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Privy Council; but the Duke himself was impeached by
the Commons, under the charge of having received a bribe
of 50007.; but the absence of a material witness, and a
speedy prorogation of parliament, terminated the inquiry.
Meanwhile the Company continued to labour under the
greatest financial distress. They had long ceased to pay
any dividend at home, and in India their agents were forced
to borrow money to purchase a cargo for even three ships.
They had also to contend with a new misfortune.
fame of Indian riches attracted to the eastern seas adven-
turers of ali nations; some of whom were professed pirates;
others, men preferring honest trade; though, when they
found themselves debarred from this source of profit by the
pretensions and power of monopoly, they had no such aver-
sion to piracy as to reject the only other source in which
they were allowed to partake." The vessels of Mogul
subjects occasionally fell into the hands of these English
plunderers; and as the Mogul government either could not
or would not distinguish between one set of Englishmen
and another, the Company was held responsible for every
act of aggression; their goods were confiscated, and their
servants imprisoned. In their complaints at home, the
Directors associated private traders and pirates in one class,
to which they referred all their misfortunes, and even
attempted to attach the stigma of piracy to the new rival
association noticed at the head of this section, which was
now swelling into importance.

abject submission; and nothing but the circumstance that sent to the Tower; and a bill was passed to compel him to the trade was profitable to the Mogul, prevented a total make the discovery. In the House of Lords, Cooke was expulsion of the English from India. The Directors, how-zealously defended by the Duke of Leeds, President of the ever, seem to have been impressed with the necessity of acquiring dominion in India. In their instructions forwarded in 1689, they say:-"The increase of our revenue is the subject of our care, as much as our trade: 'tis that must maintain our force, when twenty accidents may interrupt our trade; 'tis that must make us a nation in India; without that we are but as a great number of interlopers united by His Majesty's royal charter, fit only to trade where nobody of power thinks it their interest to prevent us; and upon this account it is, that the wise Dutch, in all their general advices which we have seen, write ten paragraphs concerning their government, their civil and military policy, warfare, and the increase of their revenue, for one paragraph they write concerning trade." About this time the Company acquired by purchase Tegnapatam, a town and harbour on the Coromandel coast, a little to the south of Pondicherry, which they fortified, and named Fort St. David. An attempt was also made to economise the methods of conducting their trade by employing Armenians*, "because that people could vend English woollens, by carrying small quantities into the interior provinces, and could collect fine muslins, and other new and valuable articles suited to the European demands, better than any agents of the Company could effect under any phirmaund or grant which might be eventually purchased." In England the continuance of the East India monopoly was regarded with impatience, not only because it was founded on a royal charter, unsupported by parliamentary sanction, but because a general feeling prevailed that the trade ought to be thrown open to private enterprise, and of this view the House of Commons partook. A committee appointed to inquire into the subject reported in January, 1690, their opinion in favour of a new company to be established by Act of Parliament; and in the following year an address being presented by the House to the King, praying him to dissolve the Company and incorporate a new one, his Majesty referred the question to a Committee of the Privy Council. This committee reported, under the advice of the judges, that the Company could not legally be dissolved without three years' notice, and that no other company could commence operations until that term had expired. The Commons, after many warm debates on the subject, presented an address of the whole House to the King (25th February, 1692-3), praying his Majesty to dissolve the Company upon three years' notice; to which his Majesty replied on the 2nd of March, that he would consider their address. A few days after this, parliament was prorogued.

Notwithstanding the claim asserted by the House of Commons that parliament had a right to consider and sanction the terms upon which the Indian trade was in future to be conducted, a new charter was granted by letters-patent from the Crown. The chief conditions were, that the capital of the Company should be increased from 756,000l. to 1,500,000l.; that their exclusive privileges should be confirmed for twenty-one years; that they should export every year 100,000l. of British produce; that the title to a vote in the Court of Proprietors should be 10007.; and that no more than ten votes should be allowed to any one person.

