Government whether it may not be better to relinquish the additional security required, provided the mint contractor finds it impossible to get one of the European houses to assist him. This he will attempt to accomplish if indulged with a little longer time.


In the interim of the mint contractor’s prevailing on one of the European firms of Bombay to be his security,

Ordered that he be required to lodge the security to the amount of fifty thousand rupees under a final bond to be drawn up by the Company’s law officers for the faithful execution of his trust.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/52. p. 10981

Letter from the mint master (Charles Watkins) to Government, dated 23rd December 1807

We have the honor to inform you that gold could be procured from Poonah and other parts of the interior at the rate of rupees 15..2..25 per tola of 98 touch, which would enable Government to derive a profit of 1 ¼ per cent after coinage. As no gold, we underdstand, is expected to be imported from China this season, we humbly submit to the Honble Board whether it would not be advisable to accept the bullion at that rate during the present stagnation of coinage business until the high price of gold be reduced in the market. We are assured that the quantuty thus procurable would be equal to about tolas 100,000 or rupees 1,500,000

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/54. p. 785

Letter from the assay master (H Scott) to Government, dated 25th January 1808

In consequence of the representation which I formerly made to Government, we received from England by the ships of this season a set of assay scales and weights and also a beam with scales and weights for weighing silver in large quantities.

All those articles are of an excellent kind and have already enabled me to adjust some doubtful and disputed points in the most satisfactory manner.

I have on former occasions represented that the people of this country have not the means of determining the weight of anything to a great degree of accuracy. The beams which the merchants use for gold and silver are still more inaccurate. Several kinds of tola differing from each other by some grains are in use in Bombay and the [waal] the weight next below it is altogether without precision. Government are well acquainted with the inaccuracy that has sometimes occurred in weighing the Honble Company’s silver in large quantities, on several occasions both here and in Guzarat and this has arisen not from a want of care in individuals but from the wretched instruments they were obliged to employ.

The great accuracy of the beam for silver which we lately received has enabled me to detect an error which might have produced its consequences in the mint but which fortunately has produced nothing of the kind. On this subject I shall address Government more at large and show how the error arose and how it is to be corrected.

I beg leave for the reson just stated earnestly to recommend that Government would be pleased to order from Europe some of these excellent beams with scales for weighing silver in large quantities.We require one more here for the use of the treasury. It would be very desirable that there should be one at Surat and another at Broach. Those make altogether three more beams, the expense of which is a mere trifle which the advantage that would daily result from them here are obvious and great.


As the assay scales and weights and also the beam we had applied for appear to have been received, the renewal of the application proposed at our last meeting to be modified according to the terms and purport of the present application.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/55. p. 804

Letter from the mint master (Watkins) to Government, dated 4th February 1808

Although indents for coinage to the amount of nearly four lacs and an half were drawn upon the mint between the 12th and 16th ultimo it appears that there is not actually two lacs forthcoming as the contractor has just been given to understand (on applying to the merchants for more bullion and dollars, the balance in had being very trifling) that they have none. The amount including this days issues will be Rs 148,500 returned to them since the 4th ultimo or on average upward of rupees 7000 per diem. As, in consequence of this disappointment, the workmen will be thrown out of employment in a day or two, I beg leave Honble sir to recommend that the bullion and dollars lately purchased on account of the Honble Company be sent to the mint to keep them employed now so many are collected together


Orders to be issued to the sub-treasurer for sending the bullion and dollars into the mint for the purpose of being coined as recommended in the above letter

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/56. p. 1445

Letter from the assay master (H Scott) and mint master (Watkins) to Government, read at a meeting on 26th February 1808

We beg you will be pleased to report to the Honble the Governor General in Councilthat the mint contractor lately complained to us that he had just detected a deficiency in his accounts of not less than 1500 rupees, which on further enquiry he found to arise from the coining of rupees from new dollars.

The dollar is a coin so long established and its value has been so faithfully preserved that they pass here to any amount by number and without enquiry into their weight or standard. In like manner they have always been received by tale at the mint. That the dollars received of late dated 1800, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 are a fraudulent coinage it is impossible for us to doubt for we have made very particular enquiry into their real value, and find it somewhat less than it ought to be, both in respect to the proportion of silver and the weight of each dollar. The deviations from the true standard are but small but they are uniform and on that account bear more strongly the marks of design…

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/58. p. 2938

Letter from the assay master (H Scott) to Government, dated 26th April 1808

In obedience to your orders I acquainted Dyal Boolakidass that we were ready at the mint to make new assays of his silver and that in order to satisfy him it should be done either in the country or European method or that he himself might conduct the assay. He accordingly promised to attend on Friday last at the mint, but did not. I then sent to him begging to know when he would attend but I now find that he entirely declines it. The fact is that Dyal is well convinced that the mint assays are perfectly just and that they would be confirmed by new ones.

