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Notes on the Geography of Peninsular India: Mumbai / Bombay Neo-Gothic: Photo 21

world pictures Peninsular India: Mumbai / Bombay Neo-Gothic

A plaque inside the clocktower. And who was Crawford? From David Gilmour's The Ruling Caste, 2005, comes this startling extract: "The most notorious case of corruption in Victorian India concerned Arthur Travers Crawford, a Bombay Civilian born in 1835 who behaved as if he were living in the India of Clive and nabobs. As a younger colleague reported, he had 'run away with two women, been separated from his own wife, and during one Poona season lived with two actresses whom he imported from America.'... In 1874 he did not get the commissionership of Berar because of suggestions of impropriety.... During the mid-1880s Crawford's debts--chiefly the result of women and a large number of children--encouraged him to accept a variety of bribes, loans and advances from certain rajas in his division.... Placed under house arrest by his own Government in the summer of 1888, Crawford escaped from Poona, bolted for the sea and was apprehended in Bombay wearing a false beard.... The Secretary of State [was persuaded] to dismiss him without a pension." Still, his name was not scratched off this commemorative stone.

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