The Commons were very indignant at this proceeding, and voted, "That it was the right of all Englishmen to trade to the Fast Indies, or any part of the world, unless prohibited by act of parliament." The Company's books were inspected, and considerable surprise excited at the large sums of money which had been expended for special services in the year 1693. During the reign of James II., about 1200l. a-year had been thus expended, and this sum had gradually increased, so that in the year 1693 it amounted to nearly 90,000l. Sir Thomas Cooke, the governor of the Company, and some of the principal members, were called before the House of Commons, but they refused to account for the money. Cooke was thereupon

"Among the Christians of the East, the Armenians, during the power of the successors of Constantine, had formed a particular sect. When the countries which they inhabited were overrun by the Mahommedan arms, they were transplanted by force, in great numbers, into Persia, and dispersed in the surrounding countries. Under oppression, the Armenians adhered to their faith; and addicting themselves to commerce, became, like the Jews in Europe, the merchants and brokers in the different countries to which they resorted. A proportion of them made their way into India, and by their usual industry and acuteness acquired that share in the business of the country which was the customary reward of the qualities they displayed."-MILL.

In 1698 the Company, anxious to get their charter confirmed, and the monopoly of the Indian trade secured to them, offered to lend the government 700,000l., at 4 per cent. interest. The rival association offered to advance 2,000,000l., at 8 per cent., provided they were allowed to carry on the exclusive trade free from the obligation of trading on a joint-stock. A bill was introduced into parliament to invest the new association with authority, and on this occasion the two opposing parties were heard by their counsel: the existing Company urged reasons why they should be continued as the sole possessors of the trade; their rivals urged objections which were strong enough, but they were debarred the use of those important arguments which bore upon the principle of exclusion: "they who were themselves endeavouring to obtain a monopoly, could not proclaim the evils which it was the nature of monopoly to produce." Mr. Macpherson, remarking that "the art of instantaneously raising large sums, appears not to have been so well understood then as in the present day," says, that the want of money induced the legislature to accept the offer of the largest sum, although at double interest; and a bill for incorporating the subscribers was introduced, and received the royal assent on the 5th July, 1698. The following were its principal provisions:-"That the sum of two millions should be raised by subscription, for the service of government; that this subscription should be open to natives or foreigners, bodies politic or corporate: that the money so advanced should bear an interest of 8 per cent., per annum; that it should be lawful for his Majesty, by his letters-patent, to make the subscribers a body politic and corporate, by the name of The General Society, intituled to the advantages given by an act of parlia ment, for advancing a sum not exceeding two millions, for the service of the Crown of England; that the subscribers might severally trade to the East Indies, each to the amount of his subscription; that if any or all of the subscribers should be desirous, they might be incorporated into a joint-stock company; that the subscribers to this fund should have the sole and exclusive right of trading to the East Indies; that on three years' notice after the 29th September, 1711, and the repayment of the capital of two millions, this act should cease and determine; that the old, or London Company, to whom three years' notice were due, should have leave to trade to India till 1701; that their estates should be chargeable with their debts; and that if any further dividends were made before the payment of their debts, the members who received them should be responsible for the debts with their private estates, to the amount of the sums thus unduly received." The new Company was also prohibited from allowing their debts at any time to exceed the amount of their capital stock.

As the greater portion of the new subscribers desired to trade upon a joint-stock, a charter was issued, forming them into a joint-stock company, by the name of The English Company trading to the East Indies. Those sub

scribers who refused to join this company, belonged to the General Society, also constituted by charter under the act.

"In all this very material affair," says Anderson, "there certainly was a strange jumble of inconsistencies, contradictions, and difficulties, not easily to be accounted for in the conduct of men of judgment." There certainly was a contradiction in the abolition of one exclusive company only to erect another; but the chief defect of the arrangement, was the abstraction by parliament, under the name of a loan to government, of the whole trading capital of a mercantile body, and expecting them to traffic extensively and profitably when destitute of funds. The advance to government ruined the new Company from the very commencement of its efforts: shares fell to a discount; the first voyage was very insignificant, and the disappointed expectations of the subscribers increased the depression.

The old Company, as may be supposed, contributed somewhat to the failure of the new one: they acquired influence in its arrangement by the purchase of shares; by great exertion furnished an equipment for the season 1698-99, amounting to thirteen sail of shipping, 5000 tons burthen, and stock estimated at $2,000l. They resolved to seek the favour of the Moguls by the most submissive and respectful behaviour, as well as by offer of services. In their instructions to their servants in India, they represented the late proceedings of Parliament, as the result of party influence. "The interlopers," as they called the new Company," had prevailed by their offer of having the trade free, and not on a joint-stock;" but they were resolved, by large equipments, (if their servants would only second their endeavours,) to frustrate the speculations of their opponents. "Two East India Companies in England," said they, "could no more subsist, without destroying one another, than two kings at the same time regnant in the same kingdom: that now a civil battle was to be fought between the old and the new Company, and that two or three years must end this war, as the old or the new must give way: that, being venturers, if their servants abroad would do their duty, they did not doubt of the victory: that if the world laughed at the pains the two Companies took' to ruin each other, they could not help it, as they were on good ground and had a charter: that when the three years expired, still they had revenues and possessions, and had a share in the new Company's stock to the amount of 315,000, and were, therefore, entitled to trade annually to India to that amount."

