Definitions

British East India Company

British East India Company

East India Company, British, 1600-1874, company chartered by Queen Elizabeth I for trade with Asia. The original object of the group of merchants involved was to break the Dutch monopoly of the spice trade with the East Indies. However, after 1623, when the English traders at Amboina were massacred by the Dutch, the company admitted defeat in that endeavor and concentrated its activities in India. It had established its first factory at Machilipatnam in 1611, and it gradually acquired unequaled trade privileges from the Mughal emperors. Although the company was soon reaping large profits from its Indian exports (chiefly textiles), it had to deal with serious difficulties both in England and in India. During the 17th cent. its monopoly of Indian trade was constantly challenged by independent English traders called "interlopers." In 1698 a rival company was actually chartered, but the conflict was resolved by a merger of the two companies in 1708. By that time the company had established in India the three presidencies of Madras (now Chennai), Bombay (now Mumbai), and Calcutta (now Kolkata). As Mughal power declined, these settlements became subject to increasing harassment by local princes, and the company began to protect itself by intervening more and more in Indian political affairs. It had, moreover, a serious rival in the French East India Company, which under Joseph François Dupleix launched an aggressive policy of expansion. The victories (1751-60) of Robert Clive over the French made the company dominant in India, and by a treaty of 1765 it assumed control of the administration of Bengal. Revenues from Bengal were used for trade and for personal enrichment. To check the exploitative practices of the company and to gain a share of revenues, the British government intervened and passed the Regulating Act (1773), by which a governor-general of Bengal (whose appointment was subject to government approval) was given charge of all the company's possessions in India. Warren Hastings, the first governor-general, laid the administrative foundations for subsequent British consolidation. By the East India Act of 1784 the government assumed more direct responsibility for British activities in India, setting up a board of control for India. The company continued to control commercial policy and lesser administration, but the British government became increasingly the effective ruler of India. Parliamentary acts of 1813 and 1833 ended the company's trade monopoly. Finally, after the Indian Mutiny of 1857-58 the government assumed direct control, and the East India Company was dissolved.

See studies by B. Willson (1903), H. Furber (1948, repr. 1970), L. Sutherland (1952), and B. Gardner (1972); D. Gilmour, The Ruling Caste (2006).

British East India Company: see East India Company, British.
The following list of British East India Company directors is taken from the “Alphabetical List of Directors of the East India Company from 1758 to 1858”, compiled by C.H. & D. Philips and published in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, October 1941.

"The figures indicate the year of election to the Court of Directors and, unless the name of the month in any particular year is given, the month is assumed to be that of April. It is important to remember that throughout the period the year of office was from April to the following April. When a span of years is shown the election dates given are inclusive.”

“An asterisk placed after a year indicates that the director concerned was elected deputy chairman for that year, two asterisks, that he was chosen chairman, three, that he was first elected deputy and later in the same year appointed chairman. The abbreviations d., disq., respectively stand for died, disqualified.

This list has been compiled from MSS. records, in particular the Court Minutes and Home Miscellaneous Series, volume 764, at the India Office, amplified and checked by information mainly taken from the Annual Register, the Asiatic Annual."