It is not entirely without reason that Dyal complains of this sycee silver for, until a year or two past, the Chinese always sent it pure or with but very little alloy. They now however adulterate it considerably as will appear by the mint assays of very large quantities. Such is the confidence acquired by time that I have no doubt but that Dyal could have sold in the bazar all this sycee silver as pure silver, but still the assays are true and I believe can never be controverted.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/58. p. 3138

Letter from the assay master (H Scott) and mint master (Watkins) to Government, dated 5th May 1808

We have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your commands dated the 2nd instant enclosing extract of a letter from Mr Charles Forbes to the sub-treasurer of the 29th ultimo.

We find that Dyaldass Boolaekidass brought the silver alluded to, to the mint not in the China packages but in bags, and separate quantities, so that the mint contractor cannot determine whether this was from Mr Forbes or otherwise.There is every appearance, if that was Mr Forbes silver, that he picked out the boxes of pure silver, which he brought to the mint, while knowing that such as contained alloy would not pass there but for their real value, and sold the rest, supposing they would pass in the [gross] for pure. It is impossible for us to believe for a momentthat the mint contractor woul receive an ounce of silver as pure, which was not so, for the loss would instantly fall not on the Honble Company, nor on any person than himself.

The mint it is evident can have no interest in undervaluing Dyaldass’ silver, but the case is far otherwise with regard to him.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/59. p. 3504

Letter from the assay master (Stewart on behalf of H Scott) to Government, dated 23rd May 1808

He corrects assertions made by Scott about coins from Broach and Baroda (not sure what these were) and states that they arose because of a misunderstanding with the interpreter

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/343/61. p. 5156

Letter from the assay master ( R Steuart on behalf of H Scott) to Government, dated 28th July 1808

He replied to a letter issued by Mr Davidson (assay master at Calcutta). He tested a lot of rupees and found no problem with the purity of the coins. He also investigated the gold coins and found no problem.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/344/4. p. 7994

Letter from the acting assay master (R Steuart) to Government, dated 29th November 1808

I have the honor to acknowledge your letter under date the 18th instant accompanied with a recommendation by the sub-treasurer that a re-assay of the silver purchased from Ardaseer Dady should take place and to which you were pleased to assent.

On receiving from the treasury the pieces of silver reserved for this purpose I naturally expected that the same pieces which were originally cut by Mr Scott for assay would have been preserved but in this I was disappointed and found that most, if not all, of them had been coined.

I find by Mr Scott’s memorandum that he had taken from each box containing 40 to 50 pieces, two pieces, one from the top and the other from the bottom of the package, and that the medium fineness of these two pieces was taken by him as that of the contents of the box. I find however that the same precaution has not been observed in regard to the pieces now presented for assay, but that four pieces have been taken from each box promiscuously, after they had been unpacked for the purpose of weighing.

I have thought it my duty previously to my executing the intended assay to state the above circumstances to your Honble Board for the follow reasons:

1st from a consideration that if they had been known, your Honble Board would have hesitated at granting a new assay, for such it really must be, and not a re-assay as requested by Ardaseen.

2nd from the few trials I have made, I have every reason to believe that a new assay will not in its result agree with that formerly made; nor yet were I to divide the new into two separate assays, would they agree with each other; and this is unavoidable from the difference in regard to fineness between the pieces contained in the same box, which I have observed to exist.

The regular manner in which every assay of this silver has been entered in Mr Scott’s book in his own handwriting, and which I have carefully examined in case there might be an error in calculation, leaves me in no doubt with regard to their accuracy, but I can easily show that the quality of the silver in question is so irregular as to render a partial assay but at least doubtful and only an approximation of the truth.

Should your Honble Board still deem another assay desirable, I shall take the liberty of proposing that Ardaseer Dady in place of abiding by it shall abide by the result of it compared with that which has already been made, or the mean of the two.

Governor’s Minute

Under this view of the case it seems to me objectionable to admit of any renewal of, or addition to, the means already used for ascertaining the assay of Ardaseer’s silver.

But if the Board should not be of this opinion, I would propose in the second place that the merchant in question should at least agree to be guided by the medium of the two assays as suggested by Dr Stuart.

Perhaps before adopting either of these suggestions, it may be right to refer the correspondance as it stands for the report and opinion of the Accountant General, since perhaps the accounts are already closed in his books with reference to the former assay.

The Board concurring in the President’s propositions ordered that the preceding reference be made to the Accountant General accordingly.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/344/7. p. 509

Letter from the acting assay master (R Steuart) to Government, dated 21st January 1809

I have the honor to acknowledge your letter dated the 11th instant giving cover to copy of a proposal of Dyaldass Boolakadass for the purchase of (50,000) fifty thousand tolas of syce silver, referred for my opinion.