On the strength of this interest in the new Company the old Company continued to negociate; and they succeeded in obtaining an act of parliament, permitting them to trade as a corporation on their own account after the period of their charter, under the charter of the new Company, to the amount of their stock therein.

The rivalry of the two Companies was most painfully exhibited in India, productive as it was of private malevolence and public violence, the details of which we gladly pass over. These contentions of course had a most injurious effect on the trade, which was witnessed with regret in England. A coalition of the two Companies was generally advocated, and was viewed favourably by the new Company, as their shares declined in value with their prosperity; and by the old Company, as the term of three years, during which they were allowed to trade on their whole stock, approached a termination. After numerous negociations in the Court of Directors and in the House of Commons, the proposal to unite the two Companies was seriously entertained in April, 1701. Committees from both Companies settled the following terms of union, which were confirmed by the general courts of both Companies in April, 1702. "That the court of twenty-four managers, or directors, should be composed of twelve individuals, chosen by each Company; that of the annual exports, the amount of which should be fixed by the Court of Managers, half should be furnished by each Company; that the Court of Managers should have the entire direction of all matters relating to trade and settlements subsequently to this union; but that the factors of each company should manage separately the stocks which each had sent out previously to the date of that transaction; that seven years should be allowed to wind up the separate concerns of each Company: and that, after that period, one great joint-stock should be formed by the final union of the funds of both." A plan was adopted for equalizing the shares of the two Companies, and on the 22nd of July, 1702, the union received a legal sanction, under the title of The United Company of Merchants Trading to the East Indies.

If this union produced something like tranquillity at home, it created considerable disturbance among the functionaries in the East: those who had hitherto been engaged in active rivalry, were now called upon to co-operate as friends; those who occupied offices under one Company were called upon to yield them up, or share them with the servants of another. This sudden mingling of two hitherto opposing elements, naturally produced discord and confusion in England as well as at the immediate scene of discord, and the contentions lasted until the season of 1707-8, when an event occurred which showed the United Company that something more than a nominal union was necessary to their success. An application was made by government to the two Companies for a loan of 1,200,000%. without interest. The Directors knew that if any difficulty were opposed to this loan on their parts, a new body of adventurers would start up, and tempt the government with some munificent offer, to admit another rivalry in the East India trade; they therefore felt the necessity of laying aside all minor differences, and uniting to overcome the present difficulty. They agreed, after much consideration, to submit all their differences to the arbitration of the Earl of Godolphin, then Lord High Treasurer of England; and that, upon his award being pronounced, the union should be rendered complete and final. An act was therefore passed, to enable the Directors to raise money for the purposes of this loan, and regulate some other of the large money transactions of the Company; the privileges of the Company were also extended from 1711 to 1726, and it was provided, that the terms of the union, to be settled by the award of the Earl of Godolphin, should be binding on both Companies.

This award was published on the 29th September, 1708. It chiefly referred to the blending of the separate properties of the two Companies into one common stock, on equitable terms; and thus was brought to a conclusion, an important event, which, says Mr. Bruce, "distinguishes the two great epochas of the ancient and of the modern history of the East India Company."




The commerce of India being now settled on a tolerably fixed basis, the Company were in a better condition than formerly to participate in the improved condition of the country generally, and, consequently, to extend their trade and augment their wealth. "The town of Liverpool, which was not formed into a separate parish till 1699, so rapidly increased, that in 1715 a new parish, with a church, was erected, and it doubled its size between 1690 and 1726. The town of Manchester increased in a similar proportion, and was computed in 1727 to contain no less than 50,000 in-. habitants. The manufactures of Birmingham, which thirty years before was little more than a village, are stated as giving maintenance at that time to upwards of 30,000 individuals. In 1719 a patent was granted to Sir Thomas Lombe, for his machine for throwing silk, one of the first of those noble efforts of invention and enterprise which have raised this country to unrivalled eminence in the useful arts. The novelty and powers of this machine, the model of which he is said to have stolen from the Piedmontese, into whose manufactories he introduced himself in the guise of a common workman, excited the highest admiration; and its parts and performances are described to us by the historians of the time with curious exactness ;-26,586 wheels, 97,476 movements, which worked 73,726 yards of organzine silk by every revolution of the water-wheel, 318,504,960 yards in one day and night; a single waterwheel giving motion to the whole machine, of which any separate movement might be stopped without obstructing the rest; and one fire communicating warmth by heated air to every part of the manufactory, not less than the eighth part of a mile in length. London was increased by several new parishes, and from the year 1708 to the year 1730, the imports of Great Britain, according to the valuation of the custom-house, had increased from 4,698,6637. to 7,780,0197.; the exports from 6,969,0897. to 11,974,1357.

