Extracts from India Office Library



Start at E/4 for correspondence between London & Bombay (Open Access Indexes)


Ramset Gumbaset

Luckmonsett Daramset

Ransor Lucmonset


Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/996 (1753-1761) p. 237-239

Dispatch dated 11th February 1756

It was high time to have done with your undertakers for the mint as from yours and Mr Spencer’s representations it appears we might have been great sufferers not only by the great balance due from them under the denomination of sweeps but by their debasement of the coin which must in consequence have been a prejudice to our revenue and the trade of the Island in general. We hope you have taken care to recover the before-mentioned balance which we find amounted to upwards of Rs 100,000 and we expect you will carefully look after the new undertakers in such a manner that the reputation of the mint may be kept up entirely to our satisfaction as likewise to that of the proprietors of silver on a private account.

We now transmit you for your information our accountant’s remarks on the several musters of rupees received from you the last season, every parcel of which you will observe falls considerably short of the standard fineness. Whether any of them were coined by the new contractors we are not informed. If they were they ought to be most strictly looked after to prevent all future attempts for debasing the coinage.

Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/996 (1753-1761) p. 654-655

Dispatch dated 5th July 1758

The late mint undertakers were dismissed in 1753 and the reasons you assigned were that the silver was debased and large sums continued in the sweeps. Upon a retrospection we do not see the present managers or rather manager, have done much better. The silver by our several lower reports is still short of fineness, and as large, or larger, sums of money continued in the sweeps. Yu joined we observe one of the late managers as an unexceptionable person with those new contractors, but centered the sole power with Ramsett. We do not see the equity or utility of this measure, for surely a person bound to us in so large a trust, ought, for his own sake and ours to have the power of aiding and controlling, nor can we approve that so important a branch should at any time be under the sole direction of one person were he less exceptionable than the present. We do therefore direct that you do so far vary this contract as to fix Ransor Lucmonset in an equal share in the management and advatages and, as his family in conjunction with Pudumset’s, have held the mint for near fifty years, it is but reasonable his name should stand first in the contract. Should any demur arise on the part of Ramset Gumbazet to so reasonable a regulation (which we do not apprehend) and he should decline this business, you are in his stead to join with Ransor Lucmonset one or two capable and unexceptionable persons upon the like terms and conditions as the mint is now held and we are under no apprehensions that you’ll be at any loss because this business is too advantageous & creditable to want many competitors, and we expect you’ll have a watchful eye upon the conduct of those who either undertake or continue the management.

The sons of Savajee Daramset merit our compassion. Their father did us signal service in raising our several revenues, particularly those of tobacco and arrack, and in many other respects a useful subject. We do not condemn your dismissing them from the mint, we are satisfied you acted upon very just motives and perhaps their youth and inexperience might have led them into errors, but as their characters are unexceptionable and the distress of this once opulent family call upon us for relief, if you can consistently restore them, they giving sufficient security for their conduct as well as their trust (which we are told they will be able to do)it will receive our approbation, and we accordingly recommend the same to you for your consideration.

Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/996 (1753-1761) p. 902-903

Dispatch dated 25th April 1760

In 1758 we recommended to your notice the families of Lucmonset and Savajee Daramset who were dismissed from the mint in 1753 and we did this from motives of humanity and good policy as their parents had been very useful subjects. In answer to this we notice that you had readmitted Lucmonset but continue to exclude the sons of Savajee. The chief charge against Savajee and Lucmonset in depriving them of the mint  was their keeping large balances in their hands, but as the admission of Ramset Gumbaset has rather increased the evil and as Ramset bears a very different character and can have no pretensions to our favour, we order that upon receipt of this letter he be entirely removed and that the mint be given wholly to Lucmonset and Savajee’s sons, each a moiety upon the terms and conditions it’s now held, Lucmonset to be first named and as Vetuldas Kessewdass has offered himself for their security, we deem it sufficient.

Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/997 (1761-1767) p. 1074

Dispatch dated 4th April 1767

The Nabob’s debasing the Surat rupees in their mint without consulting our servants was a very wrong step and we are pleased to see you obliged him to alter them to the former standard for, was he permitted to continue such measures, he might very soon enrich himself but it must be highly destructive to our affairs as well as to all the inhabitants of the place and to trade in general. In future if naything of this kind ahould happen he must be told that our orders are positive: that he should do no acts that are prejudicial to trade or the interests of the subjects. In any case whatever, this must appear so very reasonable to him considering our situation in that place that we make no doubt of his compliance.

Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/998 (1768-1771) p. 99

Dispatch dated 25th March 1768

In our letter of last season we gave some orders with regard to the management of the mint at Surat to which we expect due attention should be paid as we esteem this very essential for our interest and the trade of Bombay in particular.

Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/998 (1768-1771) p. 400-401

Dispatch dated 31st March 1769

Your giving the mint contract at the Presidency to Bucon Surdass who made the highest offer and after the present contractors had refused to accept it on his terms, is, for the reasons given in the 76 and 77 paragraphs of your letter of the 23rd December 1767, approved and we are pleased to find the coinage duty has increased this year but we expect you will keep a watchful eye on the contractor that he keeps up the credit of the mint and gives sufficient security for all the bullion he is entrusted with.

Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/998 (1768-1771) p. 743

Dispatch dated 6th April 1770

As the sons of Savajee and Lucmonsett declined contracting for the management of the mint, and as better terms could not be procured than those offered by Bhocandass Sordass, who had been a sufferer by his former contract, we approve you continuing the mint in his hands for the time stipulated, and the terms on which you have settled the contract with him and Rama Sinay Lollecur who, as you inform us, is a man of substance and security for performance of such contract.

Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/998 (1768-1771) p. 1059

Dispatch dated 25th April 1771

The resolution you have taken to make the standard of Surat rupees the same as the standard of those coined at Bombay appears to us a very propoer measure and may tend to put a stop to the currency of Broach rupees, the continuance of which will be highly prejudicial to the interest of the Company as well as that of private merchants and we hope your next advices will inform us that the state of your cash has enabled you to carry that measure into execution.

Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/998 (1768-1771) p. 1169-1170

Dispatch dated 12th June 1771

The innovations you have made in the coinage of Surat & the duty to be levied thereon are of a nature too complicated to admit of our giving any precise orders thereon. By the present dispatch we must however here observe that the [discouragem] which you appear to have thrown in the way of our servants at Surat by the various regulations you have directed them to pursue in the business of their mint, have too obvious a tendency to the benefit of that of Bombay to give us any assurance that you have been wholly guided therein by the general good of the Company. It is therefore our pleasure that you no longer interfere in the coinage of Surat otherwise than by advice or such intimations as may conduce to the mutual interests of both settlements, and we, in an especial manner, direct that our President do in no wise attempt to regulate the business of Surat mint as the interests he may have in the effects of it reders it highly improper for his having any part therein, & therefore we enjoin you to revert to the old practice & leave our servants at Surat responsible to you for their conduct in respect to the coinage at that settlement.

Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/999 (1771-1778) p. 281-282 (in red ink)

Dispatch dated 1st April 1772

It is not without surprize we find that after the prohibition of Broach rupees has so repeatedly been declared to have taken its rise from their being of a quality so base and so much adulterated that to receive them into the treasury at Surat would occasion great loss to the Company, we should now be informed that they prove by assay finer than Surat rupees. It is not less astonishing that the quantity of Surat rupees should have exceedingly diminished by export whilst they were inferior in fineness to others imported under great disadvantages These are circumstances not accounted for in your consultations. We hope the late regulations proposed ans acquiesced in by the Nabob will have the desired effect but under such difficulties as appear likely to occur, we cannot altogether decide on the propriety of the measure until its utility shall have been evidenced by effects.

Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/999 (1771-1778) p. 819-822 (in red ink)

Dispatch dated 12th April 1775

The detriment which Surat must have suffered by the business of the mint having been impeded for so long a time and by the continued alarm respecting the Broach coin, which formed the chief currency of the city, and also by the peculiar hardship[s laid upon the Gulf traders thereby, is so evident as to render it a matter of the greatest surprize how it could escape your observation. Your conduct in this affair has been very contradictory for we find that at the time you took it up, your professed intention was to settle the standard of the Surat rupee (which you represented as having been debased) at its proper original fineness but after near four years spent in adjusting the point, it was at last so ordered that the standard was further debased than that which you had complained of. The charges for the coinage were likewise increased and the bullion of course produced fewer rupees to its owner than before you interfered in the matter. If no alteration has been made in consequence of our disapprobation of your conduct, signified in our letter of 12th June 1771, it is now our positive injunction that you immediately establish the former standard and charges of the Surat mint which were customary in the year 1767 before you interfered in the business, as we can view the alterations made in no other light than as calculated for the advantage of private persons.

Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/1000 (1778-1780)

Nothing significant found

Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/1001 (1780-1782), p. 895

Nothing Significant found

Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/1002 (1783-1785), p. 895

Dispatch dated 11th April 1785

…and whatever may arise in future from the mint and [consignage?] is to be carried to the Company… [ie instead of to the Governor]

Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/1003 (1786)

Nothing of interest found

Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/1004 (1786-1786), p. 15

Dispatch dated 8th November 1786

We direct that there be transmitted to us (in triplicate at the least) specimens of every species of silver and copper coinage current upon the Malabar Coast with a concise history of each, particularly specifying where coined by whom, the weight, fineness, real & nominal value, what quantities are supposed to be coined annually and as far as you may be able to ascertain, what quantities of each are supposed to be in circulation with how far such quantities are proportioned to the general wants.

Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/1004 (1786-1786), p. 277

Dispatch dated 31st July 1787

We transmit you by this dispatch a small box containing some copper money which has been coined for the use of our settlement of Fort Marlbo’. A description of their weights and value as proportioned to a Dollar is also transmitted under No… in the packet. Eighteen tons thereof will be transmitted them as a supply for 1786 and a further 30 tons is intended them for 1787.

As we are desirous of extending the export of copper coin from this country, we renew our directions of the 30 November last, para 15, that you send us specimens of every species of copper money current on the Coast adding thereto your opinion how far it may be expedient to send you over a quantity and to what extent. Particular care will be taken here in execution of them and we conceive it may prove equally beneficial to us and useful to you to be furnished with regular supplies. Drawings for the reverse sides of the coins, a description of their proper weights calculated in avoirdupois grains, as also the number of each sized piece that will be given in exchange for rupees or pagodas, describing of what specie must accompany your information.

Of the specimens now sent, the small size weighing 50 grains avoirdupois are rated to pass at 400 to the dollar, the middle size of 100 grains at 200 ditto and the large size of 150 grains at 133 ditto, which will serve for your guidance in calculating the proportions the coin shall bear to the rupee or pagoda, which we would have ascertained as near as possible by the same ratio.

Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/1005 (1788-1789)

Nothing of interest found

Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/1006 (1789-90), p. 187

Dispatch dated 21st April 1790

We have permitted Mr Francis Wm Pemberton to take with him to Bombay the value of £10,000 in Dollars or Portugal gold coins. The silver to be consigned to you and to be coined into rupees.

Mr James Morley has also permission to take with him to your Presidency the value of £26,000 in Spanish Dollars on the same terms and conditions.

Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/1006 (1789-90), p. 265

Dispatch dated 21st April 1790

We have permitted Mr Goerge [Loribind] to remit to Mr James Stevens at Bombay, Dollars to the amount of about £600 on the terms and conditions mentioned in the 2nd paragraph of this letter.

Messrs Alburn & Carstairs have likewise our permission to remit to Bombay the amount of £4000 in New Mexico Dollars on the same terms.

Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/1006 (1789-90), p. 288-289

Dispatch dated 21st April 1790

Having perused the proceedings referred to in these paras, relative to the debased coinage of the Surat mint, we very much approve your endeavours to regulate the same, trusting that your next advices will acquaint us with their having proved effectual.

Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/1006 (1789-90), p. 393-394

Dispatch dated 21st April 1790

We can by no means think of superseding the copper coinage current upon your coast by subjecting ourselves to the heavy loss that would attend the calling in that at present in circulation, as stated in these paragraphs, but as we have it much at heart to effect an improvement of this article, & are of opinion it may be effected gradually without any loss whatever, we propose by the ships of the next season to consign you a few tons by way of a trial & shall also hereafter keep you from time to time supplied therewith in about the same proportions that you shall conceive the old coinage may annually diminish. You will therefore after receipt of these advices desist from any further coinage of copper whatever & keep us regularly informed of the progress and success of the present undertaking.

Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/1007 (1790-91), p. 516-517

Dispatch dated 4th May 1791

The information in this para that the Chief of Surat has been successful in engaging the Nabob to restore the currency of the mint to its established fineness is pleasing to us and we rely on your promised endeavours for effectually checking any attempt to debase it in future.

Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/1007 (1790-91), p. 549-551

Dispatch dated 3rd May 1791

In the advices of the last season the Governor and Council were informed of the Court’s intention in regard to the establishment of a new copper coinage for the use of Bombay and its subordinate settlements. I have now the Court’s orders to desire you will communicate to the Governor and Council that instead of accomplishing the measure in the gradual manner therein pointed out, it has been resolved at once to abolish the old circulation & replace it by new issues. In pursuance of this determination, the Court gave directions for striking a quantity of copper to the extent of 100 tons which is equal to what you represent to be at present in use, & they were in hopes of being able to consign the whole by the last ship of this season, but having experienced a disappointment in this particular, not more than about 35 tons being yet executed, that quantity only is now forwarded upon the Essex, & the remainder will follow by the first ships of the succeeding season. In carrying this measure into effect, the Court have adopted the inscriptional devices recommended by the Bombay Provisional Mint Master but have made a material alteration in the proportions of the weight, as one of the [guiding] principles that weighed with the Court in adopting the measure was to give the public a coin not only surpassing the old in elegance of workmanship, but also in intrinsic value, whereby they are better secured from impositions in respect to its being counterfeited.

With the subsequent consignments, the Governor and Council will receive the needful instructions respecting the points to be attended to in calling in the old circulation & issuing the new, & until these shall be received, the Court direct that the parcels now sent may on their landing be housed and carefully secured ‘till the period of their issue.

Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/1008 (1791-93), p. 41

Dispatch dated 26th December 1791

Enclosed you will receive copy of several paragraphs respecting the copper coinage for the use of Bombay and its subordinates and I am directed to acquaint you that they will form a part of the next dispatch to your Presidency.

Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/1008 (1791-93), p. 59

Dispatch dated 8th February 1792

By the ship Essex of the last season we forwarded you 34 tons 15 cwt? 2lb Of copper coinage, part of the quantity of 100 tons intended for the use of Bombay and its subordinates which we hope has come duly to hand. The ships Rockingham and Sulivan now under dispatch will convey the remaining quantity.

Agreeable to the intimation conveyed in our secretary’s letter of the 3rd May last we now proceed to communicate our instructions in respect to their disposition:


Table as in chapter on soho


As counterfeiting the circulating specie is an evil found to exist in most countries where the coin passes at a rate far exceeding its intrinsic value (all charges of workmanship included) we have for the purpose of checking a fraud of this nature resolved that the large pieces weighing 200 grains each shall be issued to exchange at the rate of 50 to a rupee. The second size weighing 150 grains at 662/3 to a rupee. The third size weighing 100 grains each at 100 to a rupee. The smallest size weighing 50 grains at 200 to a rupee.

