BUDGROOK, s. Port. bazarucco. A coin of low denomination, and of varying value and metal (copper, tin, lead, and tutenague), formerly current at Goa and elsewhere on the Western Coast, as well as at some other places on the Indian seas. It was also adopted from the Portuguese in the earliest English coinage at Bombay. In the earliest Goa coinage, that of Albuquerque (1510), the leal or bazarucco was equal to 2 reis, of which reis there went 420 to the gold cruzado (Gerson da Cunha). The name appears to have been a native one in use in Goa at the time of the conquest, but its etymology is uncertain. In Van Noort’s Voyage (1648) the word is derived from bazar, and said to mean ‘market-money’ (perhaps bazar-ruka, the last word being used for a copper coin in Canarese). [This view is accepted by Gray in his notes on Pyrard. (Hak. Soc. ii. 68), and by Burnell (Linschoten, Hak. Soc. ii. 143). The Madras, Admin. Man. Gloss. (s.v.) gives the Can. form as bajara-rokkha, ‘market-money.’] C. P. Brown (MS. notes) makes the word=badaga-ruka, which he says would in Canarese be ‘base-penny,’ and he ingeniously quotes Shakspeare’s “beggarly denier,” and Horace’s “vilem assem.” This is adopted in substance by Mr. E. Thomas, who points out that ruka or rukka is in Mahratti (see Molesworth, s. v.) one-twelfth of an anna. But the words of Khafi Khan below suggest that the word may be a corruption of the P. buzurg, ‘big,’ and according to Wilson, budrukh (s. v.) is used in Mahratti as a dialectic corruption of buzurg. This derivation may be partially corroborated by the fact that at Mocha there is, or was formerly, a coin (which had become a money of account only, 80 to the dollar) called kabir, i.e. ‘big’ (see Ovington, 463, and Milburn, i. 98). If we could attach any value to Pyrard’s spelling— bousuruques—this would be in favour of the same etymology; as is also the form besorg given by Mandelslo. [For a full examination of the value of the budgrook based on the most recent authorities, see Whiteway, Rise of the Port. Power, p. 68.]

1554.—Bazarucos at Maluco (Moluccas) 50=1 tanga, at 60 reis to the tanga, 5 tangas =1 pardao. “Os quaes bazarucos se faz comta de 200 caixas” (i.e. to the tanga).— A. Nunes, 41.

[1584.—Basaruchies, Barret, in Hakl. See SHROFF.]

1598.—“They pay two Basarukes, which is as much as a Hollander’s Doit.… It is molten money of badde Tinne.”—Linschoten, 52, 69; [Hak. Soc. i. 180, 242].

1609.—“Le plus bas argent, sont Basarucos … et sont fait de mauvais Estain.” —Houtmann, in Navigation des Hollandois, i. 53v.

c. 1610.—“Il y en a de plusieurs sortes. La premiere est appellée Bousuruques, dont il en faut 75 pour une Tangue. Il y a d’autre Bousuruques vieilles, dont il en faut 105 pour le Tangue.… Il y a de cette monnoye qui est de fer: et d’autre de callin, metal de Chine” (see CALAY).—Pyrard, ii. 39; see also 21; [Hak. Soc. ii. 33, 68].

1611.—“Or a Viceroy coins false money; for so I may call it, as the people lose by it. For copper is worth 40 xerafims (see XERAFINE) the hundred weight, but they coin the basaruccos at the rate of 60 and 70. The Moors on the other hand, keeping a keen eye on our affairs, and seeing what a huge profit there is, coin there on the mainland a great quantity of basarucos, and gradually smuggle them into Goa, making a pitful of gold.”—Couto, Dialogo do Soldado Pratico, 138.

1638.—“They have (at Gombroon) a certain Copper Coin which they call Besorg, whereof 6 make a Peys, and 10 Peys make a Chay (Shahi) which is worth about 5d. English.”—V. and Tr. of J. A. Mandelslo into the E. Indies, E. T. 1669, p. 8.

1672.—“Their coins (at Tanor in Malabar) … of Copper, a Buserook, 20 of which make a Fanam.”—Fryer, 53. [He also spells the word Basrook. See quotation under REAS.]

1677.—“Rupees, Pices and Budgrooks.” —Letters Patent of Charles II. in Charters of the E. I. Co., p. 111.

1711.—“The Budgerooks (at Muskat) are mixt Mettle, rather like Iron than anything else, have a Cross on one side, and were coin’d by the Portuguese. Thirty of them make a silver Mamooda, of about Eight Pence Value.”—Lockyer, 211.

c. 1720-30.—“They (the Portuguese) also use bits of copper which they call buzurg, and four of these buzurgs pass for a fulús.” —Khafi Khan, in Elliot, v. 345.

c. 1760.—“At Goa the sceraphim is worth 240 Portugal reas, or about 16d. sterling; 2 reas make a basaraco, 15 basaracos a vintin, 42 vintins a tanga, 4 tangas a paru, 2½ parues a pagoda of gold.”—Grose, i. 282.

1838.—“Only eight or ten loads (of coffee) were imported this year, including two loads of ‘Kopes’ (see COPECK), the copper currency of Russia, known in this country by the name of Bughrukcha. They are converted to the same uses as copper.”— Report from Kabul, by A. Burnes; in Punjab Trade Report, App. p. iii.

This may possibly contain some indication of the true form of this obscure word, but I have derived no light from it myself. The budgrook was apparently current at Muscat down to the beginning of last century (see Milburn, i. 116).

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