Directors of the British East India Company 1785-1885
Director’s name Dates of directorship
Agnew, Patrick Vans May 1833, 35–8, 40–2, d. Jun 1842.
Alexander, Josias du Pre Aug 1820–2, 24–7, 29–32, 34–7, 39, d. Aug 1839.
Alexander, Henry Mar 1826–26, 28–31, 33–6, 38–41, 43–6, 48–51, 53, d. Jan 1861.
Allan, Alexander 1814–17, 19–20, d. Oct 1820.
Amyand, George 1760, 63, d. Aug 1766.
Astell, William Thornton Jan 1800–1800, 02–05, 07–09*–10**, 12–15, 17–20, 22–3*–4**–5, 27–8**–9*30**, 32–5, 37–40, 42–5, d. Mar 1847.
Astell, John Harvey Jul 1851, 52–8.
Atkinson, Richard Jan 1784–84–5, d. Jun 1785.
Baillie, John May 1823, 25–8, 30–3, d. May 1833.
Bannerman, John Alexander 1808–11, 13–16, disq. Mar 1817.
Baring, Francis 1779–82, 84–7, 89–91*–2**, 94–7,99–1802,04–07,09–10, d. Oct 1810.
Baron, Christopher 1759, 61, 62, 63, 64, 66, 67, d. Nov 1767.
Barrington, Fitzwilliam 1759, 61, 62, 65, 66, 67.
Barwell, William 1758,59,61,62,63,64,66.
Bayley, William Butterworth July 1833–5 37–9*–40** 42–5 47–50,52–8, d. May 1860.
Bebb, John Nov 1804, 06–09, 11–14, 16*–17**–19, 21–4, 26–9, disq. Apr 1830.
Becher, Richard 1775–8, 80, disq. Mar 1781.
Bensley, William Oct 1781–4, 86–9, 91–4, 96–9, 1801–4, 06–09, d. Jan 1810.
Boddam, Charles 1769, 72, 73, 74–5, 77–80, 82–4, d. Dec 1784.
Boehm, Edmund 1784–7, d. 1787.
Booth, Benjamin 1767, 68, 69, 70, 72, 73, 75–8, 80–3, d. Apr 1807.
Bosanquet, Jacob (1) 1759
Bosanquet, Jacob (2) Aug 1782–3, 85–8, 90–3, 95–7*–8**, 1800–02*–03**, 05–08, 10*–11 **–12**–13, 15–18, 20–3, 25–6, disq. Mar 1827.
Bosanquet, Richard 1768, 69, 71, 72.
Boulton, Henry Crabb 1758, 59, 60, 61, 63, 64*, 65**, 67, 68**, 69, 70, 72, 73**, d. Oct 1773.
Boyd, John 1758, 59*, 60, 61, 63, 64, d. Aug 1766.
Browne, John 1758, 59, 60, 62, 63.
Bryant, Jeremiah Feb 1841–41, 43–5, d. Jun 1845.
Burgess, John Smith 1773, 74, 76–9, 81–4, 86–9, 91 **–2*–4, 96–9, 1801–3, d. May 1803.
Burrow, Christopher 1758, 60, 61.
Burrow, Robert 1762, 63, 64.
Campbell, Archibald M. Feb 1796–96, d. Sept., 1796.
Campbell, Robert Jul 1817, 19–22, 24–7, 29–30*–31**–32, 34–7, 39–42, 44–7, 49–52, d. 1858.
Carnac, James Rivett Mar 1827–27–28,30–3,35*–6**–7**–8, disq. Dec 1838.
Caulfield, James 1848–51, d. Nov 1852.
Chambers, Charles (1) 1763, 64, 65, 66, 68.
Chambers, Charles (2) 1770, 73.
Cheap, Thomas Aug, 1777, 78, 80–3, 85–8, 90–3*.
Clarke, William Stanley Mar 1815–15–16, 18–21, 23–6 28–31 33–4*–5**–6, 38–41, 43, d. Jan 1844:
Clerk, Robert Jul 1812, 14–15,d. Jul 1815.
Cockburn, James 1767, 68, 70, 71.
Colebrooke, George 1767, 68*, 69**, 70**, 72**.
Cotton, John Apr 1833–33–34, 36–9, 41– 2*–3**–4, 46–9, 51–3, d. Jul 1860.
