Also see a later version: R. Kochhar (2005) Shipbuilding in India: Wadia shipbuilders. In: Encyclopedia of the History of Non-Western science (Ed.: H. Selin) Springer. http://oesys.spriger.de/hnws
Current Science, 66, 965-969, 1994
Shipbuilding at Bombay
The arrival of the Portuguese by sea in 1498 introduced navy as a new parameter in the Indian
geopolitical equations, placing the Indian rulers at a disadvantage for all times to come. The
Portuguese and the Dutch success in East Indies as brought home by the capture of their ships
brought the British to the Indian shores in 1608. The trade was extremely lucrative despite the
risks. During the third voyage cloves were purchased at Moluccas for £2948, which on return to
England fetched £36,287. The first 11 years of trading with East Indies (including India) ‘gave
clear profits, seldom below one hundred, and often more than two hundred, per cent, on the
capital invested on the voyage1. The Portuguese violently opposed the British presence in what
they considered to be their own zone of influence. The British decided to meet force with force
and inflicted a crushing defeat on the Portuguese on sea in 1612. The chain of events that
culminated in the 1757 battle of P1assey in Bengal had its beginning in this sea skirmish. The
naval prowess and the religious neutrality of the British greatly impressed the Mughal emperors
who though powerful on land like the elephant were helpless on sea which was infested with
European crocodiles. The British were asked to contain the fanatically anti-Muslim Portuguese,
who were particularly severe on the Haj pilgrims. In return the English merchants received
attractive business concessions. (Another factor in favour of the British was the expertise of its
ships’ doctors, which was made available to the Mughal umra, that is nobility.)2
To protect its trade from the Portuguese and the pirates, the English merchants at Surat locally
established, in 1613, east India company’s marine. The small naval service consisted of coastal
boats, known as grabs and gallivats, on which were mounted two to six guns and which were
manned by volunteers from the company’s ships who fought as well as traded. This service
developed first into Bombay marine and finally into Indian navy3 (see Table I). Generally
speaking, marine was meant to protect the coastal area, whereas the navy could cast its net wider.
It is said that at one time when Lord Nelson, ‘the future victor of Nile and Trafalgar was in
embarrassed circumstances, he was a candidate for the appointment of the superintendent of the
The seaport of Surat was located some 12 miles to the west at a village called Swally. The
British repaired their old ships here and in course of time started building new ones. Surat had a
long tradition of shipbuilding and even the Mughal emperors got their ships built here. (Figure I
shows a traditional boat that was used on the eastern waters.) Once the British shifted from Surat
to Bombay, shipbuilding activity was also transferred. The first Europeans to touch Bombay
were the Portuguese who arrived at Mahim in 1509 and took over the island in 1534. In 1538 (or
1541) Bombay was rented in perpetuity to Garcia d’Orta, a physician and professor of Lisbon
(and said to be a converted Jew). He paid a yearly quit rent of about £85. In 1563 he wrote a
book ‘Dialogues on simples and drugs’ where he mentions the island under the names of
Bombaim and Mombaim. D’Orta lived in India from 1534 to 1572 (ref. 5).
While Portugal and Britain were engaged in bitter rivalry in India, they entered into a royal
marriage contract which had far reaching consequences6. The English king Charles II married
princess Infanta Catherine of the House of Braganza of Portugal. According to the 11th article of
the treaty of marriage,
Table 1. The evolution of Indian navy 1612-1950
1613-1686 East India company’s marine
1686-1830 Bombay marine
1830-1863 Her majesty’s Indian navy
1863-1877 Bombay marine
1877-1892 Her majesty’s Indian marine
1892-1950 Royal Indian navy
1950- Indian navy
dated 23 June 1661, her dowry included ‘the Port and Island of Bombay in the East Indies,
together with all the rights, profits, territories, and appurtenances thereof whatsoever’. The small
island, some eight miles long and three miles wide, no doubt mattered little to the king of
Portugal. But it enclosed a land- locked bay and its natural harbour could shelter a large fleet.
When the news reached India, the Portuguese circles in India were dismayed and immediately
pointed out the disadvantages of making such a gift. An attempt was made to purchase the island
back from England, but Charles II wanted such 1arge sums ‘that they reach to millions’. The
island of Bombay was finally transferred to England on 8 February 1665, without any trace of
grace or pleasantness that one normally associates with a bride’s dowry. The king’s governor of
Figure 1. ‘Decca Pulwar’, of 17 ton burden, used on the eastern branches and upper channels
of the deltas of Ganga and Brahmaputra. The bottom of the boat resembles the immersed
portion of the nautilus shell. ‘These are well-built boats of hard wood, and use square sails.’