I cannot see any objection to the acceptance by Government of the proposal in question, considering the subject on the principal of the standard value of silver as established by the regulations of the Bombay mint.

On the supposition that the silver in question is perfectly pure and sent to the mint for coinage by a private merchant, the return would be as follows:

Produce of 100 tolas of pure silver                  Rupees 108 “ “

Deduct 3 per cent                                                           3 “ 9

                                             Net return                      104 3 04


Offered by Dyaldass                                                  105


Difference in favour of the Company                                “ “ 96


If the silver be ordered for coinage on account of the Honble Company, the return would be ½ per cent more then the above statement or Rupees 104 3 20, leaving still a difference in favour of the Honble Company of 80 reas by accepting the offer of Dyaldass.

Resolved that the offer by Dyaldass Boolakeedass for the purchase of fifty thousand tolas of syce silver be accepted as originally suggested by the accountant general.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/344/11. p. 3063

Letter from the assay master (R Steuart) to Government, dated 10th May 1809

In obedience to the orders of your Honble Board as communicated to me by your secretary’s letter of the 6th and repeated on the 8th instant I have the honor to state that I have carefully assayed eleven boxes of syce silver and seven boxes of dollar bullion being the amount of the purchase lately made by Government from the house of Messrs Forbes & Co and have found the respective qualities of the same as follows Viz:

Eleven boxes syce silver, uniformally of 99 touch containing one per cent of alloy.

Seven boxes of old dollars of 90 touch or containing 10 per cent of alloy

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/344/11. p. 3128

Resolution dated 16th May 1809

Resolved that Mr Surgeon Stuart be appointed assay master with retrospect to the date at which Mr Surgeon Scott may have left [for] China in his return to Europe.

The permanency of the appointment to depend on Mr Scott’s actually proceding to England and is therefore subject to revocation in the event of the return of that gentleman from China to Bombaynotwithstanding the expiration of his furlough to the former place

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/344/13. p. 3852

Letter from the mint master (GC Osborne) to Government, dated 3rd July 1809

Agreeable to the orders of the Honble the Governor General in Council I have received charge of the mint office with the books and papers appertaining to this department.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/344/7. p. 509

Letter from the assay master (R Steuart) to Government, dated 14th July 1809

In acknowledging the receipt of your chief secretary’s letter under date the 10th December last addressed to the late mint master and myself, I have to beseach the indulgence of your Honble Board on account of the great delay that has taken place in transmitting the report connected with it, and which has been principally occasioned by frequently repeated attacks of severe indisposition, which disabled me from paying the necessary attention to the duties of the assay department until lately.

The letter to which I have alluded conveys the acquiescence of your Honble Board in the application of Ordaseer Dady for a further assay of syce silver sold by him to the Honble Company on condition that the medium of the result of the second assay compared with that formerly made by Mr Scott should be accepted as the criterion for fixing the value of the silver in question.

In my communication on this subject under date the 29th November, I stated to your Honble Board my expectation that a second assay was not likely to agree with that made by Mr Scott owing to the same pieces which were assayed first not being procurable, as well as to the irregularity that had been observed in the silver, this expectation my late trials have simply justified.

After a carefully repeated assay of 84 pieces, I find the medium alloy to be 1.25 per cent or 1 ¼ per cent.

The amount of alloy by Mr Scott’s assay was according to his books   3.04 per cent

By second assay of new pieces                                                          1.25


Leaving a medium of                                                                          2.145 per cent

Or in round numbers 2 1/8 per cent on the whole purchase

Ordered that a copy of the report of the assay master be referred to the accountant general with directions to adjust the account purchase of syce silver from Ordaseer Dady accordingly.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/344/17. p. 6657

Minute of the Board, dated 20th October 1809

The assay master not having replied to the letter to him dated the 18th September

Ordered that Doctor Stewart’s answer be required, with notice that Government expect he will in future be more puctual in such matters.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/344/17. p. 6996

Letter from the assay master (Steuart) to Government, dated 20th October 1809

I have the honor to acknowledge [Suritary] Gordivin’s letter under the date the 18th ultimo, transmitting enclosures from the collector of Surat respecting the accululation of Broach rupees in the treasury and from the deputy accountant general at the presidency containing the tender of a shroff for one lack of the above rupees at the rate of 94 Surat rupees for one hundred Broach, and desiring me to state what I conceive to be the best means of turning the rupees in question to the best account.

Having fully considered the staement of the mint master of Surat respecting the high price of silver bullion in the market, and the probability of its becoming still higher as well as the low rate of exchange between this place & Surat at present, I have no hesitation in recommending that the whole of the rupees of the Broach mint may be recoined into Surat standard rupees as the most advantageous for the public, whether considered in a mercantile or political point of view. In the former, as the mint return is almost equal to the offer made to the deputy accountant general, & that for only a small part of the rupees, and in the latter as the continuance of this coinage has been put a stop to by order of Government, it will be for the public advantage to get rid of this irregular currency in the most effectual way, and particularly so for the Honble Company in order to prevent the recurrance of the same loss by these rupees again finding their way into the treasury.