"During this period of national prosperity, the imports of the East India Company rose from 493,2571., the importation of 1708, to 1,059,759.; not the least important, the export branch of the Company's trade, exhibited another result. As the exportation of the year 1708 was exceedingly small, compared with that of 1702 and the following years, it is fair to take an average of four years, from 1706 to 1709 (two with a small, two an increased

exportation,) producing 105,7731. The exportation of the year 1730 was 135,4847., while that of 1709 was 168,3577.; that of 1710, 126,3107.; that of 1711, 151,874.; and that of 1712, 142,3297.

"With regard to the rate of profit during this period, or the real advantage of the Indian trade, the Company, for part of the year 1708, divided at the rate of five per cent. per annum to the proprietors upon 3,163,2007. of capital; for the next year eight per cent., for the two following years nine per cent., and thence to the year 1716 ten per cent. per annum. In the year 1717 they paid dividends on a capital of 3,194,0807., at the same rate of ten per cent. per annum, and so on till the year 1723. That year the dividend was reduced to eight per cent. per annum, at which rate it continued till the year 1732.

"In the year 1712, on the petition of the Company, the period of their exclusive trade was extended by act of Parliament from the year 1726, to which, by the last regulation, it stood confined, to the year 1733, with the usual allowance of three years for notice, should their privileges be withdrawn*."

In the year 1716 the Company obtained a proclamation against interlopers. Their complaints arose from the enterprises of British subjects trading to India under foreign commissions; but their proclamation was not sufficient to remedy this evil. They therefore obtained, in 1718, an act of Parliament for punishing all such interlopers. British subjects, trading from foreign countries under the commission of a foreign government, were declared amenable to the laws for the protection of the Company's rights; the Company were authorized to seize merchants of this description when found within their limits, and to send them to England, subject to a penalty of 500l. for each offence. The circumstances which had more particularly led to these measures were as follows. After the peace of Utrecht, which bestowed the Netherlands upon the house of Austria, the people began to recover from the devastations of war, and to project measures for the improvement of their condition. A trade with India was one of their favourite plans, from which they hoped to derive the greatest benefit: two ships, therefore, sailed from Ostend in 1717, under the passports of the Emperor, and several more soon followed. The India Companies of England and Holland immediately took the alarm, and communicated their fears to their respective governments. Expostulations were addressed to the Emperor in vain; and the Dutch having gone so far as to capture some Ostend East India ships, the Emperor granted his commission of reprisal to the merchants of Ostend.

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In the year 1730, within three years of the expiration of the Company's charter, a petition was presented to the legislature by the opponents of the monopoly; they offered to lend the government the sum of 3,200,000l., which the Company had advanced at five per cent. interest, on far more favourable terms. They also made a proposal for opening the trade, "so that every man in the nation who pleased, might trade in the way of private adventure.” The Company was to receive remuneration for erecting and maintaining the forts and buildings abroad; and in order to preserve these fixed establishments, it was proposed that no one should trade to India, except under the Company's license. "And if it were true," says Mr. Mill, "as it has been always maintained, that, for the trade of India, forts and factories are requisite, of such a nature as no individual or precarious combination of individuals, is competent to provide, this project offers peculiar claims to consideration and respect. It promised to supply that demand which has always been held forth, as peculiar to Indian trade, as the grand exigency which, distinguishing the traffic with India from all other branches of trade, rendered monopoly advantageous in that peculiar case, how much soever proved to be injurious in others. While it provided for this real or pretended want, it left the trade open to all the advantages of private enterprise, private vigilance, private skill, and private economy; the virtues by which individuals thrive and nations prosper; and it afforded an interest to the proposed Company, in the careful discharge of its duty; as its profits were to increase in exact proportion with the increase of the trade, and, of course, with the facilities and accommodation by which the trade was promoted."