(Henderson A., British Association for the Advancement of Science Report for 1858, p. 272.)
Bombay soon discovered that the island cost more to govern than it yielded as revenue. By a
charter dated 23 March 1668, Charles II granted the port and island of Bombay to the East India
Company ‘to be held to the said Company… in perpetuity and in free and common soccage at a
fee farm rent of £10 payable on the 30th of September yearly at the Custom-house’. The island of
Bombay was formally handed over to the east India company on 23 September 1668,
While opposing the inclusion of Bombay in the dowry, the Portuguese viceroy of Goa [Antonio
de Mellow de Castro] had written7, ‘I foresee that India will be lost the same day on which the
English Nation is settled in Bombay.’ These words were prophetic indeed. The British shifted
their capital from Surat to Bombay in 1686. The little island became the naval fortress from
where Britain went ahead to build a vast overseas colonial empire.
Bombay had taken to shipbuilding in the Portuguese time itself. In 1625 when the English and
the Dutch jointly raided Bombay they found two boats under construction which they promptly
put to flames. As soon as Bombay passed into the British hands, repairs and shipbuilding were
started under the new auspices. The British repaired their merchant ships. In addition they built
new ones to deal with the menace of piracy from Indian and foreign adventures as well as to
meet the threat from their European competitors. There were problems, though. The Portuguese
obstructed the supply of timber, and the Mughal authorities did not permit good carpenters to
leave Surat. Most of the carpenters at Surat were Parsis. A letter from Bombay to Surat dated 10
January 1736 states that ‘We have intention to build a new grab but we are in want of a good
carpenter. We are told that there is one in Surat named Lowjee. If he will come hither he shall
have all fitting encouragement’. Lowjee Nusserwanjee [Wadia] arrived in Bombay from Surat in
March 1736, accompanied by ten other carpenters. The salary demanded by them was pretty
high, but the Bombay government hoped that ‘they would deserve it by their performance’. (The
hope was certainly fulfilled. Lowjee was designated master builder in 1740. The post remained
with his descendants till 1884 when the dockyard was transferred from the Bombay government
to the Indian governments. Figure 2 shows Lowjee or Lowji’s son and successor Maneckji Lowji.
The surname Wadia was not appended in official correspondence.)
This was the time when the British were engaged in a bitter fight against the piracy of the
Angrias, which lasted more than 40 years from about 1707 to 1751. Connajee or Kanhojee
[Kanha-ji] Angria was a common seaman in Shivaji’s fleet, but rose to command a fleet of his
own. ‘Animated by a lust for plunder, there now flocked to his standard numerous adventurers,
including renegade Christians, mostly Dutch and Portuguese, Arabs, Mussulmen and Negroes, a
most daring and desperate band9. (Note the selective use of the adjective renegade.) Kanha-jee:
Angria died in about 1731 and was succeeded by his son Sambhajee. He was finally defeated by
the British in 1751. During the period Bombay built a number of coastal boats apart from
repairing merchant ships. In 1745 two boats were made for the viceroy of Goa for use against his
enemies. This was done as the ‘same will be the means of keeping a number of workmen upon
the Island and be otherwise beneficial’. In addition to meeting its own requirements on the west
coast, Bombay also built ships for Calcutta and Madras. Construction of a dry dock was taken up
in 1749. This first dry dock to be built in India is still in use, now known as the upper old
Bombay dock. Others were built in the following years.
In the first phase of shipbuilding the emphasis had been on repairs and construction of coastal
boats for protection. The things however soon changed. Increasing prosperity of the east India
company meant building of bigger and larger number of ships in England. This and the marine
rivalry in Europe resulted in large scale felling of oak trees in Britain. Accordingly in 1772 the
company was prohibited from building any large ships. They were asked instead to either build
their vessels in India or colonies or to charter vessels built there. Preservation of British oak
forests was one reason. Superiority of teak over oak was another. Oak contains lignic acid ‘which
corrodes and consumes the very metal (iron) which is employed to unite and secure it in the
various forms into which it is converted for the purposes of naval architecture’. In contrast teak
‘abounds with oleaginous particles, the best and certain defence of iron from corrosion by the
action of the acid’. In addition ‘teak was not disposed to splinter to the same extent as oak’ and
thus ‘the effect of shot upon teak is far less dangerous than upon oak10.