I am not sufficiently acquainted with the regulations of the Surat mint, but am opinion that the return from it as stated by the mint master is somewhat smaller than it should be from Broach rupees. This opinion is founded upon my former assays of these rupees which have on a former occasion been reported to your Honble Board, and also upon assays still more recent, a report of which I am now preparing. These assays agree almost to exactness and give the Broach rupees as containing 10 per cent of alloy.This is 2 per cent worse than the Surat rupee in point of purity, and from all observations I have made it appears to be 1 per cent worse in point of weight. Under these circumstances the net return of Broach rupees, from the Bombay mint, would be Surat rupees 94 to private merchants and to the Honble Company including duty of 4 ½ , whereas according to the statement of the Surat mint master, it appears that the return for old Broach rupees including Company’s duty is Rupees 93.3.93 and for new Broach rupees 92.2.75.

It is no doubt possible that an assay on so small a scale as I have made, may not be deemed sufficient to determine a question of such extent, but if it should be deemed of sufficient consequence, at a time when it is to be hoped that we are taking a final leave of these rupees, it may be done on a more extensive scale at the mint.

There is an observation at the [xxx] of Surat mint master’s staement, which although not immediately connected with the subject of this letter, I cannot pass unnoticed, as he has placed it there. It is as follows:

“The Bombay mint master stated as per his letter of the 18th of May, that the gross procedings of 100 Bombay tolas of syce silver is rupees 108, but on an examination of an assay at this mint it is found to me no more than 107”.

If by syce silver the Bombay mint master means to express pure silver, his statement is perfectly correct as far as mint operations can be concerned, for as one rupee, like the Surat, contains 8 per cent of alloy, the operation consists of adding 8 tolas of copper or any other alloy to 100 of pure silverto produce 108 rupees. This appears to me to be a matter of pure calculation and I cannot imagine how any assay can alter it.

Ordered Mr Stuart be informed that the Governor in Council deems it very desirable to have the assay of Broach rupees effected in the most extensive scale that can be requisite to lead to accuracy.

Ordered that the mint master of Surat be furnished with a copy of the preceding letter, and his answer required in the two points therein adverted to, relating to his department.

With respect to the recoinage of the Broach rupees into Surat currency, orders have been already issued to proceed threon as far as may prove requisite and advantageous

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/344/21. p. 114

Letter from the mint master (GC Osborne) to Major Brookes, no date (about Jan 1810)

The south west ravelin having been assigned pro tempore for the Honble Company’s mint, I request you will repair the buildings situated in that work, with the least possible delay.

Ordered that Major Brookes be authorized to repair the buildings situated in the south west ravelin provided the expense do not exceed one hundred and fifty rupees.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/344/22. p. 566

Letter from the mint master (GC Osborne) to Government, dated 29th January 1810

I have the honor to hand up an indent from Messrs Forbes & Co for the coinage of a quantity of bullion equal to four lacs of rupees.

I can advance from the treasury without inconvenience, one lac of rupees on account of this bullion which will satify the above firm until the mint is placed in such a state of efficiency as to coin at the rate of 20,000 rupees a day.

The Honble the President is aware that I have been using every exertion to attain this desirable end, which is however, no easy matter owing to the inactivity of the present mint contractor who is decidedly adverse to any alteration in his dilatory habits. I have hitherto trusted by perserverance to overcome his obstinacy and to induce him to carry on his work with more energy but, having completely failed, I see no other recourse than to retain a new contractor who should be a man of enterprize, intelligence and personal activity, qualities in which the present contractor is notoriously deficient. This will be the subject of a separate report I shall shortly deliver in to your Honble Board. Meanwhile I beg leave respectfully to submit the expediency of securing by every available means, the detention of all bullion (estimated at between 16 and 20 lacs of rupees) now imported from China until the mint can be put into such a state as to admit of the coinage of the 20 lacs of bullion in 4 months.

I beg leave to suggest to the Honble the Governor in Council if it would not be desirable to allow the holding of bullion to subscribe it to the present loan, deducting the 2 per cent premium paid by cash subscribers and after the premium upon the mint rates of Rs 0 An 2 Reas 04 per cent of syce silver of 100 touch, and Rs 0 An 2 Reas 88 per cent on Spanish dollars.

I propose this gain to the Honble Company because the Accountant General purchased a large quantity of bullion in January 1808 (at exactly the above specified proportions) under the mint rate.

