East India Company

Definition

The English East India Company (EIC or EEIC), later to become the British East India Company, was founded in 1600 as a trading company. With a massive private army and the backing of the British government, the EIC looted the Indian subcontinent from 1757 until anarchy necessitated that government step in and take over EIC possessions in 1858.

More about: East India Company

Timeline

  • 1600 - 1874
    The East India Company is active in South Asia and China.
  • 1612 - 1619
    Sir Thomas Roe secures permission from the Mughal Empire for the first factory of the East India Company at Surat.
  • 1639 - 1640
    The East India Company establishes a trade centre at Masulipatam (Machilipatnam) and Madras.
  • 1658
    The East India Company establishes a trade centre at Hughli.
  • 1661
    The East India Company begins its control of Bombay (Mumbai).
  • 1690
    The East India Company establishes a trade centre at Calcutta (Kolkata).
  • 1698
    A rival English East India Company is formed.
  • 1709
    The two rival English East India Companies merge.
  • Dec 1742
    Robert Clive joins the East India Company as a 'writer'.
  • 1750
    Warren Hastings joins the East India Company as a clerk or ‘writer’.
  • Aug 1751 - Sep 1751
    Robert Clive leads the defence of Arcot for the East India Company.
  • Dec 1751
    Robert Clive wins a battle at Arni against forces of Chandra Sahib, the nizam of Hyderabad.
  • Feb 1752
    Robert Clive wins the battle at Kaveripak for the East India Company.
  • Jun 1752
    Robert Clive commands the artillery of the East India Company and helps capture Trichinopoly.
  • 1755
    Robert Clive returns to India as a lieutenant colonel in the East India Company.
  • Feb 1756
    Robert Clive captures the Gheria fortress for the East India Company.
  • 20 Jun 1756
    A number of East India Company soldiers and employees do not survive internment in the Black Hole of Calcutta prison cell.
  • 1757
    The East India Company begins to control its own territory in India.
  • 1757
    The East India Company forms the 1st Bengal Native Infantry, the first sepoy battalion.
  • Jan 1757
    Robert Clive recaptures Calcutta for the East India Company.
  • Mar 1757
    Robert Clive captures French-held Chandernagore for the East India Company.
  • 23 Jun 1757
    Robert Clive of the East India Company wins the Battle of Plessey against forces of the nawab of Bengal.
  • 1758 - 1761
    Warren Hastings serves as the East India Company's representative at the court of the Nawab of Bengal.
  • Feb 1758
    Robert Clive is made Governor of Bengal by the East India Company.
  • 1759
    The East India Compnay takes full control of Surat.
  • 1761
    Warren Hastings is appointed to the East India Company's Council of Bengal.
  • 1764
    Robert Clive is appointed Governor of Bengal for a second time by the East India Company.
  • 1765
    Robert Clive initiates reforms in the East india Company reducing corruption and salaries.
  • 12 Aug 1765
    The Mughal emperor Shah Alam II awards the East India company the right to collect land revenue (dewani) in Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa.
  • 1767 - 1769
    First Anglo-Mysore War.
  • 1767 - 1799
    The four Anglo-Mysore Wars see the East India Company expand its territories in India.
  • Aug 1767
    Haidar Ali, ruler of the kingdom of Mysore, declares war on the East India Company.
  • Sep 1767
    The East India Company defeats Mysore and the Nizam of Hyderabad at the battle of Trinamalai.
  • 1772
    Warren Hastings is appointed the East India Company Governor of Bengal.
  • 1773
    The Regulating Act is passed by the British Parliament and increases government control of the East India Company.
  • 1773
    The British Parliament investigates the financial afffairs of Robert Clive but finds no wrong-doing.
  • 1774
    The India Act is passed by the British Parliament and further increases government control of the East India Company.
  • 1774 - 1785
    Warren Hastings serves as the first Governor-General of the East India Company.
  • 1775 - 1819
    The Anglo-Maratha Wars between the East India Company and the Maratha Confederacy.
  • 1780 - 1784
    Second Anglo-Mysore War.
  • Sep 1780
    The Kingdom of Mysore defeats the East India Company at the battle of Pollilur.
  • Jul 1781
    The East India Company defeats the Kingdom of Mysore at the battle of Porto Novo (Parangipettai).
  • 1785