At these rates of currency the public will receive for each rupee a quantity of pure copper equal in weight to 10,000 avoirdupois grains. By the coin now in circulation they receive only 7,314. The difference in this respect alone is nearly 50 per cent in their favour which, combined with the elegance of their appearance will we conceive not only secure them an early circulation in the Company’s districts but be the means also of their finding their way into the more interior parts of the country.

Upon the next of these advices, we direct that you forthwith issue a proclamation at the Presidency and the various subordinates signifying that all persons in possession of copper pice of the Company’s former issues on or before the (naming such period as shall allow reasonable time both for the Presidency and subordinates) bring them in to the Company’s Treasury or such other place as may be convenient for the purpose of receiving in lieu thereof an equivalent in the coinage now sent. Notice must also be given that from and after such date the old pice will be considered as no longer current. In the execution of this order you must be attentive to being imposed upon in the receipt of any other pice than those actually issued from the Company’s mint. We apprehend if there are any counterfeits in circulation they may be easily distinguished from the true ones. As the measures pursued by former Government on a similar occasion (vide cons…) appear to be well calculated to secure our interests in this respect we refer you thereto, and direct that they be adopted in the present instance with any others that your experience and local knowledge may suggest necessary on the occasion.

Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/1009 (1793-94), p. 53

Dispatch dated 19th February 1794

We approve the several measures you have taken for issuing the copper coinage and have given the needful directions for putting in hand the additional quantity you have indented for. Attention will also be paid to your observation respecting the different sizes and you will in all probability receive the whole quantity bu some of the later ships of the season.

We shall also communicate to the person employed in manufacture your remarks in respect to the difference in outturn by weight and tale and desire that the like if possible may be avoided in any future consignment.

Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/1010 (1795-96)

Nothing of great interest

Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/1011 (1796)

Nothing of interest found

Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/1012 (1797), p. 213

Nothing of interest

Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/1013 (1798), p. 194

Dispatch dated 23rd May 1798

For Fort Marlborough – Copper Coin 15 tons

Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/1014 (1798-99), p. 895

Nothing of interest found

Dispatches to Bombay. E/4/1015 (1799-1800), p. 736-738

Dispatch dated 28th August 1800

Altho’ we feel at all times a satisfaction in being able to extend the reports of the commodities of this country, particularly those in a manufactured state, yet the price of copper at this juncture is most unprecedentedly high. We deem it proper to suspend the execution of this indent for the present. When we furnished you with the first supply of coin in 1791, copper was £88 per ton, which with workmanship and charges brought the coin to about £134 per ton. The present price of raw copper is £138, which would bring the coin to £184 per ton, exclusive of any charges for freight, interest and insurance and […] risk. At this rate we should experience a considerable loss by the circulation unless we were to reduce the weight of the coin in proportion to the advance in copper. Should the price of copper hereafter get down so as that we may be barely reimbursed our expenses, we shall then advert to your indent, and comply therewith, as we are not by any menas solicitous of advantage in an article so essential to the convenience and happiness of the lower order of the natives.

Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/1018 (1802-1803), pp.307-308

Dispatch dated 4th February 1803

We approve of your having submitted to the Governor General in Council Dr Scott’s narrative and other papers referred to in these paragraphs relative to the coinage. The state of the coinage at our several settlements is at present under our consideration.


Dispatches to Bombay. IOR E/4/1021, pp. 212-300

Dispatch dated 2nd May 1806

This is the Directors letter to all Presidencies stating their intention to move to a single currency for all their Indian possessions.



XXVIII pp. 258-259



XXXV pp. 185-194



L p. 51-54

L p. 271-272



LIII pp. 60-61



LV pp. 733-739



LVI pp. 623-628



LVIII pp. 1169-1170

pp. 1319-1321



LX pp.248-268

p. 757

pp. 1349-1350



LXVI pp. 126




Index of Court Minutes

1803/04 Copper supplied by Mr Boulton p287