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Gerald Aungier

Born: ?
Died: 1690.

Gerald Aungier was the second Governor of Bombay. He was made the president of the Surat factor and the governor of Bombay in 1672, which posts he held till 1675. He was responsible for the initial growth of the city. He died in the year 1677.

Although the Portuguese king had ceded all the islands of Bombay to the British king Charles, the Portuguese in India refused to hand over the the territory. It was not till 1675 that Aungier actually took possession of Colaba and Old Man's Island, thus completing the transfer of power to the British. His plan of fortifying the main island, from Dongri in the north to the harbour, had to wait until 1715 for completion, when Charles Boone became the governor of the town.

He offered various inducements to skilled workers and traders to set up business in Bombay. His offers were tempting enough to lure many traders and artisans from Gujarat to the newly developing town. As a result Bombay registered its first population boom. Between 1661 and 1675 there was a six-fold increase in population.

Aungier established the first mint in Bombay, and ceded land near the Malabar hill to immigrant Parsi workers and traders for a Tower of Silence. It was during his governorship, in 1670, that the first printing press was imported and set up in Bombay.