The arguments advanced in favour of this new scheme were both numerous and plausible, and seem to have fixed the attention of the nation to the subject. Petitions were presented to the House of Commons from the merchants, traders, &c. of London, Bristol, and Liverpool, praying that the trade to India might be thrown open. The press too, for the most part, advocated the popular cause. The Company reverted to the old arguments in favour of the monopoly. They spoke of the grand national importance of their trade, and asked "if it were wise to risk the loss of known advantages, of the greatest magnitude, in pursuit of others which were only supposed." There was no doubt of the importance of the Indian trade; but, as Mr. Mill remarks," because it is important, to assume, that the monopoly ought to remain, is merely to say, that when a thing is important it ought never to be improved; In the beginning of the year 1720 these merchants sent in things of no moment society may be allowed to make six vessels to India, and in the year following an equal progress; in things of magnitude, that progress ought ever number. The English East India Company renewed their to be strenuously and unbendingly opposed. This argucomplaints. They affirmed that the capital by which the ment is, unhappily, not confined to the use of the East Ostend enterprise was carried on was furnished chiefly by India Company. Whoever has attentively traced the proBritish subjects, and that the trade and navigation were gress of government, will find that it has been employed carried on by men who had been bred up in the trade and by the enemies of improvement at every stage; and only navigation of the British Company. Another act was in so far as it has been disregarded and contemned, has the therefore passed in 1721, enforcing the penalties already condition of man ascended above the miseries of savage enacted: but this also proved inefficient, so that in 1723 a life. Instead of the maxim, a thing is important, therefore still more severe act was obtained, prohibiting foreign adven-it ought not to be improved; reason would doubtless suggest ture to India under the penalty of triple the sum embarked, that the more any thing is important, the more its improvedeclaring all British subjects found in India, and not in the ment should be studied and pursued. When a thing is of service, or under the license of the East India Company, small importance, a small inconvenience may suffice to guilty of a high misdemeanour, and empowering the Com- dissuade the pursuit of its improvement. When it is of pany to seize them, and send them home for punishment. great importance, a great inconvenience alone can be Meanwhile the Emperor had been importuned by the allowed to produce that unhappy effect. If it be said, that Ostend traders to give them a charter, and thus constitute where much is enjoyed, care should be taken to avoid its them an exclusive company, for he had hitherto induced loss; this is merely to say, that men ought to be prudent, them to traffic under passports as individuals. In August, which is very true, but surely authorises no such inference 1723, this charter was granted, and in less than twenty- as, that improvement in matters of importance should be four hours the subscription books of the Company were always opposed." filled up, and in less than a month the shares were sold at a premium of fifteen per cent. In spite of all opposition, the Ostend Company experienced the greatest success. At a meeting of the proprietors in 1726, the remaining instalment on the subscriptions, equal to a dividend of thirtythree and one-third per cent., was paid up from the gains of the trade. But by this time the political difficulties of the Emperor were so great, that he submitted to relieve himself by sacrificing the Ostend Company, stipulating in words, that the business of the Company should be suspended for seven years; "but all men understood that, in this case, suspension and extinction were the same."

* ANDERSON'S History of Commerce; MILL's British India, Fourth Edition; and Reports of the Secret Committee of the House of Commons, as quoted by Mr. Mill

After much contest, both in and out of Parliament, the offer of the Company was accepted, whereby they agreed to reduce the interest on the whole of the loan to government from five to four per cent., and, as a premium for the renewal of their charter, to contribute 200,000l. to the public service. The exclusive privileges of the Company therefore, prolonged on these terms until Lady-day, 1766, with the usual addition of three years' notice.




The effect of the award of the Earl of Godolphin being to unite the competitors for Indian commerce into one

corporate body, the business of the Company became regular and uniform; their capital, composed of the shares of the subscribers, was a fixed and definitive sum; and their proceedings were reduced to a series of operations periodically recurring. A general description, therefore, of the mode by which the Company managed its affairs, will include all that is interesting, during a number of years, in the history of this commercial body.

At an early period in the history of the Company, the general conduct of its affairs was intrusted to a number of proprietors, who formed themselves into a court, and they chose, from their own body a number of persons to form committees, to manage particular portions of the business. The proprietors assembled in a general court; the committees, called afterwards the Directors, assembled in their special courts.