    Reforms in the army of the East India Company dictate that only Britishers may become officers.
  • 1787
    Warren Hastings is impeached by Parliament on charges of corruption. He is ultimately acquitted.
  • 1790 - 1792
    Third Anglo-Mysore War.
  • Jan 1792
    The Treaty of Seringapatam ends the Third Anglo-Mysore War and obliges Mysore to give up half its territory to the East India Company.
  • 1793
    The Bengal Permanent Settlement makes tax collectors (zamindars) also landowners in East India Company territory.
  • 1798
    Hyderabad becomes the first of many Indian princely states to become a protectorate of the East India Company.
  • 1799
    Fourth Anglo-Mysore War.
  • 7 Apr 1799
    An East India Company army begins a one-month siege of Seringapatam, capital of the Kingdom of Mysore.
  • 3 May 1799
    The East India Company wins the Anglo-Mysore Wars by capturing Seringapatam. Tipu Sultan of Mysore is killed and the kingdom becomes a British protectorate.
  • Jul 1806
    East India Company sepoys mutiny in Vellore, southern India against their British officers.
  • 1813
    The East India Company lifts its ban on missionaries in its territories.
  • 1813
    The Charter Act proclaims British sovereignty over new territory captured by the East India Company and ends its trade monopoly in India.
  • 1814 - 1816
    The Anglo-Nepalese War between Nepal and the East India Company.
  • Apr 1814
    The East India Company declares war on Nepal.
  • Apr 1814
    A small East India Company force in northern India is wiped out by Nepalese raiders.
  • 1816
    The Treaty of Sugauli ends the Anglo-Nepalese War and makes Nepal a British protectorate.
  • 1819
    The East India Company establishes a trade centre at Singapore.
  • 1825
    The global crash necessitates the East India Company taking massive loans from the British government.
  • 1826
    Singapore, Malacca, and Penang on the Malay Peninsula are collectively administered as the Straits Settlements by the East India Company.
  • 1828
    Lord William Bentinck is made Governor-General of the East India Company.
  • 1829
    The East India Company abolishes the practice of sati in its territories.
  • 1831
    The East India Company takes over the Kingdom of Mysore.
  • 1833
    The Charter Act reduces the independent powers of the East India Company and removes its trade monopoly with China..
  • 1838 - 1842
    The First Anglo-Afghan War between the Emirate of Afghanistan and the British East India Company.
  • 1839
    The First Opium War between Britain and China caused by the East India Company's persistent smuggling of opium into China.
  • 1845 - 1846
    The First Anglo-Sikh War.
  • 1845 - 1849
    The two Anglo-Sikh Wars further increase the territories of the East India Company.
  • 13 Dec 1845
    The East India Company declares war on the Sikh Empire.
  • 21 Dec 1845 - 22 Dec 1845
    The East India Company wins a marginal victory at the Battle of Ferozeshah against the Sikh Empire durng the First Anglo-Sikh War.
  • 28 Jan 1846
    The Battle of Aliwal during the First Anglo-Sikh War. The East India Company wins against the Sikh Empire.
  • 10 Feb 1846
    The Battle of Sobraon during the First Anglo-Sikh War. The East India Company wins against the Sikh Empire.
  • 9 Mar 1846
    The Treaty of Lahore ends the First Anglo-Sikh War in favour of the East India Company.
  • 1848 - 1849
    The Second Anglo-Sikh War.
  • 1848
    The Marquess of Dalhousie is made the Governor-General of the East India Company.
  • 1849
    Following victory in the Anglo-Sikh Wars and as part of the ensuing peace treaty, the East India Company acquires the Koh-i-Noor diamond.
  • 13 Jan 1849
    The Battle of Chillianwala during the Second Anglo-Sikh War.
  • 22 Jan 1849
    The British capture Multan after a lengthy siege during the Second Anglo-Sikh War.
  • 21 Feb 1849
    The British East India Company defeats the Sikh Empire at the Battle of Gujrat and so wins the Second Anglo-Sikh War.
  • 1853
    The Charter Act further reduces the independence of the East India Company.
  • 1853
    The East India Company introduces the first railway and telegraph lines in India.
  • 1857 - 1858
    The Sepoy Mutiny (aka The Uprising or First Indian War of Independence) against the East India Company.
  • 2 Aug 1858
    The British state takes full possession of East India Company territories in India.
  • 1 Jun 1874
    The British Parliament formally dissolves the East India Company.
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