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Jul 2 16 tweets 4 min read
Sassoons: This Bombay family is known as the Rothschild of the East.

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#sassoons #rotschild #wealth #bombay #mumbai
The name Rothschild has always been a mystery. The Rothschild family is known for its centuries-old banking business, wealth and ability to influence global events. If a family is compared to Rothschild, one can imagine how wealthy the family would be.

India has seen 2 families who were compared to the Rothschilds, the Rothschild of India, the Jagat Seths and the Rothschild of the East, the Sassoons.

Unlike the Jagat Seths, Sassoons were not originally from India. The Sassoons migrated to India from Baghdad in the 17th century when Jews started to face persecution. For centuries, the Sassoons were the treasurer and personal banker of the king of Baghdad.

David Sassoon came to Bombay and started a new company called David Sassoon and Company.

In Bombay, the company started trading cotton, spices and, most importantly, Opium. As Sassoons were not originally from India, the Parsi, Baniya and Gujarati traders did not allow the Sassoons to use the Bombay port.

So, David Sassoon decided to build a new dock called Sassoon Dock in Mumbai. During the American civil war, the Sassoons supplied cotton and other supplies to both sides of the war.

David Sassoon and Company was the biggest trader of opium in Asia. His opium trading business reached even Japan. During the mid-19th century, David Sassoon controlled about 70% of opium trades in Asia.

His influence over the opium trade resulted in the first opium war and the treaty of Nanjing. Sassoons built many iconic buildings and landmarks in Bombay, Hongkong and Shanghai. His home in Bombay is now known as Masina Hospital in Mumbai.

During the mid-19th century, the influence of the Sassoons reached its peak. David Sassoon sent his sons to different financially important cities like London, Shanghai, Karachi and Rangoon to open company branches.

He was one of the founders of Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, now known as the HSBC Bank.

David Sassoon’s son Albert Sassoon shifted to London and married a member of the London branch of the Rothschild family.

After David Sassoon’s death, the Indian branch of the family started to decline. The Sassoons also financed the construction of the Suez canal and initially oil discovery in the middle east.

Sassoon's banking and trading empire started to fall during the second world war. The UBS of Switzerland acquired the David Sassoon and Company after the Second world war.

The family members are still running some businesses in Singapore, Hongkong and London. But today’s Sassoon family is just a shadow of their past.

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