At the time of the award, it was necessary for a subscriber, in order to have a vote in the Court of Proprietors, to be the owner of 500%. of the Company's stock; but a greater sum did not entitle him to more than one vote. But in order to become a director, it was necessary to possess at least 2000l. of the Company's stock. The directors were twenty-four in number; one was chairman, another deputy-chairman, presiding in the courts. The directors were chosen annually by the proprietors in their general court. Four of such courts were held every year, but special courts might be summoned on emergencies. The Courts of Directors were held as often, and at such times and places as were deemed expedient.

To the Court of Proprietors belonged the right of framing laws and regulations, determining dividends, and making grants of money. It was the duty of the Court of Directors to manage the routine business, and to comply with the ordinances of the Courts of Proprietors, to which the supreme power was secured by their privilege of displacing annually the Directors.

"In this constitution," says Mr. Mill, "if the Court of Proprietors be regarded as representing the general body of the people, the Court of Directors as representing an aristocratical senate, and the Chairman as representing the sovereign, we have an image of the British constitution; a system in which the forms of the different species of government, the monarchical, aristocratical, and democratical, are mixed and combined." But as the sovereignty and the aristocracy were both elective from year to year, the greatest share of power rested with the democracy; and, besides this, the democracy had the sole power of giving effect to the decrees of the whole body. "Under the common impression of democratic ambition, irregularity, and violence, it might be concluded that the democratic assembly would grasp at the whole of the power; would constrain and disturb the proceedings of the Chairman and Directors; would deliberate with violence and animosity; and exhibit all the confusion, precipitation, and imprudence, which are so commonly ascribed to the exercise of popular power.

"The actual result is extremely different from what the common modes of reasoning incite common minds to infer. Notwithstanding the power which, by the theory of the constitution, was thus reserved to the popular parts of the system, all power has centred in the Court of Directors; and the government of the Company has been an oligarchy, in fact. So far from meddling too much, the Court of Proprietors have not attended to the common affairs, even sufficiently for the business of inspection; and the known principles of human nature abundantly secured that unfortunate result. To watch, to scrutinize, to inquire, is labour, and labour is pain. To confide, to take for granted that all is well, is easy, is exempt from trouble, and to the great mass of mankind, comparatively delightful. On all ordinary occasions, on all occasions which present not a powerful motive to action, the great mass of mankind are sure to be led by the soft and agreeable feeling. And if they who act have only sufficient prudence to avoid those occurrences which are calculated to rouse the people on account of whom they act, the people will allow them abundant scope to manage the common concerns in a way conformable to their own liking and advantage. It is thus that all constitutions, however democratically formed, have a tendency to become oligarchical in practice. By the numerous body who constitute the democracy, the objects of ambition are beheld at so great a distance, and the competition for them is shared with so great a number, that in general they make but a feeble impression upon their minds; the small number, on the other hand, intrusted with the management, feel so immediately the advantages, and their affections are

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so powerfully engaged by the presence of their object, that they easily concentrate their views, and point their energies with perfect constancy in the selfish direction. The apathy and inattention of the people on the one hand, and the interested activity of the rulers on the other, are two powers, the action of which may always be counted upon; nor has the art of government as yet exemplified, however the science may or may not have discovered, any certain means by which the unhappy effects of that action may be prevented."

It has been already noticed that the business of the Company was transacted by committees of the Directors. Of these there were no less than ten; the first of which was the most confidential and extensive, namely, the Committee of Correspondence. "Its duties were to study the advices from India, and to prepare answers for the inspection of the Court of Directors. To report upon the number of ships expedient for the trade of the season, and the stations proper for each. To report upon the number of servants, civil and military, in the different stations abroad; on the demand for alterations, and the applications made for leave of absence, or leave to return. All complaints of grievances, and all pecuniary demands on the Company, were decided upon in the first instance by this committee, which nominated to all places in the treasury, the secretary's, examiner's, and auditor's offices. It performed, in fact, the prime and governing business of the Company. The rest was secondary and subordinate."

The next committee was that of Law-suits, whose duty it was to deliberate and direct in all cases of litigation. The third was the Committee of Treasury, whose business it was to provide for the payment of dividends and interest on bonds; to negotiate the Company's loans; to purchase gold and silver for exportation, and to decide, in the first instance, respecting pecuniary questions. The fourth Committee was that of Warehouses, the chief concern of which related to the business of importation; it determined the modes of shipping, and arranged the order of sales. The fifth was the Committee of Accounts, whose duties are sufficiently explained by its title. The Committee of Buying was the sixth, whose business was to superintend the purchase and preparation of the standard articles of export. The Committee of the House was the seventh, and its business was to regulate the attendance of the several officers and clerks, and the general domestic affairs of the house. The eighth was the Committee of Shipping, to which was intrusted the hiring of ships and seamen; the purchase or minor stores, &c. The ninth was the Committee of Private Trade, and its business was to adjust the accounts of freight and other charges payable on goods exported for private account in the chartered ships of the Company. The business of the tenth committee scarcely differed from that of the ninth. Its object was to prevent the growth of private trade; to take cognizance of all instances in which the license granted by the Company for private trade was exceeded; to decide upon the controversies to which the encroachments of the private traders gave birth; and to make application of the penalties which were provided for transgression.

