Menu

Guide to the India and East India Company Papers, 1691-1830

Abstract

The East India Company was an English joint-stock company formed in 1600 that ruled portions of South Asia until 1858.

This collection contains over 55 documents including miscellaneous legal papers, correspondence, receipts, and extracts largely relating to the East India Company's operations and employees; three documents relating to Muhammad Ali Khan Wallajah, the Nabob of Arcot (1745-1795); manuscripts relating to Sir Robert Chambers (1737-1803), who traveled to India in 1774 as one of the first justices of the Supreme Court at Calcutta; and a petition written by the wife of Almas Ali Khan, an important administrator in Awadh and one of the key figures in the trial of Warren Hastings. These manuscripts seem to have formerly been part of Sir Thomas Phillipps noted collection.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
East India Company
Title
India and East India Company papers 1691-1830
Language of Material
English
Extent
0.5 Linear Feet, 55 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

This collection contains over 55 documents in four discrete folders. The first folder contains miscellaneous legal documents, correspondence, receipts, and extracts largely relating to East India Company operations and employees, including the earliest document in the collection, a 1691 transfer of EIC stock signed by Sir Josia[h] Child. Some of the manuscripts in the collection appear to have been once in the collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps. The second folder contains three documents relating to Muhammad Ali Khan Wallajah, the Nabob of Arcot (1745-1795). The third folder contains manuscripts relating to Sir Robert Chambers, who traveled to India in 1774 as one of the first justices of the Supreme Court at Calcutta. The collection of Chambers' manuscripts includes letters to the Justices at Calcutta as a whole, a fragmentary legal opinion, and a petition written by the wife of Almas Ali Khan, an important administrator in Awadh and one of the focal points in the trial of Warren Hastings. The fourth folder contains one bound volume of miscellaneous correspondence, some related to the case of merchant James Paull (1770-1808), formerly in the noted collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Letter from L. Sanders to Thomas Lewis [Lewes] on an account matter. Written on board the Kent at Batavia, 1692 June 9
(1 page)
Box 1 Folder 1
Certificate of transfer of East India Company stock from Josia Child to Thomas Lewis. With Child signature and seal,
(1 page)
Box 1 Folder 2
Letter to an Ensign Edward Grayham for his subsistence to be deducted from his pay as an ensign at Bombay. Also orders a clause to be inserted in the Company's general letter on this subject. Signed Thomas Blackborne, 1697 April 14

"It is ordered that it be referred to Sir Thomas Rawlinson and Mr. John DuBois to give direction for payment..."

(1 page)
Box 1 Folder 2
A list of goods and merchandise exported from London by the United EIC, 1706 April-1707 April

Total amount: £297,727.15.7.

(1 page)
Box 1 Folder 2
Letter from Robert Atkyns to Windham Ashe, esq.,about some financial or stock transference matter, 1737 April 28
(1 page)
Box 1 Folder 2
Letter to unknown from Fr. Joseph (prefect of the Tibet missions) at Chandernagore, 1770 July 7

Letter is written in Latin and describes the Nepalese alphabet. Attached to the letter is a Nepalese alphabet with phonetic guide. Pencil note ex. Phillipps MS 4068[?].

(2 pages)
Box 1 Folder 2
Sworn statement signed by Henry Wedderburn at Calcutta, 1777 March 11

Document pertains to the purchase and fitting out of several vessels at Calcutta and a contract with a Messr. Zovarg [Jovarg?]. Signed and sealed by Charles Sealy notary public and S.C. Lemaistre [Stephen Ceasar Lemaistre, d. 1777], justice of the Supreme Court.

Box 1 Folder 2
Letter to unknown from Major Charles Frederick at Bombay, 1783 October

Narrates some personal and political events including a mention of Tipu Sultan (1750-1799).

(2 pages)
Box 1 Folder 2
Letter to unknown by George Baker at London, 1787 June 4

Relates in part to a dispute with a certain W.M.P. and mentions enclosed opinions by a W. Scott and Mr. Hardinge speaking unfavorably of the recipients chances of recovering "by legal process."

