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Formation of British India
In 1608, the English East India Company established a settlement at Surat (now in the state of Gujarat), and this became the company's first headquarters town. It was followed in 1611 by a permanent factory (trading post) at Machilipatnam on the Coromandel Coast, and in 1612 the company joined other already established East India Company, European trading companies in Bengal. However, following the decline of the Mughal Empire in 1707 by the hands of the Marathas and after the East India Company's victory at the Battle of Plassey in 1757 and Battle of Buxar, both in Bengal 1764, the Company gradually began to formally expand its dominions and collectively call the area India. By the mid-19th century, and after the three Anglo-Maratha Wars the East India Company had become the paramount political and military power in South Asia, its territory held in Trust law for the The Crown.
Company rule in Bengal, however, ended with the Government of India Act 1858 following the events of the [Rebellion of 1857]. Henceforth known as British India, it was directly ruled by the British Crown as a colonial possession of the United Kingdom (disambiguation), and India was officially known after 1876 as the British Indian Empire. India was divided into British India, regions that were directly administered by the British, with Acts established and passed in British Parliament, and the Princely States, that were ruled by local rulers of different ethnic backgrounds. These rulers were allowed a measure of internal autonomy in exchange for British suzerainty. British India constituted a significant portion of India both in area and population; in 1910, for example, it covered approximately 54% of the area and included over 77% of the population. In addition, there were Portuguese and French exclaves in India. Independence from British rule was achieved in 1947 with the formation of two nations, the Dominions of Union of India and Pakistan, the latter also including East Bengal, present-day Bangladesh.
The term British India also applied to Burma for a shorter time period: starting in 1824, a small part of Burma, and by 1886, almost two thirds of Burma had come under British India. This arrangement lasted until 1937, when Burma commenced being administered as a separate British colony. British India did not apply to other countries in the region, such as Sri Lanka (then Ceylon), which was a British Crown colony, or the Maldive Islands, which were a British protectorate. At its greatest extent, in the early 20th-century, the territory of British India extended as far as the frontiers of Persia in the west; Afghanistan in the northwest; Tibet in the northeast; and China, French Indo-China and Siam in the east. It also included the Colony of Aden in the Arabian Peninsula.
Coins of British India
Each Presidency had a separate coinage and monetary system. In 1835, the EIC adopted a unified system of coinage throughout all British possessions in India and the older Presidency system was discontinued. After the Indian Rebellion of 1857, control of EIC territories passed to the British Crown. Coinage issued after 1857 were under the authority of monarch as India became part of the British Empire. There was a transition period after India gained independence on 15 August 1947, and the first set of republic India coins were issued in 1950.
Coinage under the British can be divided into two periods: East India Company (EIC) issues, pre-1858; and Imperial issues struck under direct authority of the crown. The EIC issues can be further subdivided into two subcategories: the Presidency issues, which comprise separate Madras Presidency, Bombay Presidency, and Bengal Presidency issues; and uniform coinage for all British territories from 1835 to 1858. Imperial issues bear obverse portraits of Victoria (dated 1862–1901), Edward VII (dated 1903–1910), George V (dated 1911–1936), and George VI (dated 1936–1947). No British India coins were issued during the brief reign of Edward VIII in 1936.
Chapters: Imperial Coinage
- Ch-1: William IV - 1835 to 1840 Updated!
- Ch-2: Victoria, Continuous Legend - 1840 to 1850
- Ch-3: Victoria, Divided Legend - 1850 to 1859
- Ch-4: Victoria, Crowned - 1860 to 1873
- Ch-5: Victoria, Queen - 1874 to 1876
- Ch-6: Victoria, Empress- 1877 to 1901
- Ch-7: Edward VII - 1902 to 1910
- Ch-8: George V - 1911 to 1936
- Ch-9: George VI - 1937 to 1947
What does this wiki offer
This site allows access to a catalog of British Indian coins containing all coins of British India from the period of the East India Company up until 1947. Each coin type is shown with all known dates and varieties.
Clicking on the links/chapters on this page will allow access to the various areas of the database. The tables within each of the year/types has images and description with lot of details.
The information provided here came from many different individuals and sources. These are named in the database and my thanks go to all of these people for their efforts to make available information about the coins of India. Click on the credits link to see a list of all the sources of information together with their abbreviations.
The attempt has been made to fully document every major variety using high-quality photographs. This should allow collectors to accurately identify their coins, and buyers/sellers can agree on the coins being bought and sold. My hope is that this web site will be useful to all collectors of British India and help popularize this most interesting area of coin collecting. The combination of beautiful design, high quality strikes, interesting varieties and demand makes for an ideal subject for study and collecting. User input with corrections, additions or other commentary is most welcome.
If you have an questions or recommendations, please feel free to contact me on email@example.com
Maunish & Team.