Trade in the Eastern Seas, 1793-1813

By C. Northcote Parkinson | Go to book overview

Chapter I
THE INDIA HOUSE

THE new India House, which was opened in April 1800, was an austere building, severely classical, stone built and plain; but it was not entirely unadorned. The façade was relieved by pilasters and crowned by a pediment; and the pediment contained figures in high relief, much admired at the time, which were supposed to indicate the nature of the business transacted within. Even had this masterpiece survived, which it has not, it is doubtful whether the casual observer would have grasped the point of the allegory. A point, however, there was, as the following quotation will show:

DESCRIPTION OF THE PEDIMENT Commerce, represented by Mercury, attended by Navigation, and followed by Tritons on Sea Horses, is introducing Asia to Britannia, at whose Feet She pours out her Treasures. The King is holding the Shield of Protection over the Head of Britannia and of Liberty, who is embraced by Her--By the Side of His Majesty sits Order, attended by Religion and Justice. In the Back Ground is the City Barge etc. near to which stand Industry and Integrity-- The Thames fills the Angle to the Right Hand, and the Ganges the Angle towards the East.

One is loath to spoil the effect of such a description. Yet, here is an epitome of nineteenth-century England, firmly carved on the walls of Leadenhall Street almost before the century had begun. With the exception, perhaps, of the Tritons on Sea Horses, every figure was significant, prophetic and unconsciously revealing. 'Order, attended by Religion and Justice. . . .' What Religion? What kind of Justice? For the present purpose, however, it is with Commerce that we

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PT 1

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Trade in the Eastern Seas, 1793-1813
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Preface xi
  • Chapter I- The India House 1
  • Chapter II- British India 29
  • Chapter III- Trade to the East 69
  • Chapter IV- The Eastern Seas 98
  • Chapter V- East Indiamen 121
  • Chapter VI- The Shipping Interest 164
  • Chapter VII- The Maritime Service 191
  • Chapter VIII- The Voyage 226
  • Chapter IX- Passengers 264
  • Chapter X- Naval Protection 304
  • Chapter XI- The Country Trade 317
  • Chapter XII- The End of Monopoly 357
  • Notes 367
  • Bibliography List of Authorities Arranged by Chapters 393
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