Cotton, Joseph 1795–8, 1800–3, 05–08, 10–13, 15–18,20–3, disq. May 1823.
Creed, James . 1758, 61, d. Feb 1762.
Creswicke, Joseph 1765,66,67, 68, d. Jun 1772.
Cruttenden, Edward Holden 1765, 66, 67, 68, 70, 71, d. Jun 1771.
Cuming, George 1764,65,66,67,69,70,71,72, Dec 73, 74–7, 79–82, 85–7, d. Dec 1787.
Currie, Frederick 1854–6, 57*, 58**, d. Sep 1875.
Cust, Peregrine 1767,68,69*.
Cutts, Charles 1758,59,60,61,63,64,65,66.
Daniell, James Oct 1809, 11–14, 16–19, 21–4, resigned Apr 1825.
Darell, Lionel 1780–3 85–8 90–3 95–8 1800–3, d. Oct 1803.
Davis, Samuel Oct 1810–12, 14–17, 19, d. Jul 1819.
Dempster, George 1769, 72, d. Feb 1818.
Dent, William Jan 1851–51–53, d. Dec 1877.
Dethick, Thomas 1772
Devaynes, William 1770,71, 72, 73, 74–5, 77*–89*–80**, 82–3*–4*–5**, 878*–9**–90*, 92–3**–4**–5, 97–1800, 02–05, defeated Apr 1807.
Dorrien, John 1758,60,61,62*,63**.
Drake, Roger 1758*, d. Jun 1762.
Ducane, Peter 1764,66,67,68,69,71,72,73.
Dudley, George 1758, 59, 60, 62, 64, 65*, 66**,67,70,71*, d. Nov 1777.
Dupre, Josias 1765, 66, d. Oct 1780.
Eastwick, William Joseph Jun 1847, 49–52, 54–8*.
Edmonstone, Neil Benjamin Oct 1820–2, 24–7, 29–32, 34–7, 39–41, d. Jun 1841.
Ellice, Russell Feb 1831, 32–5, 37–40, 42–5, 47–50, 52*–3**, 54–8.
Elphinstone, William Fullarton Dec 1786–9, 91–4, 96–9, 1801–04**,06**–09,11–13*–14**, 16–19, 21–4, resigned Apr 1825.
Ewer, Walter Dec 1790, 92–4, disq. Apr 1795.
Farquhar, Robert Townsend Mar 1826–26–28, d. Mar 1830.
Fergusson, Robert Cutlar Feb 1830–30–31, 33–5, disq. Jun 1835.
Fitzhugh, Thomas Aug 1785, 87–90, 92–5, 97–9, d. Jan 1800.
Fletcher, Henry 1769, 71, 72, 73, 74–5, 77––80, 82***–83**, resigned Nov 1783.
Forbes, John Apr 1830, 31–4, 36–9, d. Feb 1846.
Fraser, Simon Feb 1791–91, 93–6, 98–1801,03–06, d. 1807.
Freeman, William George 1769, 74–6, 78–81.
Galloway, Archibald Sep 1840, 42–5, 47–8*– 49**–50, d. Apr 1850.
Gildart, Richard 1759
Godfrey, Peter 1759**,60.
Gough, Charles 1759, 60, 61, 62, d. Feb 1774.
Grant, Charles May 1794–5,97–1800,02–04*05**, 07*–08*–09**–10,1215**,17–20,22–3, d. Oct 1823.
Gregory, Robert 1769,70,71,72,75–8,80–2**, resigned Aug 1782.
Hadley, Henry 1758, 59, 60, 62, 63, 64, 65.
Hall, Richard 1773, 74, 76–9, 81–4, 86, d. Dec 1786.
Harrison, John 1758, 59, 60, 61, 63, 64, 65, 66, 68, 69, 70, 71, 73*, 74*–5**7, 79–82.
Harrison, Samuel 1759,61,62, d. May 1765.
Hawkesworth, John 1773, d. Nov 1773.
Hogg, James Weir Sep 1839–42, 44–5*– 6* *–7 , 49–50*–1 *–2**, 54–8, d. May 1876.
Hudleston, John 1803–6, 08–11, 13–16, 18–21, 23–5, disq. Mar 1826.
