In transcribing the following paragraphs from the Internet Archive online version of The Imperial Gazetteer’s entry on Calcutta (modern Kolkata), I have expanded the abbreviations for easier reading and added paragraphing. The title-page bears the date 1856, but internal evidence in various entrees makes clear that the text dates from 1851. This discussion of British India has particular importance because it immediately precedes the 1857 Mutiny.— George P. Landow]

The population of Calcutta, according to the census of 1837, amounts to 229,714; but the apparent popula tion seems much greater, from the crowds of people which pour into the city from the suburbs, during the day, to earn a livelihood, and which, according to the same census, amount to the additional number of 177,000. The inhabitants of Calcutta may, for judicial purposes, be divided and classed into

1. British-born subjects and their legitimate descendants, about 3138 in number. [emphasis added]

2. Hindoos or Gentoos, of Bengal and of the Upper Provinces of Hindoostan, in number about 137,651.

3. Mussulmans or Mahometans, of Bengal and of the Upper Provinces of Hindoostan, in number about 58,744.

4. Other natives of Asia, neither Hindoos, Mahometans, nor Christians such as Parsees, Chinese, Aracanese, Jews, Arabs, and Moguls.

5. Portuguese, Armenian, French, and other Christians of native or foreign extraction.

6. Together with half-castes, or illegitimate children of British subjects by native mothers, and their offspring, numbering about 4746. [emphasis added]

English Society

Society is excellent, being composed of members of council, judges, and heads of departments, and members of offices and boards, employed in the administra tion of the affairs of the Company, civil, and military, and of other officers and servants of the East India Company of both services, and the bishop and clergy; then the judges of the supreme court, the barristers, attorneys, and merchants, who are all independent of the Company.


Blackie, Walker Graham. The Imperial Gazetteer: A General Dictionary of Geography, Physical, Political, Statistical and Descriptive. 4 vols. London: Blackie & Son, 1856. Internet Archive online version of a copy in the University of California Library. Web. 7 November 2018.

Last modified 20 November 2018