The shipbuilders in Britain were not impressed by these arguments. Their main concern was loss
of business. As a sop to them, the British parliament ordered that the crew and the captain of
Indian ships should be Englishmen. The British Indian government chipped in by levying 15%
duty on goods imported into India in India-built ships but only half this amount on goods brought
in British-built ships. In addition, it was stipulated that only British ships could import goods
‘from south and east of the Cape of Good Hope’.
Figure 2. Maneckji Lowji Wadia (1720-92),the second master builder of Bombaydockyards 1774-92 (picture courtesy: Neville N. Wadia).
Ship-building industry in Bombay under the leadership of the Lowjee family now entered its
golden age 11. The frigate ‘Cornwallis’ built for the company in 1800 by Jamsetjee Bomanjee was
found to be so beautifully constructed and of such great strength, that it was purchased by the
admiralty. Jamsetjee took a private revenge for the racial insults that were the order of the day.
On the kelson of this ship, he carved the words ‘this ship was built by a d-d Black Fellow A.D.
1800’. Attention was drawn to this by Jamsetjee himself when the ship, renamed Ackbar by the
admiralty, returned to the Bombay docks many years laterl2.
In 1810, Bombay built a 74 gun vessel ‘Minden’ for the British navy. It was the first line of ship
of the admiralty built outside UK 13. At about the same time ‘a similar vessel was subscribed by
the inhabitants of Calcutta, built at Kidderpore, and presented to the Admiralty’14. The admiralty
however was not impressed and ‘did not oblige by placing a further order for a vessel of that size
with the Calcutta shipwrights’15.
An 18 gun ship ‘Clive’ built at Bombay in 1826 lends itself to a brief mention of the prevalent
slave trade and the patronage it received16. Commander of the ship, John Croft Hawkins, was
asked in 1830 ‘to proceed to the coast of Africa and islands in its vicinity’ and ‘to adopt the best
means of entering for the service as many able-bodied lads as you can, in age from twelve to
eighteen, free from all disease and bodily infirmity, and of that compact symmetry best
calculated for seamen.’ On his return Hawkins was tried for slave trade. It became certain that
there were other secret instructions that were never brought on record. Hawkins in fact did not
permit his lawyer to address the court lest the lawyer compromise for the sake of his client the
navy superintendent or the government. It was implied. that the case was brought to trial not
because of the illegality involved but because the judge of the high court wished to embarrass the
Bombay governor (Sir John Malcolm) and his brother, the navy superintendent (Sir Charles
The court pronounced Hawkins guilty of slave trade and condemned him to ‘be transported to the
east coast of New South Wales for the term of seven years.’ The sentence was however
subverted. Hawkins was put in a navy ship with clear instructions that he be treated as an officer
and a gentleman. When the ship touched Madras, Hawkins and the ship commander ‘were feted
for three days by the community’. At Batavia [Jakarata], the commander decided with a straight
face that his ship could not proceed to Sydney. It must be diverted to England to deliver some
important despatches that had accumulated at Batavia. In London, the president of the company
obtained an interview with the king who pardoned Hawkins and ‘graciously commanded that he
should appear at the next levee.’ ‘Commander Hawkins obeyed the royal mandate, when His
Majesty received him with great kindness, and conversed with him.’ Hawkins was paid his back
wages as well as lawyer’s fees and reappointed to the command of his old ship ‘Clive’. He rose to
become the superintendent of Indian navy.
Although a patent had been obtained as early as 1736 (by Jonathan Hull) for applying steam
engines to propel ships, it was not till the steam engine was perfected by James Watt that steam
navigation could show signs of success. The lead came from USA, which did not have roads but
had large tree-lined rivers. The first steam vessel that was a practical success and remunerated its
owners was a river boat ‘Clermont’ that in 1807 ran the 146 mile distance between New York city
From Current Science HISTORICAL COMMENTARY AND NOTES
and Albany. It was almost immediately followed by the first sea-going vessel17. In Britain steam
navigation was established in 1817 with a small 3.5 HP steam boat ‘Comet’ on river Clyde. The
first regular sea-going steamer, ‘Bob Ray’, with a 30 HP engine commenced operation in 1815
between Glasgow and Belfast. In 1819, the British navy acquired its first steamer, named
Britain was now an industrial nation, and captive India was the best thing happening to it. In the
year 1793, England sent out cotton goods worth £156 to India. In the year 1802 the figure was
£27,876, while 10 years later it had gone up to £108,824. In 1813, the British parliament
abolished the trade monopoly of the company, so that the British manufacturers and traders were
now free to enter the huge Indian market. During the 16 years after 1813, the company’s annual
trade averaged £ 1 ,882,718 whereas private trade was three times higher at £5,451,452 (ref. 18).