Upon these terms (so advantageous to the Honble Company) it is probable the whole bullion now imported from China would be paid into the treasury. By this arrangement there would be ample employment for the mint, which would coin monthly between 5 and 6 lacs of rupees, being about as much as Government would require, in aid of its other resources, to carry on the public expenditure, and is the average amount of our monthly drafts on Bengal, for the last 7 months.

Ordered that the above letter be referred for the opinion and report of the Deputy accountant general.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/344/23. p. 1287

Letter from the mint master (GC Osborne) to Government, dated 5th March 1810

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated the [    ] calling upon me to report what progress has been made in providing another mint contractor.

I request you will state to the Honble the Governor in Council that I have at last induced such improvement in the conduct of the present contractor as to render any change unnecessary for the present.

In respectfully submitting this opinion to the notice of the Honble the Governor in Council I beg leave to state that the mint now coins at the rate of 17,000 silver rupees and 10,000 pice per diem which is double the produce that it has yielded in past years, when the mint coined at the rate of 8,000 and very seldom of 10,000 rupees per diem.

The actual amelioration has been introduced gradually and not without continual battling with the contractor. My utmost vigilance shall be exerted to keep the mint in its present stae of efficiency. It yielded last month a clear surplus surplus revenue of Rs 4000 after defraying all expenses (including the salaries of the mint and assay masters) and, if the coinage had been gold instead of silver, the net revenue for last month would have been 8,000 rupees.

I avail myself of this occasion of stating that I discovered, log subsequent to my assuming charge of the office, there was no security whatsoever for the good conduct of the mint contractor, altho’ the order of Government required that he should himself furnish security in the sum of Rupees 50,000, to be deposited in the treasury and an European security in the sum of rupees 100,000. Messrs Bruce Fawcett and Co having in the year 1807, on the occasion of the death of the late mint contractor, declined continuing security for his successor.

The present mint contractor appears to have evaded the execution of these precautionary measures. To this hour he has furnished no European securityin the sum of 100,000 rupees and, altho’ it is true that he funded 50,000 rupees in the loan of 1807/8, still this was no security while the loan bond remained (as it did) in his possession.. I cannot trace the ground upon which the bond was surrendered to him but it must be evident to the Honble the Governor in Council that while the bond remained in his possession, he could at any time make a legal transfer of it to a purchaser and receive the full value.

I am happy to state he has surrendered the loan note to my custody as sub-treasurer and I have given him a receipt purporting that it is held in deposit as a security for his good conduct. It is but just however, to state that with the exception of the suspicion naturally arising from his backwardness to give direct and collateral security, I have not the smallest reason to doubt his integrity, but it is certainly my duty to bring the forgoing circumstances to the notice of Government.

The Hinble the Governor in Council very much approves of Mr Osbornes having redeposited the responsibility of the mint contractor’s own security to the amount of fifty thousand rupees in the treasury.

Ordered that Messrs Goodwin and Osborne be directed to ascertain jointly from the mint contractor and thereon to report to Government in what manner and from whom he procured the return of that security which must have been previously to Mr Osborne’s entering on the office and does not appear to have been sanctioned by any resolution of Government.

Resolved that the sub-treasurer be informed that all deeds of authority are to be lodged, through the secretary to Government, in the treasury  and which that officer is to observe as an invariable rule.

Mesrs Goodwin and Osborne are moreover to call on the contractor to fulfill the other condition of his appointment by realizing the additional security of one lac of rupees either from a European firm or by a further lodgement of Company’s paper to that amount.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/344/23. p. 1500

Letter from the assay master (R Stewart) to Government, dated 19th March 1810

I have the honor to report to your Honble Board that I have assayed the silver bullion contained in forty two chests purchased from Mesrs Forbes & Co and now under consignment to Surat and find it to contain one and one third percent alloy or to be of 98 2/3 touch.

Ordered that the assay master be called upon to state how far the silver bullion purchased form Messrs Forbes & Co be more or less than the standard which was to regulate our purchase of the silver in question.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/344/23. p. 1599

Letter from the assay master (R Stewart) to Government, dated 24th March 1810

I have the honor to acknowledge Mr secretary Goodwin’s letter of the 21st instant desiring me to state how far the silver bullion purchased from Messrs Forbes & Co is more or less than the standard which was to regulate the purchase of that silver.

Presuming that the payment is to be made in Bombay rupees, the mint return for silver of the same purity as that in question, will regulate the purchase, which is as follows:

The mint return for silver per hundred tolas of 100 touch is Bombay Rupees 104.3.04. Hence the nett mint return for 100 tolas of silver of 98 2/3 touch would be rupees 103.1.45 which last sum I conceive is the price of the silver in question.

