The Good Old Days - Hookahs and Baths p.151

purpose of crossing the great river, for Chandpaul Ghaut to Seebpore. March 18, 1807.”


An appeal was put forward for the relief of the sufferers from the Famine in the Madras Presidency, in January 1807, when the “merchant princes of India,” as the Calcutta firms were then styled, subscribed most liberally; one thousand rupees was put down by each, besides what individual partners of the firms gave. Those were days when money was made easily, and spent liberally.


“Essence for the Hookah!” such is the attractive heading of an advertisement put forth by Mr. H. McKay in the Gazette of the 3rd March 1808. He “respectfully begs leave to acquaint the ladies and gentlemen of the settlement that are partial to the hookah, that he has prepared some essence, whose fragrant odour and fine flavour will add considerable zest to this luxury.” The natives had for ages used fragrant essences with the tobacco that they smoked in their hookahs, Mr. McKay’s must have been something of the same kind.


“Belvidere Hose” is advertised by Tulloh and Co., as for sale by auction on the 18th May 1809. The house is described as a “superb mansion, lately occupied by the Commander-in-Chief at the monthly rent of sicca rupees 450.” The size of the mansion is given – it consisted of two halls, one measuring 46 by 29 ½ feet, and the other 30½ by 29½ feet; a bed room 30½ by 29½ feet, a middle room 17½ by 17 feet; another room 17 by 17 feet; a card or drawing room 36 by 23 feet; also an elegant marble cold bath and a hot bath. The above suits of apartments were on the west side of the house; exactly similar suits of rooms were on the east side of the house. Colonnaded verandahs were on the north and south sides. There was a superb park of seventy-two beegahs of ground in extent which surrounded the mansion. This house originally belonged to Colonel Tolley, and was sold on account of his estate in 1802.


A sheriff’s sale is announced for the 24th of March, of “the remainder of a term of a certain lease from Anna Maria Tolley to John Hooper Wilkinson of a certain creek or nullah, commonly called or known by the name of Tolley’s nullah or canal.”


Mr. Maillerdet informs the public that “ the automatons, so justly admired in Europe, are now exhibited from the hours of 11 to 4 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, at a house on the left hand side of Mr. John Hannah’s Gully.

Admission 4 rupees.”



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