(In 1833 the company ceased to be a trader altogether. It became administrator and ruler of India,
deriving its dividend from the revenues from the country. Control of India passed to the crown in
1858, and the company was wound up in 1874.)
The merchants were keen to introduce steam navigation on three routes: on the placid north
Indian rivers, in the opium- tea trade with China, and for steam communication between Calcutta
and England. Early steam machinery was rather daunting. It used coal voraciously and was
extremely complex for easy maintenance. Merchants neither had the capital nor the patience to
see it through the developmental stages. The company, no longer the monopolist it once was, had
no intention of sinking its money into steam for trade, but it had wars to win. What saw the
steam navigation through was the Burmese war 1824-26 (refs 19, 20).
Captain Charles James Collie Davidson of Bengal engineers and son of a Calcutta merchant
brought an 8 HP engine with an iron boiler and meant for a river boat. It was the first steam
engine in India. It was left to rust till the company bought it in 1822 for use in a dredging boat.
When the Burmese war broke out it was converted into a pedal boat and fitted out as a floating
battery. ‘Though her speed was only 4 knots, much benefit was derived from her in the passage
of troops over creeks and estuaries of that [Arakan] coast’.
Incidentally, the first steam-propelled vessel in India does not belong to the realm of
compulsions of history, but to the romance of history, as exemplified by the idiosyncracies of a
nawab. Displaying a magpie like fascination for novelties and probably as a commemoration of
declaration of ‘independence’ from the titualar emperor of Delhi, nawab Ghazi-ud-Din Haider of
the rich north Indian state of Oudh (correctly Avadh) got a river boat built for himself at
Calcutta, in 1819. It has an 8 HP butterfly engine which gave the boat a speed of 7-8 miles an
hour. The boat was a toy; when the governor- general of India visited Lucknow, the boat was
decked up for inspection. (The nawab, who had a European wife, also built a short-lived modern
observatory at Lucknow.21
The economics of early steam navigation can be seen from Calcutta’s first steamer, ‘Diana’. A
member of the company’s factory at Canton ordered a pair of 16 HP engines with a copper boiler
and the whole frame with a view to getting a river steamer built for service on the Canton river.
Unable to go ahead with his scheme, he reshipped the whole thing to Calcutta and offered it to
the government for Rs 65,000, which was however refused. A group of merchants bought it and
spent another Rs 10,000 to replace the original oakwood frame with the sturdier one of teak. The
steamer was launched in 1823. The next year, luckily for the owners, the government bought it
for Rs 80,000 for the Burmese war22. ‘Diana’, unaffected by the south-west monsoons, was the
‘star of the war’. Called ‘fire devil’ by the Burmese, it easily brought about British victory which
secured Assam and added the provinces of Arakan and Tenesserim to the Company’s fold23.
The river steamers were no substitute for steam link between Calcutta and England, for which
both the government and merchants worked. A steam fund of Rs 69,903 was collected at
Calcutta and offered as a prize to anyone whose steamship could make four consecutive voyages
between Bengal and England at an average of 70 days per trip (via the cape of good hope).
Towards this fund Rs 20,000 came from the governor- general, Rs 2,000 from the nawab of
Oudh, and the rest from various businessmen of Calcutta24. The investors in England made a
gallant attempt to rise to the occasion by building Britain’s first sea-going ship propelled by
steam25. Aptly named ‘Enterprize’, it was a ship of 500 ton powered by two 60 HP engines, with
copper boilers extending across the ship, and seven furnaces, each seven feet in length. Carrying
passengers and 30 tons of coal, ‘Enterprize’ left England in August 1825, and took as many as
115 days to reach Calcutta under steam and sail. The performance was declared unsatisfactory by
the mercantile community, because a splendid sailing ship could cover the same distance in 90
days. Steam enthusiasts were disappointed but not the investors. On its arrival at Calcutta,
‘Enterprize’ was purchased by the government for £40,000, and sent to Rangoon. It was put to
use for towing ships between Calcutta and the newly acquired territories.
