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The initial stages of the British East India Company's involvement in India

An illustrated talk by Dr Gregor Davey

Friday 21st October 2016

Gregor Davey gave a fascinating talk about the rise of the East India Company, which was formed to pursue trade with the East Indies but ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and Qing China. The company rose to account for half of the world's trade, particularly in basic commodities including cotton, silk, indigo dye, salt, saltpetre, tea and opium.

The first company was formed by Royal Charter in 1600 and in 1698 a new "parallel" East India Company was formed. The stock holders from the original company invested in the new company and dominated it. In 1709 the United Company of Merchants Trading to the East Indies was formed and this was eventually dissolved in 1874.

There was much opposition from the Dutch East India Company and even other East Indies companies, including Austrian, French, Portuguese and Swedish.