The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company

The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company

" In Salman Rushdie's words, William Dalrymple is “that rarity, a scholar of History who can really write”.
Anything in Salman Rushdie's words should be treated with serious concern.

I watched Portillo last night but have had an interest in the HEIC for a long time. Read 'A Matter of Honour' by Philip Mason.

Edited for a Polish keyboard.
 
And the Ashanti weren't slow on the uptake either, flogging their ill-gottens to the Arabs. Not a white face in sight, but conveniently forgotten. We fought three bloody wars with those cheeky buggers.
 

Chef

LE
There's a headstone in our local church for a Mr Jackson 'For many years service in the HEIC' I think he pegged out in 1870 something.
 
They should thank us for dragging them kicking and screaming into civilisation at the point of a bayonet. There were plenty of noble savages who were still eating each other and shrinking heads to complement the aesthetic interior design of their mud huts.

The British Empire probably saved more lives than any other institution on earth.
A generation of Indian widows would say 'amen' to that.
 
They did our family a favour. A great great went out in 1815 after a stint as an Ensign with the Militia in Scotland and came back with an estate of over £10k (he was a Captain in the EIC) which set the family up nicely. Sadly he didn't get to enjoy it as he was washed overboard coming round the Cape of Good Hope in the early 1850s..
Not an easy document to post as it was very faint and a copy of a copy but here is The commision of William Fyfe into the EIC in Madraspatnam in 1826.
Scan_20200517 (2).jpg
 
They should thank us for dragging them kicking and screaming into civilisation at the point of a bayonet. There were plenty of noble savages who were still eating each other and shrinking heads to complement the aesthetic interior design of their mud huts.

The British Empire probably saved more lives than any other institution on earth.
Just to explain this as no one countered my rather bold claim. The empire had a colonial service which went around teaching the natives the basics of sanitation -boiliing water, washing regularly and some inoculation. This must have saved countless lives but very little has ever been written about it. Probably because it doesn't agree with the post-modernist, revisionist, Marxist, lefty bullsh&t that passes for higher education nowadays.

Errol Flynn was a part of it in his early days in Papua New Guinea. In that part of the world tribal warfare was still common where tribes would happily massacre all the men/women/children/pregnant women of neighbouring tribes with sharpened stakes because of bad juju.
 
Just to explain this as no one countered my rather bold claim. The empire had a colonial service which went around teaching the natives the basics of sanitation -boiliing water, washing regularly and some inoculation. This must have saved countless lives but very little has ever been written about it. Probably because it doesn't agree with the post-modernist, revisionist, Marxist, lefty bullsh&t that passes for higher education nowadays.

Errol Flynn was a part of it in his early days in Papua New Guinea. In that part of the world tribal warfare was still common where tribes would happily massacre all the men/women/children/pregnant women of neighbouring tribes with sharpened stakes because of bad juju.
In those days the natives (very non PC word - sorry!) had skulls dangling on their belts!
The Colonial service was the envy of the world and on independence the more canny countries maintained it.
 
Here is my question about the British Empire - and it is an honest enquiry with no 'side' to it - what did the Empire ever do for us?

Obviously it was of huge benefit to the diverse people who we invited to join, and it has given us the innate, and justified, instinct to look down on foreigners but really, as far as the mass working class are concerned where did all the money go?

If you look at, say, Quatar the oil revenues trickle down nicely to the gen pop of citizens but was life eased at all for the average working Brit by dint of our world wide commercial interests?

I say this because life at home was spectacularly shit for a great many.

I offer the first Factory Act which was passed in the teeth of stiff opposition preventing children under nine from being employed and limiting their elders, ie 10 year olds to a 12 hour day.

Secondly I remember a documentary by a chap exploring financial compensation for the descendants of slaves who was told that given your average British farm labourer had to pay for his own food and accommodation is was, in strict money terms, a nil sum.

And finally I believe most soldiers who joined up in the early years of WW1 put on about a stone and a half once the army started feeding them properly which I think speaks volumes for the general state of the masses at that period.

So how did having such a top hole Empire help the average British and make their life easier than the lot of the average Frenchman or German?
This is a good Q which I have no direct answer to.
I suppose it was the knock on benefits for an island nation that built a global seafaring industry and the protection that it required - obviously... it's no longer that obvious these days!
We seeded national economies in agriculture (tea, rubber,wool) developed industries from minerals (nitrates/guano/saltpetre). On the one hand, I recall there were never more than several thousand native Brits administering India but isn't that like saying that for every trawlerman at sea there were a couple of hundred associated land based trades?

I wish I could find an article on the 'thousand £ shirt' - basically, look at the term 'spinster'. To put a shirt on a person's back, the (wo)man hours of work, raising, shearing/processing, spinning and weaving flax or wool... so partly to answer your original Q - cheaper goods in the longer run (and not that much of African slavery - after Abolition, Wilberforce could state it was still virtual slavery decades later in northern industry. 1842 was a watershed year for children killed in mining disasters).
Maybe seeding colonies like Australia or coercing Brits to leave for farming and planting on all continents didn't make everyone rich but it certainly did for many expat, indigenous folk and citizens of Empire.
 

CanteenCowboy

LE
Book Reviewer
Not wanting to detract from the excellent review or discussion, however the HEIC is still trading today. It’s charter to govern India has obviously ran out as mentioned but it’s still active, although in a different manner.