Hunter, John 1781–4, 86–9, 91–4*, 96–9, 1801–2, d. Jan 1803.
Hurlock, Joseph 1768, 70, 71, 72, 73.
Inglis, Hugh 1784–7,89–92,94–6*–7**,99*1800**–02, 04–07, 09–11*12*, d. 1812.
Inglis, John May 1803–04, 06–09, 11–14*, 16––19,21–2, d. Aug 1822.
Irwin, James Apr 1795, 97, d. Mar 1798.
Jackson, John 1807–10,12–15, 17–20, d. Jun 1820.
Jackson, William Adair Jan 1803–03–04, d. Nov., 1804.
James, William 1768, 69, 70, 71, 73, 74–6*, 78*–9**––80–1*,83, d. Dec 1783.
Jenkins, Richard Jun 1832–5, 37–8*–9**–40, 42–5,47–50,52–3, d. Dec 1853.
Johnstone, George Jan 1784–84–85, d. 1787.
Jones, Robert 1765, 66, 67, 68, d. Feb 1774.
Lascelles, Peter 1770, 72, 73, 74–5.
Lemesurier, Paul 1784–7, 89–92, 94–7, 99–1802, 04–05, d. Dec 1805.
Lindsay, Hugh 1814–17, 19–22, 24–6*–7**, 29–32, 34–7, 39–42, 44, d. May 1844.
Loch, John 1821–4, 26–8*–9**, 31–3**–4, 36*–9, 41–4, 46–9, 51–3.
Lumsden, John Jan 1817, 18, d. Dec 1818.
Lushington, James Law Jul 1827–8, 30–3, 35–7*–8**, 40–1*–2**–3,45–7*–8**,503, d. May 1859.
Lushington, Stephen 1782–5, 87–9*–90**, 92–5**, 97–8*–9**–1800, 02–05, d. Jan 1807.
Lyall, George 1830–3,35–8,40*–1**–3,45–8, 50, disq. Jan 1851.
Macnaghten, Elliot Jun 1842–3, 45–8, 50–3, 54*, 55**, 56–8.
Mangles, Ross Donnelly 1847–50, 52–3, 54, 55, 56*, 57**, 58, d. Aug 1877.
Manship, John 1758, 62, 63, 64, 65, 67, 69, 70, 71, 72, Dec 73, 74–7, 79–82, 84–7, 89–92, 94–7, 99–1802, 04–07, 09, disq. May 1809.
Marjoribanks, Campbell 1807–10, 12–15, 17–18*–19**20, 22–4*–5**, 27–30,32*3**–5, 37–40, d. Sep 1840.
Marjoribanks, Dudley Coutts 1853
Masterman, John Nov 1823–5,27–30,325, 37–40, 42–5, 47–50, 52–3.
Melville, William Henry Leslie Jul 1845–6, 48–51, 53–5.
Metcalfe, Thomas Theophilus 1789–92,94–7,99–1802,04–07, 09–12, d. Nov 1813.
Michie, John 1770, 71, 72, 73, 74–5, 77–80, 83–6**, 88*, d. Nov 1788.
Millet, George Jan 1806–06–07, 09–12, d. 1812.
Mills, Charles (1) Aug 1785–6, 88–91, 93–6, 98–1801 ***, 03–06, 08–11, 13–14, disq. Mar 1815.
Mills, Charles (2) Aug 1822–4, 26–9, 31–4, 36–9, 41–4, 46–9, 51–8, d. 1872.
Mills, William 1778–81, 83–5, disq. Aug 1785.
Moffat, James 1774–7, 79–82, Dec 1784–5,87–90, d. Dec 1790.
Money, William 1789–92, 94–5, d. Feb 1796.
Money, William Taylor Dec 1818, 20–3, 25, disq. Mar 1826.
Moore, James Arthur May 1850, 52–3, d. Jul 1860.
Morris, John 1814–17, 19–22, 24–7, 29–32, 34–7, disq. Jan 1838.
Motteux, John 1769, 1784–6*–7**.
Muspratt, John Petty Mar 1824, 25–8, 30–3, 35–8, 40–3, 45–8, 50–3, d. Aug 1855.
Newnham, Nathaniel 1758, d. Feb 1760.
Oliphant, James Jan 1844–44–46, 48–51, 53*, 54**, 55–6, disq. Apr 1857.
Pardoe, John 1765, 66, 67, 68.