(1 page)
Box 1 Folder 2
Two receipts or accounting slips of EIC dividends and sales in the 1660s and 1670s.
(2 scraps)
Box 1 Folder 2
Two letters from five members of the EIC council [?] at Canton to Capt. James Farquharson of the ship Alfred, 1791 September 16

Gives orders about how he should conduct himself at port. "We positively direct that you do not receive on board your ship any slaves belonging to the inhabitants of Macao." Pencil note - "ex. Phillipps 19,298."

(3 pages)
Box 1 Folder 2
Two letters to Sir Thomas Strange, judge at Madras, from Sir George Barlow, 1808 July 8 and 27

Both letters concern the sentencing of a corporal in the 69th regiment for murder of a shopkeeper. Initially Barlow believed the soldier to be insane when committing the murder but in his subsequent letter to the judge revises his opinion and blames it on the spirit of revenge against "natives" common amongst soldiers present at the siege of Vellore and suggests harsh punishment as a result.

(7 pages)
Box 1 Folder 2
Letter from Lord [John ]Northwick (1770-1859) to HRH the Duke of Kent on candidates for an EIC directorship post, 1814 January 20
(1 page)
Box 1 Folder 2
Letter from unknown to a Mr. [Joseph?] Hume, 1815 October 10

Mostly on EIC and military affairs. Asks for a cadetship for his son: "on my return to England in 1810 I brought home a boy a son of mine; His mother was a half cast and a Christian. He was born at Ganjam in August 1801 and in complexion he is fair and has been at an academy ever since he landed in England where he still continues, No. 12 Camden Street Camden Town London."

(2 pages)
Box 1 Folder 2
Letter to unknown from Sir Evan Nepean [Gov. of Bombay] regarding military promotions, 1815 or 1816 February 18

Mentions a Capt. Frederick, perhaps same as above.

(1 page)
Box 1 Folder 2
Letter to Joseph Hume, MP, from a Mr. Armot on changes in education for EIC service, 1830 November 13
(4 pages)
Box 1 Folder 2
Copy of a letter from Lord Sydney (Thomas Townshend, 1733-1800) to Mohamed Ali Khan Wallajah, the Nabob of Arcot (1745-1795), 1784 February 14

Received 8 October 1784. Relates to a letter sent by the Nabob, 12-13 August [1783?], detailing grievances against Lord [George] Macartney and promising "ample justice shall be afforded to your highness."

(3 pages)
Box 1 Folder 2
Copy of a letter from Lord Macartney to the Nabob of Arcot, 1782 February 21

Details several land revenue matters ands asks among other things for the Nabob to "entrust" the defense of his territories to the EIC army.

(8 pages)
Box 1 Folder 2
Fragmentary letter "In the Nabob's own hand" to the Governor and Council of Madras, undated

Many corrections and cross-outs. Complains of unjustice done to him - only bottom half of letter survives.

(4 pages)
Box 1 Folder 2
Letter to Robert Chambers, John Hyde, and William Jones [Justices of the Supreme Court at Calcutta] signed by Cornwallis, Stuart, and Speke[?], 1790 January 10

Letter informs the justices that the High Court of Admiralty in London has sent out a commission directed to the Supreme Court to investigate a claim. They add that it is the Government's desire that the Justices comply with the directive with a minimum of fuss.

(4 pages)
Box 1 Folder 3
Letter to Robert Chambers, John Hyde, and William Jones signed by Cornwallis, Stuart, and Shoal [?], 1788 November 12

The letter asks that those who have served as commissioners of the court of requests at Calcutta beyond a 2 year term be exempt from serving on juries. List of 22 persons who fit that description attached.

(2 pages)
Box 1 Folder 3
Letter to Elijah Impey, Robert Chambers, John Hyde, and William Jones signed by Cornwallis, Macpherson, Stables, and Stuart, 1786 December 13

Enclosed is another letter from Gilbert Hall, the coroner of Calcutta, asking for an increase in salary.

(1 page)
Box 1 Folder 3
Letter to Elijah Impey, Robert Chambers, John Hyde, and William Jones signed by Cornwallis and Stables,1786 October 18

Cover letter enclosing a communication from the President and Council at Ft. St. George [Madras].

