garce

1

In India, ? – 19th century, a large unit of mass, on the order of several tons, apparently used mostly for grains, and mostly by governments. It varied widely. It is often taken as 9,256½ pounds; see source 2 (below) for a plausible speculation on the origin of this value. Source 3, below, states that in the salt monopoly it changed from 9256.5 pounds av. to 9874.3 lb in the space of 16 years.

sources

1

When the term “Madras garce” is used in the mofussil, it generally means 4,800 pucka seers of 80 tolahs' weight of rice (heaped) each. This is correct if the Madras measure is used running over, but not heaped. If it is heaped to a weight of 125 rupees, the equivalent would be 5,000 seers.

Manual of the Administration of the Madras Presidency… Volume II.
Madras: Printed by E. Keys, at the Government Press, 1885.
Page 506.
The mofussil is the countryside, the area outside the big cities of Madras, Calcutta and Bombay.

2

According to the book above mentioned, dated 1778, the 'measure' or 'puddy' of Madras town is said to be 2 lb. 10 oz. avoir., which is equal to 102 of the present tolahs; and 8 of these to a mercaul and 400 mercauls to a garce. It is supposed that the weight refers to the weight of a measure filled with rice. The garce is also said to be 9,256½ lb. of grain.

The garce weight of grain is usually entered in the tariffs and price currents as it is in the old book of 1778 above referred to, viz., 9,256½ lb.; but in practice grain is not sold by weight except in the coasting trade by the 'bag' of 2 Indian maunds or 164 4/7 lb. Duty is levied at the Custom-house per 'garce,' according to the following estimate:- [pounds column added-ed.]

[Commodity] Indian maunds
in 1 garce
[pounds av]
Puddy 92 7570
Rice 123 10,121
Toovaray (Red gram) 121 9957
Colloo (Horse gram) 128 10,532
Raggy 113 9298

123 Indian maunds = 10,121 lb., which is thus assumed by the Custom-house as the weight of a garce of rice. At a heaped measure of 128 tolahs, this would be about 10,500 lb.; if only filled to running over, it would be 9,874½ lb. The term garce as a weight ought to be discontinued. How it came to be fixed at 9,256½ lb. is not known. The old measure of 93¾ cubic inches would, when liberally heaped, hold about 112½ tolahs of rice, and 3,200 such measures would weigh 9,256½ lb., but this is no where stated.

Manual of the Administration of the Madras Presidency… Volume II.
Madras: Printed by E. Keys, at the Government Press, 1885.
Page 514, treating Madras and its suburbs.

3

Salt Department in the Salt Districts

In the earlier years of the monopoly, salt was always sold by measure, a garce being 400 mercauls of 828½ cubic inches. In 1828, weighment was introduced and a garce was declared equal to 9256½ lb. In 1844, Act VI of that year regulated the price of salt by reference to the maund and the garce was therefore made equivalent to 120 × 82²⁄₇ pounds or 120 Indian maunds. A return to measurement was however authorized by the Government of India in 1846. There was some difficulty in getting a measure which held approximately a maund of salt, and the Board were permitted in 1848 to revert to the use of the mercaul. The question then arose as to which mercaul should be adopted, and in 1850 the Government authorized the readoption of the DeHaviland mercaul of 828½ cubic inches. In 1856 an alleged error in the standard of conversion was rectified, and 424 mercauls were declared to be the measure which, on an average, most fairly represented the weight of 120 maunds.

Measurement has, however, now been wholly superseded by weighment in the receipt and issue of all salt, whether the property of Government or of the Excise licensees, except in the supply of salt to the French Government at Pondicherry, under the convention of 1818, renewed in 1887. The weight used is the “Indian maund” of 82²⁄₇ lb. avoirdupois. Its Indian equivalent is 40 seers of 80 tolahs each.

Deliveries of salt to the French authorities at Pondicherry are made by a measured garce of 424 mercauls, the contents of each mercaul being 800 cubic inches, and this garce being considered equal to 120 Indian maunds by weight. On the average however 120 maunds by weight run only to 898 mercauls.

Manual of the Administration of the Madras Presidency… Volume II.
Madras: Printed by E. Keys, at the Government Press, 1885.
Page 518.

4

Gariṣa, corruptly, Garce, Tel[ugu]. () Garaṣi, -ṣe, Karn. ( ) A measure of grain equal to 400 markáls, or 185.2 cubic feet = 9860 lb. avoirdupois. See Markál.

H. H. Wilson, 1855, page 168.

2

In India, a unit of capacity, about 5,244 liters (about 149 U.S. bushels) (But smaller in some districts, e.g., see Ganjam chart symbol).

sources

1

The table of Madras measure of capacity is as follows:- … 400 mercauls = 1 garce.

Manual of the Administration of the Madras Presidency… Volume II.
Madras: Printed by E. Keys, at the Government Press, 1885.
Page 514.

At 832 cubic inches per mercaul, the garce would be 332,800 cubic inches (5,453.61 liters).

2

600 coonchums = 1 garce = 2,400 seers.

Manual of the Administration of the Madras Presidency… Volume II.
Madras: Printed by E. Keys, at the Government Press, 1885.
Page 511, treating Godavery.

3

In preparing the Government price lists, the 'Madras garce' is reckoned at 2,844 12/27 measures of 135 tolahs each.

Manual of the Administration of the Madras Presidency… Volume II.
Madras: Printed by E. Keys, at the Government Press, 1885.
Page 515, treating Madura.

3

In Ceylon, 19th century, a unit of mass, about 4,198.518 kilograms.

4

In Ceylon, 19th century, a unit of capacity, about 5,084.8 liters. link to a table showing relationships between Ceylonese units of dry capacity

5

In India, 19th century, a unit of land area, the amount of land that would yield a garce of grain. It varied by locality.

1

1 garce = 101,400 square feet = 2.8278 acres.

According to old returns of 1836, the measurement in Wadauda is as follows:—
… 1 garce = 102,240 square feet = 2.347 acres.

This corresponds nearly with the preceding.

The garce of land is generally estimated at 2 acres, and is supposed to be the extent that will produce a garce of grain. The Ganjam garce is 1,800 seers of 80 tolahs weight of rice each : or about 128,000 cubic inches.

The 'garce' land measure of Vizagapatam is different.

Manual of the Administration of the Madras Presidency… Volume II.
Madras: Printed by E. Keys, at the Government Press, 1885.
Page 510, treating Ganjam.

2

In Palcondah, Golcondah, and the ancient zemindarries :— … 1 garce = 53,029 square feet = 1.21788 acres.

The garce of land is supposed to be the extent that will yield a garce of grain. The 'net' garce of Vizagapatam is 1,800 seers, the same as in Ganjam; but the garce of land is about half what it is in Ganjam.

The areas of lands are still denoted by garces, pootties and coonchums, or parrahs, veesams and cutties according to the native accounts; but for purposes of measuring lands for the Government, these ancient local measures have now become practically obsolete. The English acre is now invariably the measure used for ascertaining the actual extent of lands.

Manual of the Administration of the Madras Presidency… Volume II.
Madras: Printed by E. Keys, at the Government Press, 1885.
Page 519, treating Vizagapatam.

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