It was not only Calcutta that was interested in a steam link to England. Bombay was interested
even more. Monsoon winds made it easier for a sailing ship to reach Calcutta than Bombay.
Steam would give Bombay the benefit of shorter distance to Europe. The Bombay governor,
Mounstart Elphinstone, made ‘a distinct official proposition’ in 1823 to the court of directors for
the establishment of steam communication between Bombay and England, via the Red sea. (In
the pre- Suez canal days this involved an overland journey across Egypt to reach the
Mediterranean sea.) The proposal was renewed in 1826, ‘but the Court were unwilling to act
upon the suggestion’. Elphinstone’s successor, Sir John Malcolm, decided to go ahead on his
own. A steamer was built at the Wadia dockyard and ironically named ‘Hugh Lindsay’ after the
sceptical company chairman. ‘Hugh Lindsay’ was a small ship of only 411 tonnes, with two 80
HP engines. It left Bombay in March 1830 on its experimental voyage of 3000 miles, to Suez. It
had to carry sufficient coal to reach Aden, 1641 miles away. Before ‘Hugh Lindsay’ left, a collier
brig, laden with 600 tonnes of coal, was dispatched so that coal could be stored at Aden, Jiddah
and Suez. ‘Hugh Lindsay’ itself carried as much coal as it could, filling with coal more than two
thirds of the space meant for passengers. The voyage was a spectacular success. The ship could
reach Aden in 11 days under steam alone. The journey to Suez took a total of 32 days consisting
of 21 days of actual journey and 11 for stoppages. ‘Hugh Lindsay’ made a total of five voyages to
Suez till 1833, all heavily subsidized. The average expense of coal per voyage was Rs 46,250
while receipts from passengers and letters averaged only Rs 14,225 (ref. 26). Finally in 1834, the
parliamentary committee resolved that ‘it is expedient that measures should be immediately taken
for the regular establishment of steam communication27 with India by the Red sea’, asking at the
same time that ‘the expenses may be materially reduced’.
Steam navigation had far-reaching consequences. First, Bombay became gateway to India. It has
continued since then as the business capital of India. Secondly, the Red sea and the Persian gulf
area was scientifically surveyed. Finally, all the countries en route lost their independence28. To
provide ‘Hugh Lindsay’ with fuel, the small island of Socotra, off the horn of Africa, was needed
as a coaling station. Accordingly it was taken over by the British in 1835. Soon, it was realized
that Aden was a better choice; it was taken by force in 1839. The only bottleneck in the Red sea
route was the 10-day long arduous journey across Egypt. Suez canal was dug in 1869. Ironically,
it was dug with French capital, even though the biggest beneficiaries were the British interests.
The first ship to pay the toll on the Suez canal was British. Egypt was added to the British
colonial empire in 1882.
Introduction of steam navigation did not mean immediate end of sailing ships. Early steamships
were so unprofitable that they had to depend on government subsidies. The commercial viability
of steam came only when engines were greatly improved and ships were made of iron and then
of steel. This effectively brought teak-ship building at Bombay to a close, bringing to an end a
chapter in the colonial history. From 1736 to 1884, the Wadias built a total of 334 vessels for a
variety of owners: East India company, private merchants, Nizam of Hyderabad, Imam of
Muscat, and the British navy. Out of these 334, 39 were either specifically built or subsequently
acquired by the British navy during the period 1777- 1849. A frigate Trincomalee built in 1817
for the British navy is still afloat under the name ‘Foudroyant’. The Wadia vessels were put to a
wide variety of use, from carrying coal to the Bombay governor himself. For completeness it
may be added that from 1885 to 1936 another 46 vessels were built at the Bombay dockyards29.
Britain owed its colonial empire to its sea power. The Bombay dockyard under the Wadias was
an important, though small, contributor towards efficient and low-cost maintenance of that
a detailed account of events 1613- 1863.]
2. A ship’s doctor [Gabriel Boughton] visited Shah Jahan’s court at Agra in
1645 and later served as a surgeon to the emperor’s son Shah Shuja who was
the viceroy of Bengal. Then in 1716, the company’s embassy to Delhi included a surgeon
[William Hamilton] who cured the emperor of a painful disease that had delayed his marriage. In
both cases, medical services were reciprocated with handsome gifts and trading concessions.
