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Silver rupee of Charles II


Diameter: 27.000 mm
Weight: 10.830 g

CM 1844-4-25-35

Room 46: Europe 1400-1800

    Silver rupee of Charles II

    Issued at Bombay, India, AD 1672

    Currency for the East India Company's territories

    The English settled in the town of Surat in south-east India in 1611. From there they began to expand both trade and control in India. However, the lack of a possession on the west coast slowed the development of trade by the East India Company. Luckily, the island of Bombay passed to Charles II in 1665 in the dowry of his Portuguese wife Catherine of Braganza. The island was transferred to the East India Company in 1668 at an annual rent of £10 to the king. The activities of the Company transferred to Bombay from Surat and the settlement grew in importance.

    It was decided to produce a coinage which might supercede local currencies in the Company's territories. The proposal was approved, and a mint authorized from 1671. The earliest issues were crudely produced pieces, in the name of the Company with a Latin inscription. In 1675 royal confirmation of the Company's right to coin was received, with the condition that they did not use the names of any coins current in the king's dominions. In 1677 the resulting type was introduced, with English legends, in the name of the king. One side reads THE RUPEE OF BOMBAIM, surrounded by a statement of the king's authority, and the other side has the king's arms and titles.

    E. Thomas, 'Coins of the East India Company in Bombay, under the charters of Charles II', Numismatic Chronicle-3, series 3, 3 (1883), pp. 46-74

    W. Foster, 'A note on the first English coinage at Bombay', Numismatic Chronicle-7, series 4 (1906), pp. 351-57


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