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]

Church Establishment

Bombay is the see of a bishop, subordinate to the Bishop of Bombay; and has also a recognized branch of the Church of Scotland, which annually receives a grant of £1994; and a grant of £826 is also made to the Roman Catholics, who are more numerous in this, than in either of the other presidencies. The most numerous body of Christians here are Nestorians.

There are now several Protestant churches in Bombay: four of the Church of England, one being a cathedral, a handsome building; one Established Church of Scotland, and one Free Church of Scotland, a graceful structure, with an elegant spire, lately erected, and one American Presbyterian. There are also a great many Portuguese and Armenian churches in the city, several synagogues, for both white and black Jews, and a great number of Mahometan mosques and Hindoo temples. Bombay is the seat of a Protestant bishop, of English and American missions, and of missions from the Established and Free Church of Scotland. There is also a large Roman Catholic population in the city, whose religious establishments enjoy the support of the East India Company.


The Government educational institutions in Bombay are under the management of a board of education. This board consists of a president, five members, and a secretary; three of the members are Europeans, one a Parsee, one a Hindoo, and another a Mahometan. A maximum sum of £12,500 is fixed for educational purposes, under the Bombay presidency; and the board control a sum of £2000, constituting the Sanscrit College Fund. The provincial English schools are at Poonah, Tannah, and Surat; at which the scholars, in 1842, amounted to 174. Of the district vernacular schools in 1842, there were 120, with an attendance of 7750 scholars. There are, besides, a number of village schools.

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 26 December 2018