Ordered that Messrs Forbes & Co be advised of the difference above reported, thro’ the mint master, to the end that the purchase from that firm of silver bullion may be regulated accordingly.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/344/24. p. 2373

Letter from the mint master (GC Osborne) to Government, dated 1st May 1810

I had indented on the Import Warehousekeeper for 600 maunds of copper but as he informs me Government have ordered the remains of that article in store to be conveyed to Bengal, I request you will be pleased to move the Governor in Council to direst the Import Warehousekeeper to deliver to my order 100 maunds of copper. My object in this application is to give employment to the mint workers until the gold and silver bullion from China is landed. If the mint had not employment, the mint contractor would discharge the workers immediately, the consequence of which would be the reduction of the mint from its present unprecedented effective condition to its former inefficiency.

The mint contractor would not willingly incur the smallest certain loss for any contingent profit.

Ordered that the Import Warehousekeeper be instructed to deliver to the order of the mint master, 100 maunds of copper in compliance with the preceding application.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/344/25. p. 2258

Letter from the assay master (Stuart) to Government, dated 4th May 1810

In obedience to your commands as communicated to me by Mr Secretary Goodwin’s letter under date the 26th ultimo, I have examined the copper fit for coinage in the Honble Company’s warehouse and find that the quantity does not exceed 375 Surat maunds, which is not more than is required at the mint of this Presidency. It will therefore be impossible to supply the demand at the Presidency of Fort William until the arrival of the expected ships from England.

Resolved that the subject of the preceding letter be communicated to the Bengal Government in reply to Mr secretary Tucker’s letter dated 30th March.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/344/26. p. 3311

Letter from the assay master (R Stewart) to Government, dated 18th April 1810

I have the honor to acknowledge Mr Secretary Goodwon’s letter under date the 26th February received the 15th ultimo, giving cover to a letter from the Collector of Kaira dated the 3rd February accompanied with three parcels of coins for assay, and directing me to report the same to your Honble Board and to submit such remarks as may occur to me on the subject of that letter.

The coins transmitted by Mr Rowles consist of 3 parcels containing five Rs each Viz: No. 2 denominated Maturer or Walkersoy rupees; No. 3 denominated Assasoy or Petland rupees.

On a careful assay of the above rupees there does not appear to be any material difference in their relative value, and on comparing that value with the assay of the new Baroda rupees transmitted to me by the acting resident, directly from the mint, agreeably to the orders of your Honble Board, being the coinage of the months of May and July of 1809, it will appear that the information of Mr Rowles respecting the intrinsic value of the new Baroda coinage is perfectly correct and that consequently there does not appear sufficient ground, as far as my information goes, to justify that Government in circulating it at the advanced premium of 3 per cent.

The following table exhibits the value of the different coins in question, computed from the weight and quantity of alloy contained in each. No 4 is the assay of new Baroda rupees transmitted to me by the acting resident for that purpose



Weight (grains)

Alloy (per cent)

No. 1 New Baroda Rupee



No 2 Walkersoy



No 3 Petlander



No 4 Baroda rupees sent for assay







From the foregoing table the greatest difference in the weight of these rupees does not excede half a grain which may arise from the length of  time the coin may have been in circulation, and the greatest difference in point of purity does not exceed ½ per cent and that is only one instance. The others may be considered for all the purposes of coins, to be exactly of the same value.

According to the reports transmitted to me monthly by the Acting Resident of Baroda, there does not appear to have been any coinage in that mint from 1st  May 1809, excepting the two months to which I have alluded Viz: May and July 1809.

The above remarks appear to answer generally, the different paragraphs of Mr Rowles letter. I have only to add further that I entirely agree in opinion with that gentleman, of substituting, for the numerous coins now in circulation throughout the Honble Company’s districts in Gujarat and whereever else it can be done, one uniform coin, and there can be no doubt the best will be the Surat or Bombay rupee which are exactly the same. This measure I had the honor on a former occasion, to bring to the notice of your Honble Board, & it is one which experience would seem to point out the necessity of adopting and to which in my opinion, recourse must be had at no very distant period, owing to the continual losses which the public as well as individuals are necessarily subjected to annually, were the circulating medium continued to have almost as many denominations as there are districts, establishing thereby an arbitrary and consequetly fraudulant, rate of exchange by which only a few shroffs can derive any advantage.

