East India Ships.Com
Compendium of Ship Incidents incurred by the English East India Co.
In 1600 Queen Elizabeth I granted a group of London merchants the exclusive privilege of trading between England and the lands between the Cape of Good Hope and the Straits of Magellan for fifteen years. The political upheavals of the first century – civil wars, regicide, revolution – were matched by faction and disruption in the East India trade, producing a succession of chartered companies. Finally, two bitterly hostile companies competed with each other to the detriment of the trade. As the eighteenth century dawned they combined to form the United Company of Merchants of England trading to the East Indies, which operated out of its headquarters in Leadenhall Street from 1709 until government assumed all its powers in 1858.
The vast bulk of the trade of all of these companies was carried on privately owned ships hired exclusively to the Company according to a unique arrangement reflecting the problems presented by such a distant trade. This system came to an end in 1834 when the Company withdrew from commercial operations.
This website gives details of the project to list 'incidents' incurred by ships employed , or once employed by, the English East India Company. ‘Incidents’ a term embracing a variety of misfortunes - wreck, foundering, burning, capture, mutiny – suffered by the ships of the United Company.
The details of these incidents are being assembled in an Interactive Subject Record (ISR) which is web based and is compiled into an .exe file in the form of an E-Book. See 'About'
This ISR is initially being divided loosely into two sections;
Incidents c.1600 to c.1700.
Incidents c. 1700 to c.1834.
Many hundreds of hours work has already been undertaken on the latter, much less on the former.
This site is intended to give details of the incidents being investigated. The current status of the Interactive E-Book will be available to researchers & contributors via a file downloadable from Dropbox.