See Crawford, D. G., A History of the Indian Medical Service, 1914, vol. I, pp. 51, 113.
3.”Wadia, R. A., The Bombay Dockyard and the Wadia Master Builders, Bombay, 1957 (Reprint
1983), 2nd edn, see p. 20.
4. Ref. I, p. 525.
5. Douglas, James, Glimpses of Old Bombay and Western India, 1893, vol. I, p. 249.
6. Ref. I, p. 54.
7. da Cunha, Garson, Origin of Bombay, pp. 247, 258; cited in ref. 3, p. 9.
8. The Wadias received three grants of Inam land in Bombay; they were the only ones ever
granted. The first was in 1783, the second was in two instalments in 1821 and 1849, whereas the
third was in 1884 on the retirement of the last master builder (ref. 3, pp. 167, 251, 319). In
addition, there were a number of presents of medals, rulers and shawls. The prestige earned by
the shipbuilding Wadias helped other branches of the clan in establishing themselves in various
lines of business.
9. Ref. I, p. 97.
10. Ref. 3, ch. 6.
From Current Science HISTORICAL COMMENTARY AND NOTES
II. This ended the golden age of the Malabar-teak forests. Finally, in 1847
when iron was replacing teak as the material for building ships, a conservator of forests [Dr
Alexander Gibson] was appointed at Bombay.
12. Ref. 3;p. 191.
13. The national anthem of USA, ‘star- spangled banner’, was composed by Francis Kay on board
the ‘Minden’ when it was in Baltimore. Ref. 3, p.208.
14. This was ‘Hastings’, the 74 gun, solitary, line-of-war ship built at Kidderpore near Calcutta in
1818. The dockyard was established in 1780 by Henry Watson (1737-86) of Bengal engineers,
on a piece of land obtained as a grant from the government. In 1781 he launched the 36 gun
frigate ‘Nonsuch’. In 1788 he launched another frigate, the ‘Surprize’, of 32 guns. ‘But his
resources were by this time exhausted; after having sunk ten lakh rupees in his dockyard, he was
obliged to relinquish it’. The major activity at Kidderpore was in the hands of the two Kyd
brothers James (1786-1836) and Robert (d. 1825) sons of Lt. Gen. Alexander Kyd, the surveyor
general of Bengal 1788-94. The two brothers were trained in shipbuilding in England. Returning
to Calcutta in 1800, they were apprenticed to Waddell, the company’s master builder. On his
retirement in 1807, they purchased the Kidderpore dockyard, with James Kyd becoming master
builder to the company. A total
of 25 ships were built at his dockyard including Hastings. ‘Diana’ the first
steamer on river Hughli, was built in
1823. On James Kyd’s death in 1836, the dockyard was purchased by the
government. See Buckland, C. E.,
Dictionary of Indian Biography, 1906, pp. 442, 239; Phillimore, R. H.,
Historical Records of the Survey of India, 1945, vol. 1, p. 394.
16. Ref. 1, p. 505.
17. Since Robert Fulton, the owner of ‘Clermont’, had obtained the exclusive right of navigating
the waters of the state of New York, John Cox Stevens boldly conveyed his ship from New York
city to Delaware by sea. ‘. Samuelson, Martin, Q. J. Sci., 1864, 1, 239.
18. Dutt, Romesh, The Economic History of India, 1906, 2nd edn, vol. 1, pp. 183. 209.
19. Ref. 1, pp. 520-532; Ref. 3, ch. 12.
20. Headrick, D. R., The Tools of Empire, Oxford Univ. Press, 1981. ch. 1.
21. Kochhar, R. K., Vistas in Astronomy. 1991,34,69.
22. Ref. 3, p. 288.
23. Ref. 20, p. 21; also see ref. 19.
24. Ref. 20, p. 134.
25. Ref. 19,20.
26. Ref. 1, p. 532.
From Current Science HISTORICAL COMMENTARY AND NOTES
27. Much to its humiliation, Indian navy was asked to run a steam service for post and
passengers from 1838 to 1854 when the service was handed over to the private Peninsular and
Oriental Steam Navigation Co. See ref. 20, p. 138.
28. Ref. 20, pp. 136, 156.
29. Ref. 3, App. B & C.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT. I thank Mr Neville N. Wadia for his help in collecting material for
R. K. Kochhar is in the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Koramangala, Bangalore 560 034,