Trade in the Eastern Seas, 1793-1813

By C. Northcote Parkinson | Go to book overview

Chapter XII
THE END OF MONOPOLY

THE first serious attack on the Company's monopoly came from the handful of merchants living in India under the Company's own protection. The story of the campaign for Free Trade begins with the effort of these merchants to obtain admission to the trade with Europe. The basis of their prosperity was, as we have seen, the wealth of the Company's servants at Calcutta and, to a lesser extent, at Bombay. In the later years of our period there were, Wathen points out,

. . . five houses of agency . . . in Calcutta, circulating through their many ramified channels the life-blood of commerce, and at once affording an employment for native capital, yielding a large interest of eight per cent. to such Company's servants as left the produce of their hard-earned labours to increase in their hands, and making at the same time the rapid and princely fortunes of many an enterprising merchant, who has returned to his native land a prince in revenue, himself the architect of his fortunes. . . .

Some idea has already been given of the wealth made in India by individuals; and especially those in the Company's service. This wealth having been further increased by the type of investment Wathen describes, the problem arose as to how to send it to England when the time came for the owner to retire there. Originally, the transmission had been a very simple matter, for the fortunes acquired in India were neither numerous nor large. Before the days of the English power in that country, there had been no difficulty in sending home the wealth of individuals in the form of bills drawn on the Company. During the latter half of the eighteenth century,

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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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