The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from Wenceslaus Hollar’s maps:

Open location in Google Maps: 18.979026, 72.861328

1893 text

Bombay, which was transferred to the East India Company in 1669. The seat of the Western Presidency of India was removed from Surat to Bombay in 1685-87.

This text comes from a footnote on a diary entry in the 1893 edition edited by Henry B. Wheatley.

2 Annotations

First Reading

TerryF  •  Link


"The appellation Mumbai is an eponym, etymologically derived from Mumba or Maha-Amba— the name of the Hindu goddess Mumbadevi, and Aai — mother in Marathi. In the 16th century, the Portuguese named the area...Bomaím or Bombaim. After the British gained possession, it was anglicised to Bombay, although it was known as Mumbai or Mambai to Marathi and Gujarati-speakers, and as Bambai in Hindi, Urdu, and Persian. The name was officially changed to Mumbai in 1995.[...] In 1534, the Portuguese appropriated the islands from Bahadur Shah of Gujarat....They were ceded to Charles II of England in 1661, as dowry for Catherine de Braganza. The cost of maintaining the islands was prohibative so they were, in turn, leased to the British East India Company in 1668 for a sum of £10 per annum. The actual transfer was by letters patent which, presumably for bureaucratic convenience, described Bombay as being ‘in the manor of East Greenwich in the County of Kent’. The company found the deep harbour on the east coast of the islands to be ideal for setting up their first port in the sub-continent. The population quickly rose from 10,000 in 1661, to 60,000 in 1675; In 1687, the British East India Company transferred its headquarters from Surat to Bombay. The city eventually became the headquarters of the Bombay Presidency."…

Pedro  •  Link

King Charles II on receiving Bombay from the Portugese as part of his wife's dowry.

"Our main design in putting our self to this great charge for making this addition to our dominions being to gain our subjects more free and better trade in the East Indies and to enlarge our dominions in those parts and to advance thereby the honour of Our Crown and the general commerce and wealth of our subjects, you are with all convenient speed and advice to make use of the best ways and means for encouragement and invitation to our subjects and strangers to resort and trade there; and you are especially to give all manner of encouragement, help and assistance to the subjects of the King of Portugal in the East Indies, to protect them, as much as in you lyeth, in their trade and navigation there.

You are also to keep a very good correspondence with the Vice-King of Goa and all other Portugal governors, and likewise with the natives of the country, and to do all you can to settle a trade among them. You are to give such encouragement as securely as you may to such natives and others as shall submit to live peaceably under Our obedience."

(Radio 4 History Sceptered Isle Empire)

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.


  • Sep