Up to the time to which we now refer, the exports had consisted of bullion, lead, mercury, woollen cloths, and hard-ware. The imports were calicoes, and other woven manufactures of India; raw silk, diamonds, tea, porcelain, pepper, drugs, and saltpetre. The annual average importation for nineteen years following the year 1708, was 758,0427. On stated days the goods were put up for sale at the India House, and transferred to the highest bidder. The sale of goods in India was conducted in a similar way.

The practice of hiring ships, (chartering, as it is called,) was long adopted by the Company; this mode being found preferable to building or purchasing their own, as was at first adopted. They retained merely a few swift-sailing vessels, more for the purpose of intelligence than of freight. In the purchase, collection, and custody of goods in India, for the purpose of forming a freight to England, a complicated system was introduced, partly in consequence of the weak and unsettled condition of the government; partly from the ignorance of the Company's servants of native manners and character; and partly from the obstinate adherence of the natives themselves to their established customs. "As the state of the country was too low in respect of civilization and of wealth, to possess manufacturers and merchants on a large scale, capable of executing extensive orders, and delivering the goods contracted for on pre-appointed days, the Company were under the necessity

of employing their own agents to collect throughout the country, in such quantities as presented themselves, the different articles of which the cargoes to Europe were composed. Places of reception were required, in which the goods might be collected, and ready upon the arrival of the ships, that the expense of demurrage might be reduced to its lowest terms. Warehouses were built, and these, with the counting-houses, and other apartments for the agents and business of the place, constituted what were called the factories of the Company. Under the disorderly and inefficient system of government which prevailed in India, deposits of property were always exposed, either to the rapacity of the government, or, under the weakness of the government, to the hands of depredators. It was always, therefore, an object of importance to build the factories strong, and to keep their inmates armed and disciplined for self-defence, as perfectly as circumstances would admit. At an early period, the Company even fortified these stations of their trade, and maintained professional troops, as often as the negligence permitted, or the assent could be obtained, of the kings and governors of the countries in which they were placed.

Company in England. A Presidency was composed of a president or governor, and a council; both appointed by commissioners of the Company. The council was composed of the superior servants in the civil, or non-military class. All power was lodged in the president and council, and no business could be transacted except by a majority of votes. The salaries connected with these offices were but small; but the members distributed all the most lucrative offices amongst themselves; such, for example, as chiefs of the more important factories under the Presidency, where they were able to engage in the internal trade, and also in the trade by sea to all eastern ports north of the equator, except Tonquin and Formosa. Mr. Wilson says that for some time the salaries of the chiefs of Bombay and Fort St. George did not exceed 300l. per annum; and those of the merchants and factors were but 307. and 207. per annuin. Even as late as the acquisition of all real power in Bengal, the salary of a councillor was 250l. per annum; of a factor 1407.; of a writer, as then lately increased, 1307.; but the Company's servants all engaged, more or less, in the internal trade on their own account.