Parry, Edward Apr 1797–97–98, 1800–03,0506*–07**–08**, 10–13, 1518, 20–3, 25–7, d. Jul 1827.
Parry, Richard Aug 1815–17, d. Jul 1817.
Parry, Thomas Oct 1781, 83–6, 88–91, 93–6, 98–1801, 03–06, d. 1806.
Pattison, James Mar 1805, 06–09, 11–14, 16–17*–18**–19, 21*–2**–4, 26–7*–9, disq. Apr 1830.
Pattle, Thomas 1787–90, 92–4, disq. Apr 1795.
Peach, Samuel 1773, 74, 76–9, 81, disq. Oct 1781.
Peel, Laurence 1857, d. Jul 1884.
Phipps, Thomas 1758
Pigou, Frederick 1758, 59, 60, 61, 63, 64, 65, 66, 68, 69, 70, 71, 73, 74–7.
Plant, Henry 1758
Plowden, Richard Chicheley 1803–06, 08–11, 13–16, 18–21, 23–6, 28–9, d. Feb 1830.
Plowden, William Henry Chicheley 1841–4, 46–9, 51–3, d. Mar 1880.
Pollock, George 1854–5, 58, d. Oct 1872.
Prescott, Charles Elton Jun 1820, 22–5, 27–30, 32, d. Jun 1832.
Prinsep, Henry Thoby Jul 1850–1, 53–8, d. Feb 1878.
Purling, John 1763, 64, 65, 66, 68, 69, 70*, 71**, 77–80.
Raikes, George Mar 1817, 18–21, 23–6, 28–31, 33–6, disq. Jul 1836.
Ravenshaw II, John Goldsborough Jul 1819–22, 24–7, 29–31*2**, 34–7, 39–40, d. Jun 1840.
Rawlinson, Henry Creswicke 1856–8, d. Mar 1895.
Raymond, John 1758, 59, 60, d. 1768.
Reid, Thomas Nov 1803, 05–08, 10– 13,15*–16**–18,20*–1**–3, d. Mar 1824
Robarts, Abraham Mar 1786–86, 88–91, 93–6, 98–1801, 03–06, 08–11, 1315, disq. Oct 1815.
Roberts, John 1764, 65, 66, 67, 69, 70, 71, 72, 75*–6**–8, Nov 80–3,85–8,90–3,95–8,1800–01*–02**–03*, 05–08,d. Feb 1810.
Robertson, Archibald Jun 1841–2, 44–7, d. Jun 1847.
Robinson, George Abercrombie 1808–11,13–16,18–19*–20**–1, 23–5*–6**, 28, disq. Mar 1829.
Rooke, Giles 1758, 59, 60, 61, 63, 64.
Rous, Thomas 1758, 60*, 61*, 62**, 64**, 65, 66*, 67**, 70, 71, d. Jul 1771.
Rous, Thomas Bates 1773,74,76–9.
Rumbold, Thomas 1772, 75–6–7, res. Aug 1777.
Saunders, Thomas 1765,66,67*.
Savage, Henry 1758, 60, 61, 62, 64, 65, 66, 67, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74–7, 79–82.
Scott, David (1) Dec 1788–91, 93–5*–6**, 98–1800*–01 **, resigned Apr 1802.
Scott, David (2) 1814–17, 19–20, disq. Aug 1820.
Scrafton, Luke 1765, 66, 67, 68.
Seward, Richard 1759, 61, 62, 63.
Shank, Henry 1831–4,36–9,41–4,46–9,51–3.
Shepherd, John Jun 1835–6, 38–41, 43*–4**– 6, 48–9*–50**–51**, 53–8, d. Jan 1859.
Smith, George Apr 1795, 97–1800, 02–05*, 07–10, 12–15, 17–20, 22–5, 27–30, 32–3, disq. Jul 1833.
Smith, Martin Tucker Dec 1838, 40–3, 45–8, 50–8, d. Oct 1880.
Smith, John (see Burgess, John Smith)
Smith, Joshua 1771,72, d. Jul 1775.
Smith, Nathaniel 1774–5, 77–80, 82*–3***–4**5*, 87*–8**–90, 92–4, d. May 1794.
Smith, Richard 1759, 60, 61, 62, 64.
Smith, Samuel 1783–6, disq. Jul 1786.
