'The Parsee head builder'


This drawing from the Illustrated London News shows Cursetjee Rustomjee, head builder in 1849 at the East India Company shipyard at Bombay. Its accompanying article follows his career from entry into the shipyard as a 15-year-old apprentice in 1800.

Cursetjee Rustomjee was a member of the Wadia family of master shipbuilders, who had been designing and building ships for both the East India Company and the Royal Navy for generations. His uncle, to whom he had been apprenticed, was head builder at the shipyard before him. He was also related to Bomanjee Jamsetjee, whose report to the Royal Navy on the building of HMS Cornwallis in 1812 can also be seen on this web page.

The article also lists the number of ships built in the almost 50 year period that Cursetjee Rustomjee worked at the shipyard. Members of the Wadia family would undoubtedly have been involved in the work on all of these.

ZPER 34/14, Illustrated London News, 6 January 1849, p. 12
By courtesy of the Illustrated London News Picture Library

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