Madras Presidency Notes

Also known as the Presidency of Fort St. George and Madras Province, the Madras Presidency was an administrative subdivision of British India. It spread across South India and covered the present-day states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and parts of Kerala, Odisha, Karnataka, Lakshadweep, and Telangana. Madras was the winter capital of the presidency while Ootacamund, also called Ooty, was its summer capital. The island of Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka) was a part of the presidency between 1793 and 1798 CE, when it was made a separate Crown colony.

Till 1861 CE when the Paper Currency Act came into effect, the paper currency in Madras Presidency was issued by various banks. Notes of denominations like 500 Star Pagodas or 1750 Arcot Rupees, 2 Star Pagodas or 7 Arcot Rupees, 5 Rupees, 15 Rupees, and 100 Rupees were issued.

The 500 Star Pagodas or 1750 Arcot Rupee note bore a vignette of the personification of “India” sitting under a pennant which reads “Asiatic 1804 Bank”. A tiger sits at her feet while she holds a snake in her left hand and a mace in the right. The background shows scenery of hills and water.

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