 
Errol Flynn was a part of it in his early days in Papua New Guinea. In that part of the world tribal warfare was still common where tribes would happily massacre all the men/women/children/pregnant women of neighbouring tribes with sharpened stakes because of bad juju.
It was common until quite recently and seems to be enjoying something of a resurgence. PNG is one of the most dangerous places on Earth. Just like Africa, it's reverting to type. Bring back the Kiaps!
 

bedended

War Hero
A generation of Indian widows would say 'amen' to that.
Morning @par avion,
Sati or suttee still happens occasionally even now.
I'd never heard of it until I first got here and read a newspaper article. It reported a case out in the ullu, where the widow wasn't too keen to get the Joan of Arc treatment, so the two sons lobbed her on the pyre and held her there with poles. When the 5-O arrested them, their response was something along the lines of. "It's our tradition/culture and however you punish us, it'll still go on". Even without the toastie treatment, widows are looked down on and treated like 2nd/3rd class citizens in some parts of the country. Ignorant, backward fcks.
There was a big case fairly recent where the young widow insisted and went willingly, with the nod from the whole village. I'll post a link if I can find it.
 
Morning @par avion,
Sati or suttee still happens occasionally even now.
I'd never heard of it until I first got here and read a newspaper article. It reported a case out in the ullu, where the widow wasn't too keen to get the Joan of Arc treatment, so the two sons lobbed her on the pyre and held her there with poles. When the 5-O arrested them, their response was something along the lines of. "It's our tradition/culture and however you punish us, it'll still go on". Even without the toastie treatment, widows are looked down on and treated like 2nd/3rd class citizens in some parts of the country. Ignorant, backward fcks.
There was a big case fairly recent where the young widow insisted and went willingly, with the nod from the whole village. I'll post a link if I can find it.
Perhaps they need the British Gora Sahib back in charge. Not that we want them of course. We were glad to see the back of the place in 1947.
 

Oyibo

LE
Ask what they know about the wealth of Benin , once the richest Country in Africa ,wealth being generated by hundreds of years of slave trading of captives from Wars or other tribes
The Kingdom of Benin was in Nigeria, not modern day Benin. But I agree with your assertion
 
The Kingdom of Benin was in Nigeria, not modern day Benin. But I agree with your assertion
I thought that the reverse was true i.e. Benin was a distinct and separate state before being incorporated into Nigeria later, Whiteman?
 

Oyibo

LE
I thought that the reverse was true i.e. Benin was a distinct and separate state before being incorporated into Nigeria later, Whiteman?
Up for debate as the Kingdom of Benin existed long before Nigeria became a power. But the centre of the Kingdom was in the city of Benin in Nigeria - the palace is still there.

(Just to add, depending on whose etymology one believes, my user name means 'peeled man' - i.e. no black skin left. But yes, essentially it means 'honky'.)
 
Up for debate as the Kingdom of Benin existed long before Nigeria became a power. But the centre of the Kingdom was in the city of Benin in Nigeria - the palace is still there.

(Just to add, depending on whose etymology one believes, my user name means 'peeled man' - i.e. no black skin left. But yes, essentially it means 'honky'.)

Yes, I know.. both Re Benin and the lingo

Whenever I've visited the in laws Village, a welcome cry of Oyibo greets me , followed by my smiling reply of Oygingee
 

ydb

Swinger
Just to explain this as no one countered my rather bold claim. The empire had a colonial service which went around teaching the natives the basics of sanitation -boiliing water, washing regularly and some inoculation. This must have saved countless lives but very little has ever been written about it. Probably because it doesn't agree with the post-modernist, revisionist, Marxist, lefty bullsh&t that passes for higher education nowadays.

Errol Flynn was a part of it in his early days in Papua New Guinea. In that part of the world tribal warfare was still common where tribes would happily massacre all the men/women/children/pregnant women of neighbouring tribes with sharpened stakes because of bad juju.
Any books you'd recommend on the empire?
 
Any books you'd recommend on the empire?
I found this one very interesting:



I'd generally agree with the tone of the more positive reviews on the Amazon site; I'd say they generally do it justice, if you were after a feel of "what's it like?"

Of course there are negative reviews, but they are probably all from Earth and his friends and thus can safely be ignored.

ETA: Edited to fix the Amazon link, just realised that it doesn't show correctly on my browser due to my ad blocker. I wondered what was going on there ... All the other embedded links to newspapers, YouTube etc, work fine, just Amazon that's not happy.

Anyway, this one ...

Screenshot 2020-05-23 at 16.23.57.jpg
 
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Morning @Auld_Yin,
Got mine in D(sm)elhi last year, only R/s700(about six'n'thruppence;)), along with the other two titles. Been after 'The Anarchy...' and 'John Company' since I 1st heard about them. Haven't even got around to un-wrapping 'The Anarchy...' yet as both other titles are on the go along with two other books(not India related).
'Thug'(pronounced 'Tug'), is excellent reading.
I'm saving 'The Anarchy...' until last.View attachment 474087
Thug is superb
 
The Anarchy I found to be an excellent and informative read, some posters object to the writers style but he does actually live in India, speaks a number of the languages and has a genuine appreciation of the culture and history of the place. I found it to be balanced and objective also I learned a great deal including about just how dreadful the indian rulers were hence our popularity and the fanatic French revolutionaries - there is a film in that bit alone.

I have all his books and his account of the First Afghan War is second only to McDonald Fraser....sort of
 

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