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

The government of the presidency is vested in a governor, subject to the authority of the Governor-general of India, but independent of all other local control. He is assisted by three councillors, with several secretaries, and various officers of state. The law department is presided over by a chief, and one puisne judge. Civil justice is administered almost exclusively by native judges, and with remarkable efficiency.

In 1844, the number of cases decided by them was 74,067; and of these, 3571 were appealed, or 4-82 per cent; and of this number, 936 were reversed, or 1-26 per cent; that is, not more than 1-25 cases were reversed in 100 tried, affording strong testimony to the carefulness of the decisions by the native judges. There are at Bombay, as at Bombay, courts of requests for the recovery of small debts; the recorders of which are Europeans. The public revenue for 1846 was £2,647,171. Expenditure, £2,741,231. The expense of maintaining the military force in the presidency, in the same year, amounted to £1,704,852.

Sources of this entry in The Imperial Gazetteer

Hamilton’s East India Gazetter; Von Orlich’s Travels in India; Porter’s Progress of the Nation; McCulloch’s Account of the British Empire; British Colonial Library; Historical and Descriptive Account of British India; Horsburgh’s East India Directory; The Oriental Interpreter; Private Information, Sic.)


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 22 November 2018