Minute by the Governor

I propose that copies of both the letters aforesaid to transmit to the acting resident at Baroda with instructions to report the sentiments of the Gaikwar administration on the suggestions therein contained, and upon their motives (which this Government cannot but consider at present as very questionable in point of justice and policy) for appearing to have thus given a ficticious value to their new coinage, such as it is supposed the acting resident was not privy to, or he would not have allowed it to take place without at least advising the Government thereof, on an occasion so interesting with regard to the Company’s revenue interests in the northern division of Guzarat.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/344/33. p. 7604

Minute of the Board, dated 30th November 1810

Ordered that the mint master to be called on to report what is the lowest silver and gold coin now stamped at the mint, and whether he be aware of any and what objection to even quarter and eights of silver rupees, or four and two anna pieces such as would probably prove very convenient in the local circulation.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/344/33. p. 7873

Letter from the mint master (Osborne) to Government, dated 30th November 1810

I have the honor to report in reply to your letter dated the 26th instant that the lowest gold coin stamped at the mint si the rupee and I am of opinion that it would not be advisable to stamp gold coins in sub divisions of a rupee because, as the work of the mint is executed by manual labour, we are precluded from enjoying the same advantages of extreme accuracy and nicety such as machinery alone can achieve.

The above objection, however, does not apply with equal force to the silver coinage and I am opinion that the silver rupee may be coined in sub divisions of halves and quarters without inconvenience.

Ordered Mr Osborne be informed that is was only meant that the gold called pancheas or third of gold mohur should be coined with another subdivision, fifths or 3 rupees, but the subdivisions or those proposed by Mr Osborne for the silver rupees need not be entered on till the grand object of coining 10 lacs of value in gold mohurs be effected.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/344/34. p. 8515

Letter from the assay master (R Stewart) to Government, dated 24th December 1810

I request that you will be pleased to inform the Honble the Governor in Council that the infirm state of my health at present renders me unfit to attend the daily proceedings of the committee appointed by Government to examine the treasure imported on his Majesty’s ship Caroline.

That if I enjoyed the most perfect health, my attendance there would preclude the possibility of my performing the duties of my office as assay master, which I consider as alone connecting me with that committee, and which I also consider as paramount to those of the committee itself.

By the orders of Government transmitted through you to the committee, I conceive that the primary object of Government is to put into circulation the treasure contained in that consignment, with the least possible delay. The procedings of the committee hitherto, have been directed towards that object, by first examining the gold bullion, and delivering it to the mint for coinage, in the presence of the mint undertakers, without further process than that of assay, which falls immediately on my department. That process from its nature required perhaps more time and attention than the Honble the Governor in Council may be aware of, and for which I consider myself alone responsible.

The daily coinage at the mint, at present, amounts to between fifty and sixty thousand rupees in gold, a sum which the Honble the Governor in Council would not hold me justifiable in passing into the treasury without assay; and while I am far from suspecting the integrity of the mint undertakers of any disposition towards fraud, yet the Board will easily perceive that the transmission of so large sums, unexamined, must facilitate such an attempt, were it ever in contemplation.

Under these circumstances I trust that the Honble the Governor in Council will see the propriety as well as the necessity of the representation which I now make, and in consequence be pleased to direct that my attendance at the committee be dispensed with further than it may be required in my capacity as assay master for ascertaining the weight and assay of bullion independently of the different coins, which compose that consigment, which can only be examined in tola.

If the Honble the Governor in Council should be pleased to acquiesce in this request, I hope to be able to perform all the duties of my office and at the same time keep the mint fully employed until the object of Government be attained so far as regards the present consigment.

This was referred to the treasury committee to see if there were any objections

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/344/34. p. 8542

Letter from the mint master (GC Osborne) to Government, dated 24th December 1810

The letter encloses a petition from the Purvoes (who appear to keep the accounts) and the sepoys of the mint asking for more money. The correspondence ends with a minute of the Board:

As the mint was only revived in 1800, ordered that the mint master be called upon to report whether or not these petitioners were kept on its establishment all the time that the business of the department had ceased.

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/344/36. p. 13

Letter from the mint master (GC Osborne) to Government, dated 28th December 1810

The orders of Government dated the 30th November required that the mint department should supply 6 lacs of rupees from the gold bullion imported by the Caroline on this day the 28th December.

This requisition on the mint was made under the idea that the bullion committee would begin their examination and delivery to the mint office from Monday 3rd December.

The Honble Board must be aware that an unexpected delay took place in the operations of the committee so that the mint could not begin its work until the 12th of this month. This delay will not however occasion any disappointment to the views of Government because, not only have the 6 lacs requested by Government been coined, but a surplus of two lacs of rupees.

I trust the efficiency of the mint will give considerable satisfaction to the Honble the Governor in Council.

It is certainly greater than could have been expected under the influence of the unforeseen delay of 10 days, and the little accommodation the ruinous state of the mint affords to the contractor’s department.

It is my duty to add that the contractor has on this occasion shewn a degree of zeal and activity which entitles him to the approbation of the Honble the Governor in Council.

The Board congratulated everyone involved and suggested that the mint contractor be given a shawl in recognition

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/344/36. p. 63

Letter from the assay master (R Stewart) to Government, dated 2nd January 1811

In obedience to the orders of the Honble Governor in Council transmitted by your letter of 28th instant, received late in the evening of 29th, directing me to proceed immediately to ascertain the value of the Arcot rupees received in the late consignment from Madras, compared to that of the Bombay rupees, I have honor to forward for the information of the Board, a statement of the relative value of these coins founded on a careful assay of them.

