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tories of the Grand Signor. Under these circumstances it is not surprising to find members of the Levant Company taking an active part in the promotion of the East India Company. Indeed the latter Company was in a sense the outgrowth of the former. Alderman Thomas Smith, the first Governor of the East India Company, was at the same time Governor of the Levant Company, and the adventures of the two Companies were at the outset intimately connected with each other. At the end of the first volume of court minutes of the East India Company are copies of several letters sent to Constantinople by the Levant Company.
Had history taken a different course, the Levant Company might have founded on the shores of the Mediterranean an empire built up of fragments of the dominions of the Ottoman Porte, as the East India Company founded on the shores of the Bay of Bengal an empire built up of fragments of the dominions of the Great Mogul. But England was not a Mediterranean power, trade with the East had been deflected from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, and the causes which had destroyed the Italian merchant states were fatal to the Levant Company. As the East India Company grew, the Levant Company dwindled, and in 1825 it was formally dissolved.
To return to the East India Company.
During the first twelve years of its existence, the Company The traded on the principle of each subscriber contributing separate
voyages. separately to the expense of each voyage, and reaping the whole profits of his subscription. The voyages during these years are therefore known in the annals of the Company as the 'separate voyages.' But, efter 1612, the subscribers threw their contributions into a 'joint stock,' and thus converted themselves from a regulated company into a joint-stock company, which however differed widely in its constitution from the joint-stock companies of the present day. In the meantime James I had in 1609 renewed the charter James I's
charter of of Elizabeth, and made it perpetual, subject to determination
after three years' notice on proof of injury to the nation. The provisions of this charter do not, except with regard to its duration, differ in any material respect from those of the
charter of Elizabeth. Beginning It has been seen that under the charter of Elizabeth the of martial law exer
Company had power to make laws and ordinances for the cisable
government of factors, masters, mariners, and other officers by Company. employed on their voyages, and to punish offenders by fine
or imprisonment. This power, was, however, insufficient for the punishment of grosser offences and for the maintenance of discipline on long voyages. Accordingly, the Company were in the habit of procuring for each voyage a commission to the 'general ' in command, empowering him to inflict punishments for non-capital offences, such as murder or mutiny, and
to put in execution' our law called martial 1.' Grant of This course was followed until 1615, when, by a Royal 1615.
grant of December 16, the power of issuing commissions embodying this authority was given to the Company, subject to a proviso requiring the verdict of a jury in the case of
capital offences. Grant of By 1623 the increase in the number of the Company's settle1623.
ments, and the disorderliness of their servants, had drawn attention to the need for further coercive
Accord ingly King James I, by a grant of February 14, 1623 ?, gave the Company the power of issuing similar commissions to their presidents and other chief officers, authorizing them to punish in like manner offences committed by the Company's servants on land, subject to the like proviso as to the submission of capital cases to the verdict of a jury.
| For an example of a sentence of capital punishment under one of these commissions, see Kaye, Administration of East India Company, p. 66. In transactions with natives the Company's servants were nominally subject to the native courts. Rights of extra-mural jurisdiction had not yet been claimed.
2 The double date here and elsewhere indicates a reference to the three months, January, February, March, which according to the Old Style closed the old year, while under the New Style, introduced in 1751 by the Act 24 Geo. II, c. 23, they begin the new year.
The history of the Company during the reigns of the first Contests two Stuarts and the period of the Commonwealth is mainly Dutch and occupied with their contests with Dutch competitors and English
rivals. English rivals. The massacre of Amboyna (February 16, 162;) is the Massacre
of Amturning point in the rivalry with the Dutch. On the one boyna.
hand it enlisted the patriotic sympathies of Englishmen at home on behalf of their countrymen in the East. On the other hand it compelled the Company to retire from the Eastern Archipelago, and concentrate their efforts on the peninsula of India. Under Charles I the extensive trading privileges of the Courten's
AssociaCompany were seriously limited.
