East India Trading Company
The first Great Company
The East India Trading Company is the first of the so-called “Great Companies” in that it no longer answers to any single monarch or ruling nation. The Company stands on it’s own independent of government support and does business across many nations. The Company is nearing it’s 300th year of continual operation dealing mostly in java, cotton, silk, saltpetre, indigo dye, tea, coal, telesma, and opium. The Company has never sought to engage in more “complicated” products seeking instead to provide the raw materials and shipping capabilities of it’s vast navy to supply other companies, great and small, thus securing the Company as the first leg of any production. The Company, having lost it’s titles as Governors and Administrators to many British colonies, has also gone into the business of providing veteran and seasoned troops, military supplies, ships, and airships to various other organizations. In effect they are one of the largest, oldest, best equipped, and trained mercenary providers in Europe and beyond.
Relations with Other Great Companies
Hudson Bay Company We feel that the HB Company are still very much in the Crown’s pocket and seek not to do business with them. In addition our interests lay on the opposite side of the world to where HB is based in the colony of Canada and the United States of America.
Muscovy Trading Company Though they may be referred to as a Great Company they are traitors to the Crown. While we have freed ourselves from bondage we have not turned our holdings actively against the Empire while MTC has chosen to ally themselves with the Russian Empire and works to actively expand their influence. A Great Company should be above such politics.
German West Africa Company We have much in common with GWAC, they to have felt the sting of political infighting curtailing their profits when instead such companies as ours should be disconnected from such things. They make for excellent business partners but their choice to compete with use in various markets does strain our relationship somewhat.
German East Africa Company This upstart has sided completely and have become the slaves of the German Nobility; they are no Great Company and exist merely to feed the greed of the Nobles of Germany. We are to compete with and crush them at every economic opportunity.
Reirdan & Tesla Electrical Manufacturing Company There production of airships and other valuable tools makes them excellent business partners but their interest in continual expansion makes them potentially dangerous rivals. The present however is full of excellently profitable opportunities for the both of us.
LeMont Steamlimb & Trading Consortium When LeMont simply produced steamlimbs and provided shade stone for such devices he was considered an growth opportunity. However, his financial and scientific successes have made him and his consortium a threat, especially as they seek to expand there trade operations through south east Asia and India. This effrontery in our very own markets will not be tolerated.
De’Medici Banking Consortium & Accounting They hold the purse strings of Europe, Russia, the colonies of Africa, the colony of Australia, the United States of America, and the colony of Canada. We deal with them because we must but there monopoly will only serve them so well. Things always change.
Soon after the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, a group of London merchants presented a petition to Queen Elizabeth I for permission to sail to the Indian Ocean. The permission was granted and in 1591 three ships sailed from England around the Cape of Good Hope to the Arabian Sea. One of them, the Edward Bonaventure, then sailed around Cape Comorin and on to the Malay Peninsula and subsequently returned to England in 1594. In 1596, three more ships sailed east; however, these were all lost at sea. Two years later, on 24 September 1598, another group of merchants, having raised £30,133 in capital, met in London to form a corporation. Although their first attempt was not completely successful, they nonetheless sought the Queen’s unofficial approval, purchased ships for their venture, increased their capital to £68,373, and convened again a year later. This time they succeeded, and on 31 December 1600, the Queen granted a Royal Charter to “George, Earl of Cumberland, and 215 Knights, Aldermen, and Burgesses” under the name, Governor and Company of Merchants of London trading with the East Indies. The charter awarded the newly formed company, for a period of fifteen years, a monopoly of trade (known today as a patent) with all countries to the east of the Cape of Good Hope and to the west of the Straits of Magellan. Sir James Lancaster commanded the first East India Company voyage in 1601.
Initially, the Company struggled in the spice trade due to the competition from the already well established Dutch East India Company. The Company opened a factory (trading post) in Bantam on the first voyage and imports of pepper from Java were an important part of the Company’s trade for twenty years. The factory in Bantam was closed in 1683. During this time ships belonging to the company arriving in India docked at Surat, which was established as a trade transit point in 1608. In the next two years, the Company built its first factory in the town of Machilipatnam on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal. The high profits reported by the Company after landing in India initially prompted King James I to grant subsidiary licenses to other trading companies in England. But in 1609 he renewed the charter given to the Company for an indefinite period, including a clause which specified that the charter would cease to be in force if the trade turned unprofitable for three consecutive years.
The Company was led by one Governor and 24 directors who made up the Court of Directors. They were appointed by, and reported to, the Court of Proprietors. The Court of Directors had ten committees reporting to it.
For many decades the Company continued to expand, even developing it’s own armies and navies to protect it’s interests. The Company would famously come to conquer Bengal and eventually India in pursuit of more markets and profits. As time passed however the Crown would seek more and more to curtail the Company’s growing power and influence eventually removing it’s ability to Administer colonies on the Crowns behalf in 1858. The Government of India Act also sought to remove much of the Company’s military power but many soldiers simply saw fit to leave the Crown’s service and return to private employment under the Company. Since that time the Company has divested itself of any vassalage to the British Crown and saw to control all of it’s own interests. The Company has created a precedent of large enough and successful enough companies being able to distance themselves from any need for governmental support or permission to engage in there own affairs.
In the present time the EITC is presided over by a Governor, currently [[:Lord Nestor Lancaster]], whose family has remained powerful in the Company and while not always holding the Governorship has held great influence at all times. The 24 Directors have been expanded to 36 seats held by primarily rich and powerful Englishman. The only exceptions are as follows; Prince Baahir Kaamil