It is necessary to observe that the Arcot rupee contained in this assignment are composed of two distinct coins, differing from each other both in regard to weight and value, as will appear by the statement to which I allude.

By the term ‘New Arcot’ I mean to be understood the coin struck at Madras by means of European machinery, and by the ‘Old Arcot Rupees’  that which is formed according to the ordinary method of coinage practiced in the country…

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/344/36. p. 97

Letter from the assay master (R Stewart) to Government, dated 29th December 1810

In obedience to the orders of the Governor in Council, transmitted to me through Mr Secretary Farish by his circular letter, under date the 10th instant, calling upon me to deliver in upon honor a detailed statement of the payments by me to those employed under me for the months of October and November last, accompanied with a list and attested copy of  vouchers or receipts thereof, and with such remarks as I deem it necessary to accompany my report, I have the honor to state:

That to the office of assay master, the Honble the Governor General in Council has never to my knowledge offered any establishment of servants, assistants or any allowance for necessary attendance on it and that, of consequence, I cannot afford any detailed account of expenses that have been entirely defrayed by myself without having kept any memoranda.

That I conceive no gentleman of education or principle would have applied for any such allowances under the liberal salary of Rupees 1000 per month, which the Honble the Governor in Council had awarded to that office under my immediate predecessor, a person whom no one can name without the feeling of respect, due to honor and integrity and which, after minute investigation, was sanctioned with the full approbation of the Honble Court of Directors in as much as that after the Honble Court has by their own authority reduced the salary of Rupees 1000 per month first granted by the Honble the Governor in Council, to Rupees 500, they, upon the representations of that gentleman, sanctioned by the approbation of the Honble the Governor in Council, not only restored the original salary, but also the difference between it and the reduced salary during the intermediate period.

That the salary of Rupees 1000 per month annexed to the office of the assay master was on 1st January 1809, while I had acted without pay for Mr Scott, from the month of May 1808 till March 1809 reduced to rupees 500 per month.

That I have from motives of necessity caused by a greatly impaired state of health and for the support of my family after a period of 22 years service, continued to hold a situation of great honor, of great importance and of great responsibility, and at the present time of great labour, without an adequate salary.

I have taken the opportunity which Mr Secretary Farish’s letter seems to afford me, of stating these few facts for the information of the Honble the Governor in Council and also for that of the Honble the Court of Directors in preference to sending to the latter a formal memorial, trusting that this letter will be forwarded to them, as such, by the Honble the Governor in Council, on the Exeter, but if not that I may have due notice to enable me to comply with the orders of Government as advertised in the Bombay Courier of the 22nd instant.

…Resolved that the preceding address be sent home…

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/344/36. p. 134

Letter from the mint master (GC Osborne) to Government, dated 9th January 1811

I shall present to the mint contractor in the name of Government the shawl which the Honble the Governor General in Council has been so gracious as to authorize me to give him in testimony of the Honble Board’s satisfaction at the activity displayed in the late operations of the mint.

I beg leave on this occasion to state that the manager of the mint, named Cooshall, is entitled to great credit in removing all difficulties which a person less zealously disposed to meet the wishes of Government might have reasonably raised to the recent rapid coinage.

I respectfully request therefore that I may be allowed to present Cooshall with a similar mark of the Honble Board’s high approbation.

Anticipating the liberal compliance of the Honble the Governor in Council, in this humble request, I hand up the enclosed bill.

This was agreed

Bombay Public Consultations. IOR P/344/36. p. 430

Letter from the mint master (GC Osborne) to Government, dated 31st December 1810

I have the honor to acknowledge your letter dated 18th instant, calling on me to state for the information of the Honble the Governor in Council whether the native establishment attached to the mint office drew their allowance while the business of the mint ceased, I have the honor to report that on a retrospect of the last thirty years, the Bombay mint does not appear to have ever ceased working altogether except during the short period of one year (the official year 1794/5) and that the native establishment were not then deprived of their stipends.

Previously to the year 1800 the mint was in a very inefficient state and the coinage was small compared to what it has since been.

I do not find that any increase of salary has ever been granted to the petitioners, although the business has increased so considerably since 1800.

As the petitioners, notwithstanding age and infirmity, are active and attentive to their duty and [app…ly], I hope the Honble the Governor in Council will extend his bounty to them.

For the further satisfaction of the Honble the Governor in Council I annex a statement exhibiting the annual extent of the operations of the mint for the last 30 years, viz 1780/1 to 1809/10.


Statement exhibiting the annual operations of the mint for the last 30 years, Viz from 1780/1 to 1809/10






1st May 1780/1