Old Customs House, Tank Square, Calcutta, c1758


হলওয়েল সাহেবের বাড়ি, কলকাতা কাস্টমসের আদি কার্যালয়। ট্যাঙ্ক স্কোয়ার, কলকাতা,  c১৭৫৮
Sir Richard Bacher, after being appointed on 3rd March, 1758, as the Sea and Land Customs Master, felt the need for an office in some convenient place. It was the site where Mr.John Zephaniah Holwell’s house adjacent to the old ditch stood that Sir Bacher identified for his purpose. Mr. Holwell sold his property to the Company for Rs.9,500/-, for using as Custom House. Thus, the Custom House initially functioned from Holwell’s house in Calcutta. The godowns and warehouses adjacent were also being used for storage of goods brought through riverine route. Holwell’s house being an old construction was found as not suitable for the functioning of the Custom House. Owing to incessant rains in the monsoon, the old construction gave way to seepage and leakage at many points. The building was, therefore, sold off for Rs.8,051/- only in 1760. The Custom House thereafter temporarily functioned from a dwelling house till it was decided on the 8th September, 1766, that the apartments occupied by the Fort Major in the old Fort would stand appropriated for use of the Custom House Master.Custom House Wharf
Evacuation of all militaries from the Fort area was completed in the beginning of 1767 with a view to converting the Fort premises into a Custom House. A number of warehouses and other buildings were erected inside the old Fort. From 1770, the old Fort steadily dipped into the Hooghly river. The Custom House at the extreme southern side of the old Fort disappeared in due course into the river. The southern side of the old Fort with a long narrow furrow on the ground was connected with a canal by which the boats could enter into the Custom House and the ships could be repaired without having the need for going all the way to Bombay.
The painting describing Custom House Wharf by Artist/Maker, D’Oyly. Courtesy: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. See

 

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Old Court House, Tank Square, c1760-1774

writersBuildings_Danniel_1786পুরনো আদালত ভবন, ট্যাঙ্ক স্কোয়ার, কলকাতা, c১৭৬০-১৭৭৪
The first Mayor’s Court was established in the Presidency Town of Calcutta in 1728 that started functioning at the Ambassador House belonging to the East India Company. The Court House stood at the corner of Lalbazar and Mission Row. That site was occupied later by Martin Burn and Company’s Building. In 1732, the Mayor’s Court moved to the premises of Charity School, which was subsequently known as the Free School. As seen in the picture the Old Court House – the two storied building with its Ionic columns and an urn-topped balustrade – stands on the right. It occupied the site of St. Andrew’s Church by the side of the Writers’ Buildings. This building also served as the Town Hall of Calcutta at one time. See The Court House which Mr. Bourchier built was in 1762 greatly enlarged by the addition of verandahs, an additional saloon with a rooms as well as a dancing-saloon “in order that it might be used as an Exchange, Post Office, Quarter-Sessions Office, public entertainments, and Assembly rooms. For over thirty years the Old Court House was the scene of most of the public entertainments, and assembly balls. Towards the close of the century society had begun to break up into classes, subscription assemblies went out of fashion, and the old house became unsafe. The building was pull down in 1792.

Coloured etching with aquatint of the Old Court House and Writers Buildings in Calcutta by Thomas Daniell (1749-1840) no. 2 of his ‘Views of Calcutta’ published in 1786. This view is taken from the north side of Tank Square and looks towards the old Fort.

Supreme Court, Esplanade Row, Calcutta, 1851

SupremeCourt_EsplanadeRow2সুপ্রিম কোর্ট, এসপ্ল্যানেড রো, কলকাতা, ১৮৫১
This is a view of the Supreme Court on Esplanade Row, Calcutta. Present High Court’s building occupied the side of the Old Supreme Court house, which stood upon the West portion only. See
The promulgation of Regulating Act of 1773 by the King of England paved the way for establishment of the Supreme Court of Judicature at Calcutta. The Letter of Patent was issued on 26 March 1774 to establish the Supreme Court of Judicature at Calcutta, as a Court of Record, with full power & authority to hear and determine all complaints for any crimes and also to entertain, hear and determine any suits or actions against any of His Majesty’s subjects in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. This Supreme Court consisted one Chief Justice and three other regular judges or Puisne Judges. Sir Elijah Imphey was the first Chief Justice of this Supreme Court. British judges were sent to India to administer the British legal system that was used there. Sir William Jones was judge here from 1783 until his death in 1794. It, however, became an institution which was disliked and dreaded by the officers of the government and especially Indians. Supreme Courts at Calcutta, was abolished in 1861by enactment of the India High Courts Act.
Painted photograph by Frederich Fiebig, 1851

Council House [Old], Calcutta, 1764

CouncilHouseCalcuttaকাউনসিল হাউস [পূর্বতন] , কলকাতা, ১৭৬৪
Adjoining Government House to the west stood the Council House. After the recovery of Calcutta there was no Council Room for a twelve month to carry out business of the settlement. The dwelling house of the late Richard Court was purchased for the Honble. Company in 1758 and appropriated to the above use. .. It was probably a house near the hospital, and remained in use till 1764, when the Council House on the Esplanade was built, and gave its name to the street. Contiguous to it a house for the Governor was built. These two buildings continued in use till 1799, when Marquis Wellesley built the present Government House, on the site they had occupied.
Aquatint, coloured painting by Thomas Daniell, Plate three from the second set of’ Oriental Scenery

Old Court House, Fort William, Calcutta, c1760-1774

পুরনো আদালত ভবন, ফোর্ট উইলিয়াম, কলকাতা, c১৭৬০-১৭৭৪.
This is a view of the Old Court House inside the Old Fort William, the first fortress built in 1696 by the British after their establishment in Bengal. As seen in the picture the Old Court House – the two storied building with its Ionic columns and an urn-topped balustrade – stands in front. It occupied the site of St. Andrew’s Church by the side of the Writers’ Buildings. This building also served as the Town Hall of Calcutta at one time. The Court House, which Mr. Bourchier built, was in 1762 greatly enlarged by the addition of verandahs, an additional saloon with a rooms as well as a dancing-saloon “in order that it might be used as an Exchange, Post Office, Quarter-Sessions Office, public entertainments, and Assembly rooms. For over thirty years the Old Court House was the scene of most of the public entertainments, and assembly balls. Towards the close of the century society had begun to break up into classes, subscription assemblies went out of fashion, and the old house became unsafe. The building was pull down in 1792. See more. .

Coloured aquaint by Francis Swain Ward (1736-94) painted in c1760s, and published ln: Views in Indostan by William Orme, Plate 17 in 1804

East India House, Leadenhall Street, London, c1817

East_India_House_THS_1817_editedইস্ট ইন্ডিয়া হাউস, লন্ডন, c১৮১৭
The Company’s headquarters in London, from which much of India was governed, was East India House in Leadenhall Street. After occupying premises in Philpot Lane, Fenchurch Street, from 1600 to 1621; in Crosby House, Bishopsgate, from 1621 to 1638; and in Leadenhall Street from 1638 to 1648, the Company moved into Craven House, an Elizabethan mansion in Leadenhall Street. The building had become known as East India House by 1661. It was completely rebuilt and enlarged in 1726–9; and further significantly remodelled and expanded in 1796–1800. It was finally vacated in 1860 and demolished in 1861–62. The site is now occupied by the Lloyd’s building.
As drawn by Thomas Hosmer Shepherd, c.1817.