Thursday, August 11, 2005

British East India Company

While researching an article, I was browsing the wikipedia entry on the British East India Company. I was surprised to find the link to the dissolution of the company in 1874 under the East India Stock Dividend Redemption Act went nowhere.

I have started editing the entry - my second original entry to wikipedia - and am looking for more information on the Act, ideally the full text. The current entry:
After the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, things went downhill for the British East India Company.

In 1858, by the Act for the Better Government of India, the Crown assumed all governmental responsibilities held by the company, and its 24,000-man military force was incorporated into the British army. The company was dissolved on January 1, 1874, when the East India Stock Dividend Redemption Act came into effect.

Benjamin Disraeli was the Prime Minister of England at the time and Queen Victoria was the ruling monarch. Queen Victoria was the first monarch to use the title Empress of India from 1 January 1877

Retrieved from ""

I also came across this snippet of financial information on the performance of East India Stock, from the history of the City of London Livery Companies, or the Worshipful Company of Upholders
In 1868 the assets of the Company still comprised £5,850 East India Stock and £2,000 East India Debentures, and the actual net income amounted to £382 13s. 10d., a return of nearly 5 per cent. net, which compares very favourably with the present returns that are obtainable. Most of the income was being spent at that time, and the bills for the Albion Tavern, Aldersgate, amounted to no less than £225 in 1869. In 1882 the dividends from the East India Stock were reduced from 5 per cent. to 4 per cent., and in 1886 Corporation Duty made its first appearance.

During this time the income from the investments remained constant, but the expenditure was kept within limits, with the result that by 1889 there was a balance in hand of over £200. In that year the East India 4 per cent. Stock was redeemed, and the proceeds, or part thereof, amounting to £5,571 6s., were invested in £3,000 (nominal) Victoria Inscribed Stock and £2,000 South Australian Stock. In 1891 the balance of the redemption money was invested in £3I5 7s. 2¾ per cent. Consols.

It appears as if dividends reduced after the Crown took over the Company.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was also searching for the net worth of East India Company in 1858 and did not find anything on the net.

Do you mean the company was just worth a few thousand pounds in 1858?

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