Shwegyin Town, 1908

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Shwegyin Town

This article has been extracted from



Note: National, provincial and district boundaries have changed considerably since 1908. Typically, old states, ‘divisions’ and districts have been broken into smaller units, and many tahsils upgraded to districts. Some units have since been renamed. Therefore, this article is being posted mainly for its historical value.

Shwegyin Town, 1908

Head-quarters of the subdivision of the same name in Toungoo District, Lower Burma, and formerly head-quarters of a District called after it. It is picturesquely situated in 17 55'N. and 96 53' E., close to the western slopes of the Paunglaung Hills, on the left bank of the Sittang river, immediately to the north of the point where the Shwegyin stream enters it from the east. It is well laid out, but is low-lying and apt to be flooded during the rains. Shwegyin means in Burmese 'gold-washing,' and it is probable that gold was found in the neighbourhood at one time. The place has, however, no history, having grown from a small village in compara- tively recent times. Neither in the first nor the second Burmese War was any resistance offered to the British, who on both occasions occu- pied the town. Population (1901), 7,616, Shwegyin ceased to be a District head-quarters in 1895, and this accounts for part of the decrease in population during the last decade. The falling off had, however, begun earlier, and was largely caused by the remoteness of the town and its inaccessibility from the railway.

The town was constituted a municipality in 1888, the present com- mittee consisting of 3 ex-offido and 8 nominated members. The municipal income and expenditure during the ten years ending 1901 averaged Rs. 20,000. In 1903-4 the income was Rs. 22,000, of which Rs. 11,000 was derived from markets, and Rs. 3,300 from house and land tax; and the expenditure was Rs. 19,000, including Rs. 3,200 spent on conservancy and Rs. 3,500 on education. The municipal school contains 95 pupils, and an American Baptist Karen school 138. The municipal hospital has accommodation for 27 in-patients.

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