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grandfathers, then with our fathers, and latterly with ourselves. Thus you have through three successive generations preserved that friendship with the same warmness of heart, and with the same disinterested motives.
Allow us, therefore, Sir, respectfully to dedicate to you this brief and unpretending volume, which is the result of our sojourn in this country, as a slight token of our gratitude; and with sentiments of respect and esteem, we have the honour and gratification to subscribe ourselves,
Your most grateful and
obliged humble servants,
London, April, 1841,
DURING our residence in England we have been so often asked our motives for leaving our homes and placing ourselves under instructions in ship-building at Chatham, that we have deemed it expedient to draw up a brief account of our actuating motives, and also to exhibit a faint outline of those things, which we had an opportunity of witnessing during the limited time that we allowed ourselves for recreation, and to give a little repose to our minds. We considered that keeping the bow always bent would only tend to weaken it, but we were careful in our hours of relaxation to visit such exhibitions, and to associate with such people, as would instruct while they amused, and of which the following pages contain the result.
It has not been our intention to journalize our proceedings or to describe things in the order that we saw them, but we have endeavoured to place before the reader a sort of bird's eye view, as it were, of what we have seen from the 29th of March, 1838, the day we left Bombay, until the middle of April, 1841, when we cease this compilation, being about to return to that place.
First, then, as to our actuating motive, there are two of us, Jehangeer Nowrojee, the son, and Hirjeebhoy Merwanjee, the nephew, of Nowrojee Jamsetjee, Esq., the present master builder in the Honourable East India Company's dock yard at Bombay, and we are grandsons of Jamsetjee Bomanjee, who was also for years master builder of that yard. We were both educated with a view to being brought up in the profession of our forefathers, and were attached at an early age to the Bombay dock yard, which was founded by our progenitor, Lowjee Nasserwanjee, in the year 1735, and after whom our family is called, viz., “ Lowjee Family.” It is necessary to state that before the above named year all vessels were built at Surat, the principal commercial city on the western side of India. The Bombay government having contracted with a Parsee builder there in the same year, to build a ship, which was called the “Queen," Lowjee superintended this vessel in the capacity of a foreman, and Mr. Dudley, who was sent to Surat by the government of Bombay to see her properly built, was so much pleased and struck with the attention and ingenuity of the foreman, that he persuaded him to accompany him to Bombay, in order to establish a building yard there. To
this he consented, and having brought twelve or fourteen shipwrights with him, selected the present spot for the dock yard, and thus laid the foundation of that establishment, which now is considered the finest naval arsenal in India, and that period may be considered an era in the history of Bombay, as the prosperity of the island began rapidly to increase, and in little more than a century the place, formerly an insignificant and small island, now ranks amongst the cities of Hindoostan, and promises to become one of the best in India.
Lowjee afterwards brought up his two sons Manockjee and Bomanjee to his own profession, who each had a family of four sons, some of whom were also brought up as shipwrights, but Jamsetjee, the son of the latter, built the largest and the first ship for the British navy, the “ Minden," of seventy-four guns, and afterwards six other ships of the line. He was well known as a naval architect to all naval commanders, and men that went to India; and his own as well as his predecessor's services have frequently called forth the testimony of the Honourable East India Company and the Boards of Admiralty, from whom he had from time to time received numerous marks of approbation.
The present master builder has also built
several ships for the navy, namely, the Asia, Bombay, and Calcutta, all of eighty-four guns, and which are acknowledged to be the finest and strongest two-deckers in the world. .
There have been in the whole ten ships of the line, several frigates and smaller vessels ; and numerous other vessels for the Hon. Company and the merchants of India have been built at Bombay, besides the defects of Indian squadrons under several eminent admirals have been repaired, and in fact the dock yard may be the just boast of the Honourable Company, for the advantages and prosperity it has afforded to the commerce of Bombay. Several members of the Lowjee Family have distinguished themselves in other points, Hormasjee Bomanjee was well known in India and England for his commercial enterprise ; and the extensive trade he carried on, in conjunction with the celebrated house of Forbes and Co. (the oldest in Bombay), tended much to benefit Bombay by paving the way for others. Pestonjee Bomanjee was also a partner in the well known firm of Bruce, Fawcett, and Co., now Remington and Co.
Nasserwanjee Manockjee, also a member of the same family, encouraged French commerce, and his son, Jehangeer Nasserwanjee carries on the same business. Almost all French