Bombay

Bombay (26,960), the western Presidency of India, embraces 26 British districts and 19 feudatory states. N. of the Nerbudda River the country is flat and fertile; S. of it are mountain ranges and tablelands. In the fertile N. cotton, opium, and wheat are the staple products. In the S., salt, iron, and gold are mined; but coal is wanting. The climate is hot and moist on the coast and in the plains, but pleasant on the plateaux. Cotton manufacture has developed extensively and cotton cloths, with sugar, tea, wool, and drugs are exported. Machinery, oil, coal, and liquors are imported. Bombay (822), the chief city, stands on an island, connected with the coast by a causeway, and has a magnificent harbour and noble docks. It is rapidly surpassing Calcutta in trade, and is one of the greatest of seaports; its position promises to make it the most important commercial centre in the East, as it already is in the cotton trade of the world. It swarms with people of every clime, and its merchandise is mainly in the hands of the Parsees, the descendants of the ancient fire-worshippers. It is the most English town in India. It came to England from Portugal as dowry with Catherine of Braganza, wife of Charles II., who leased it to the East India Company for £10 a year. Its prosperity began when the Civil War in America afforded it an opening for its cotton.

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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