East India Company Chartered

Search hotels

Check-in date

Check-out date

History on 31st December

East India Company Chartered

The 31st of December 1600 AD

The East India Company began its official life as The Governor and Company of Merchants of London Trading with the East Indies, chartered by Elizabeth I on December 31 1600. They were not the first Englishmen to arrange trading voyages to the Far East, but the 216 merchants headed by George Earl of Cumberland (George Clifford, nobleman, buccaneer and father of Lady Anne Clifford) represented a determined effort to secure a portion of the rich pickings to be had from the East for the country.
Elizabeth granted the company a monopoly on trade in the East Indies for 15 years, but in spite of Cromwell ís brief removal of its powers, and competition in the 18th century from a rival English body (with which it cleverly merged), the East India Company survived as a major force until the Indian Mutiny, and still exists today in a somewhat different guise.
The group raised the considerable capital of £68000 to finance its first voyage, in 1601, headed by Sir James Lancaster, which established a trading post at Bantam. Lancaster had John Davis, the first Englishman to sight the Falklands, as his navigator.
At one point the East India Company controlled 50 per cent of world trade; founded Hong Kong and Singapore as trading centres; won the Battle of Plassey in 1757 thus ensuring British rule of India; and in essence created the British Empire from its base in Leadenhall Street in London .

More famous dates here

9666 views since 1st December 2010

Brit Quote:
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. - Charles Darwin
More Quotes

On this day:
The Last public hanging - 1868, Prince of Wales Opens Vauxhall Bridge - 1906, British Find Oil in Persia - 1908, First Female Magistrate Appointed - 1913, First ever Glyndebourne - 1934
More dates from British history

click here to view all the British counties

County Pages