Snell, William 1762, 63, 64, 67, 68, 69.
Sparkes, Joseph 1773, 74, 76–9, 81–4, 86–9, d. Mar 1790.
Stables, John 1774–6, 78–81, disq. Oct 1781.
Steevens, George 1758, 59, 60, 62, 63, d. 1763.
Stephenson, John 1765,66,67,68, d. Apr 1794.
Stuart, James 1826–9, 31–2, d. Apr 1833.
Sulivan, Laurence 1758**, 60**, 61**, 63*, 64, 69, 71, 72*, 78–80*–81**, 83–5, d. Feb 1786.
Sykes, William Henry Jul 1840–2, 44–7, 49–52, 54–5*–6**–8, d. Jun 1872.
Tatem, George 1772, 73, 74, 76–9, 81–4, Jul 1786, 88–91, 93–6, 98–1801, d. Jul 1807.
Taylor, John Bladen Jan 1810, 11–14, 16–19, d. 1819.
Thelusson, George Woodford Sep 1796–7, 99–1802, 04–07, d. Dec 1811.
Thornhill, John Oct 1815–16, 18–21, 23–6, 28–31, 33–6, 38–40, d. Feb 1841.
Thornton, Robert Dec 1787–8, 90–3, 95–8, 1800–03 05–0£ 10–13** disq. Apr 1814.
Thornton, William (1) 1759, 61, 62, 63, 64.
Thornton, William (2) (see Astell, William Thornton)
Toone, Sweny Mar 1798–98–1800, 02–05, 07–10, 12–15, 17–20, 22–5, 27–30, disq. Feb 1831.
Townson, John Mar 1781, 81–3, 85–8, 90–3, 95–6, d. Apr 1797.
Travers, John 1786–9, 91–4, 96–9, 1801–04, 06–09, d. Oct 1809.
Tucker, Henry St. George 1826–9,31–3*–4**,36–9,41–4, 46*–7**–9,51, d. Jun 1851.
Tullie, Timothy 1758, 60, 61, 62, 63, d. Aug 1765.
Twining, Richard 1810–13, 15–16, disq. Jan 1817.
Vansittart, Henry 1769, d. 1770.
Verelst, Harry 1771, d. 1785.
Vivian, John Hussey 1856–8.
Walton, Bourchier 1759,60,61,62, d. Jun 1779.
Ward, Edward 1762, d. Sep 1762.
Warden, Francis Jul 1836, 38–41,43–6,48–50, disq. Jul 1850.
Warner, Richard 1760, 61, 62, 63.
Waters, Thomas 1759, 60, 61, 62, d. Sep 1764.
Webber, William 1762, 63, 64, 65, d. Apr 1779.
Wheler, Edward 1765, 66, 67, 68, 70, 71, 72, 73**, 74**–6.
Whiteman, John Clarmont May 1844–7, 49–52, d. Aug 1866.
Wier, Daniel 1768, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74–6.
Wigram, William May 1809–12, 15–18, 20–2*3**,25–8,30–3*,35–8,40–3, 45–8, 50–3.
Wilkinson, Jacob 1782–3, resigned Nov 1783.
Williams, Stephen Mar 1790,91–4, 96–9, 1801–4, d. Mar 1805.
Willock, Henry Jan 1838, 39–42, 44*–5**–7, 49–52, 54–8.
Willoughby, John Pollard 1854–8, d. Sep 1866.
Wombwell, George 1766, 67, 68, 75–7**–8**, 80, d. Nov 1780.
Woodhouse, John 1768, 69, 70, 71, 73, 74–6, 78–81, Jan 1784–84–86, 88–90, disq. Feb 1791.
Williams, Robert 1809–12, d. Jul 1812.
Young, William Mar 1829–29–31, 33–6, 3841, 43–6.

References

C.H. & D. Philips, “Alphabetical List of Directors of the East India Company from 1758 to 1858”. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society October 1941

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