Sir William Courten, tion. through the influence of Endymion Porter, a gentleman of the bedchamber, obtained from the king a licence to trade to the East Indies independently of the East India Company. His association, which, from a settlement established by it at Assada, in Madagascar, was often spoken of as the Assada Company, was a thorn in the side of the East India Company for many years. Under the Commonwealth the intervention of the Protector Crom
well's was obtained for the settlement of the Company's differences
relations both with their Dutch and with their English competitors. to the
Company. By the Treaty of Westminster in 1654, Cromwell obtained from the Dutch payment of a sum of £85,000 as compensation for the massacre of Amboyna and for the exclusion of the Company from trade with the Spice Islands. Difficulties arose, however, as to the apportionment of this sum among the several joint stocks of which the Company's capital was then composed, and, pending their settlement, Cromwell borrowed £50,000 of the sum for the expenses of the State. He thus anticipated the policy subsequently adopted by Montagu and his successors of compelling the Company to grant public loans as a price for their privileges.
CromUltimately the Company obtained from Cromwell in 1657 well's a charter under which the rump of Courten's Association
was united with the East India Company, and the different stocks of the Company were united into a new joint stock. No copy of this charter is known to exist. Perhaps it was considered impolitic after the Restoration to preserve any
evidence of favours obtained from the Protector. The Com- During the period after the Restoration the fortunes of pany after the Re
the Company are centred in the remarkable personality of storation. Sir Josiah Child, and are depicted in the vivid pages of Macau
lay. He has described how Child converted the Company from a Whig to a Tory Association, how he induced James II to become a subscriber to its capital, how his policy was temporarily baffled by the Revolution, how vigorously he fought and how lavishly he bribed to counteract the growing influence of the rival English Company.
Marks of royal favour are conspicuous in the charters of
the Restoration period. Charles
The charter granted by Charles II on April 3, 1661, conII's
ferred new and important privileges on the Company. Their charter of 1661. constitution remained practically unaltered, except that the
joint-stock principle was recognized by giving each member one vote for every £500 subscribed by him to the Company's stock. But their powers were materially increased.
They were given power and command 'over their fortresses, and were authorized to appoint governors and other officers for their government. The governor and council of each factory were empowered to judge all persons belonging to the said Governor and Company or that shall be under them, in all causes, whether civil or criminal, according to the laws of this kingdom, and to execute judgement accordingly.' And the chief factor and council of any place for which there was no governor were empowered to send offenders for punishment, either to a place where there was a governor and council, or to England.
The Company were also empowered to send ships of war, men, or ammunition for the security and defence of their factories and places of trade, and to choose commanders and officers over them and to give them power and authority, by commission under their common seal or otherwise, to continue or make peace or war with any people that are not Christians, in any places of their trade, as shall be for the most advantage and benefit of the said Governor and Company, and of their trade.' They were further empowered to erect fortifications, and supply them with provisions and ammunition, duty free, 'as also to transport and carry over such number of men, being willing thereunto, as they shall think fit,' to govern them in a legal and reasonable manner, to punish them for misdemeanour, and to fine them for breach of orders. They might seize unlicensed persons and send them to England, punish persons in their employment for offences, and in case of their appealing against the sentence seize them and send them as prisoners to England, there to receive such condign punishment as the merits of the offenders' cause should require, and the laws of the nation should allow. With regard to the administration of justice, nothing Arrange
ments for appears to have been done towards carrying into effect the
adminisprovisions of the charter of 1661 till the year 1678. At tration of
justice at Madras, which was at that time the chief of the Company's Madras settlements in India ?, two or more officers of the Company teenth used before 1678 to sit as justices in the 'choultry 'to dispose
century, of petty cases, but there was no machinery for dealing with serious crimes ?
In 1678 the agent and council at Madras resolved that, under the charter of 1661, they had power to judge all persons living under them in all cases, whether criminal or civil, according to the English laws, and to execute judgement accordingly, and it was determined that the governor and council should sit in the chapel in the fort on every Wednesday and Saturday to hear and judge all causes.
But this high
1 The settlement of Madras or Fort St. George had been erected into a Presidency in 1651. * See Wheeler, Madras in Olden Times. ILBERI