The president and council exercised full power over all "Of the commodities collected for the European market, the Company's servants in India; they also had authority that part, the acquisition of which was attended with the over such of their countrymen, not in the Company's sergreatest variety of operations, was the produce of the loom. vice, as dared to trade without license; they were usually The weavers, like the other laborious classes in India, are seized, imprisoned, or sent to England, and in many cases in the lowest stage of poverty, being always reduced to the the treatment seems to have been unnecessarily severe. bare means of a most scanty subsistence. They must The president and council were also empowered to exercise at all times, therefore, be furnished with the materials of civil and criminal jurisdiction according to the laws of their work, or the means of purchasing them; and with England; and the powers of martial law for the governsubsistence while the piece is under their hands. To trans- ment of the troops maintained to defend the factories and act in this manner with each particular weaver, to watch Presidencies. At a later period, a Mayor's Court was estahim that he may not sell the fabric which his employer blished in each of the three Presidencies, consisting of a has enabled him to produce, and to provide a large supply, mayor and nine aldermen, empowered to decide in civil is a work of infinite detail, and gives employment to a cases of all descriptions; they were also vested with the multitude of agents. The European functionary, who, in power of holding Courts of Quarter Sessions for the exercise each district, is the head of as much business as it is sup- of penal judicature; while the president and council were posed that he can superintend, has first his banyan, or na- erected into a Court of Appeal from the Mayor's Court. A tive secretary, through whom the whole of the business is Court of Requests was also instituted for the speedy decision conducted; the banyan hires a species of broker, called a of pecuniary questions of small amount. gomashtah, at so much a month: the gomashtah repairs to In addition to these judicial tribunals, whose authority the aurung, or manufacturing town, which is assigned as extended only to the British people in India, the Company, his station, and there fixes upon a habitation, which he "in the capacity of Zemindar of the district around Calcalls his cutchery: he is provided with a sufficient number cutta, erected the usual Zemindary Courts, for the adminis of peons, a sort of armed servants, and hircarahs, messen- tration of the Indian laws to the Indian people; the gers or letter-carriers, by his employer: these he immedi- Phoujdary Court for the trial of crimes; and the Cutcherry ately dispatches about the place, to summon to him the for civil causes; besides the Collector's Court for matters of dallals, pycârs, and weavers: the dallâls and pycârs are revenue. The judges in those tribunals were servants of two sets of brokers, of whom the pycars are the lowest, the Company, appointed by the governor and council, and transacting the business of detail with the weavers; the holding their offices during pleasure; the rule of judgment dallâls again transact with the pycârs; the gomashtah was the supposed usage of the country, and the discretion transacts with the dallâls; the banyan with the gomashtah; of the court; and the mode of procedure was summary. and the Company's European servant with the banyan. Punishments extended to fine, imprisonment, labour upon The Company's servant is thus five removes from the the roads in chains for a limited time, or for life; and workman; and it may easily be supposed that much collu- flagellation, either to a limited degree, or death. The ideas sion and trick, that much of fraud towards the Company, of honour, prevalent among the natives, induced the Mogul and much of oppression towards the weaver, is the conse- government to forbid the European mode of capital punishquence of the obscurity which so much complication im- ment, by hanging, in the case of a Mussulman. In complies. Besides his banyan, there is attached to the Euro-pensation, however, it had no objection to his being whipped pean agent a mohurrer, or clerk, and a cash-keeper, with a sufficient allowance of peons and hircarahs. Along with the gomashtah is despatched, in the first instance, as much money as suffices for the first advance to the weaver, that is, suffices to purchase the materials, and afford him subsistence during part at least of the time in which he is engaged with the work. The cloth, when made, is collected in a warehouse adapted for the purpose, and called a kattah. Each piece is marked with the weaver's name; and when the whole is finished, or when it is convenient for the gomashtah, he holds a kattah, as the business is called, when each piece is examined, the price fixed, and the money due upon it paid to the weaver. This last is the stage at which chiefly the injustice to the workman is said to take place; as he is then obliged to content himself with 15 or 20, and often 30 or 40 per cent. less than his work would fetch in the market. This is a species of traffic which could not exist but where the rulers of the country were favourable to the dealer; as everything, however, which increased the productive powers of the labourers added directly in India to the income of the rulers, their protection was but seldom denied."

The business of India was at this time under the government of three Presidencies: one at Bombay, another at Madras, and a third at Calcutta. These Presidencies were independent of each other, and responsible only to the

to death; and the flagellants in India, are said to be so dexterous, as to kill a man with a few strokes of the chawbuck."

The president was commander-in-chief of the military force within the Presidency. It was composed partly of recruits from the various ships; partly of deserters from other European nations settled in India; and partly of natives, called Sepoys, from the Indian sipahi, or soldier. The average number of soldiers maintained in each Presi dency is not well ascertained; but it must have been small, for at the time when the Presidency was established at Calcutta in 1707, an effort was made to increase the garrison to three hundred men.

The Company's servants in India were known as writers, factors, junior merchants, and senior merchants. The writers, or clerks, as they might have been styled, were occupied with the inferior details of commerce, in which capacity they remained five years: they were promoted first to the rank of factor; next to that of junior merchant, in each of which they served three years; they then became senior merchants, and were eligible to serve in the council.

We here close our notice of the East India Company as a commercial body; its further progress being intimately connected with the history of British India.


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