(1 page)
Box 1 Folder 3
Letter from James Taylor, register to the Madras Mayor's Court, 1786 September 7

Letter asks the President and Council there to ask the Governor General to solicit the opinion of the "Chief Judge" of the Supreme Court in Calcutta about whether an alderman of the Mayor's Court could be held on special bail upon arrest.

(2 pages)
Box 1 Folder 3
Letter to Sir Robert Chambers from James Taylor, Paul Benfield, Benjamin Roebuck, George Moubra, and another, 1788 April 27

Writers ask for Chambers' advice on a case, possibly the same as above. They enclose the opinion of attorney general Sullivan and write "We are confident you must be sensible of the embarrassments we who are not professional men and deprived of legal aid must feel in being under the necessity of standing forward in opposition to the Company's law council in defense of the Rights and Fortunes of those whom we represent."

(2 pages)
Box 1 Folder 3
Letter from Thomas Fitzmaurice to Robert Chambers on a matter of parliamentary voting, 1768 January 25

Postscript reads in part: "[William] Blackstone moved the Writ (as his expression was in a note to me) this morning to deliver the University from her anxiety..."

(3 pages)
Box 1 Folder 3
Letter (in Latin) from the young Robert Chambers at Beaufort to his father, 1749 April 17

Annotation on back "Scrap of a Latin letter from my father to me in 1749 copied (as I believe) by myself."

(1 page)
Box 1 Folder 3
Undated partial draft of an opinion on the privileges of the Mayor and Aldermen of Madras
(1 page)
Box 1 Folder 3
Letter from T. Motte in Calcutta to Robert Chambers, 1780 May 26

Body of the letter reads in full: "I waited on Sir Elijah Impey this morning, he wished well to any thing which might conduce to the good of the settlement he said when the ordinances should be brought before him on the bench, he would point out any illegality should there be such, or should the inhabitants make any objections he would hear them, but declined taking it into consideration 'till that time."

Box 1 Folder 3
Letter from Elizabeth Brown (Chambers' aunt) to Chambers at University College Oxford, 1767

Encloses a letter on financial affairs from a Mr. Hall of Jamaica.

(3 pages)
Box 1 Folder 3
Genealogy of the Chambers family in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Box 1 Folder 3
Undated latter to "Professor Chambers" from an unknown friend about Oxford matters
(1 page)
Box 1 Folder 3
Undated (post 1786) letter from John Hyde to Robert Chambers

Letter concerns a list of statutes in force in the East Indies that the two were compiling.

(3 pages)
Box 1 Folder 3
Letter to Robert Chambers and William Jones from the Secret Department of Inspection at Fort William (Calcutta), 1786 January 31

The letter asks for the two judges' support for a measure that would end the preference given to the judges' salary obligations on the local East India Company treasury and give members of the EIC armed forces preference in negotiating instruments drawn on the treasury.

(3 pages)
Box 1 Folder 3
An extract (paragraph 4) from the general letter sent from Madras to Calcutta, 1786 September 23

The extract asks for the opinion of the Supreme Court.

(1 page)
Box 1 Folder 3
Letter to Lord Cornwallis from Gilbert Hall, the coroner of Calcutta, 1786 November 24

The letter complains of the hardships of being coroner in the city and lists the expenses and personnel necessary for his job.

(3 pages)
Box 1 Folder 3
Petition presumably sent to Robert Chambers from the wife of Almas Ali Khan relating to his pending execution, 1780s

(A photocopy is at the British Library - Mss Eur Photo Eur 123).

(2 pages)
Box 1 Folder 3
Volume (formerly Phillipps 23,663), 1780s-1810s

This volume was part of a series of miscellaneous autograph letterbooks in Sir Thomas Phillipps' library originally collected by Robert Cole. This particular book contains MS fragments, letters, and autographs of famous Anglo-Indian political figures. There are around nineteen separate pieces in the collection totaling about 110 pages and ranging in date from the 1780s to 1810s. Many of the pieces relate to James Paull (1770-1808), a merchant in the Indian trade and later MP, his conduct in India, and his accusations against Lord Wellesley, circa 1804-1806 (copies of some of this material may also be found in BL Add. MS 13,532). The volume also contains a small series of letters relating to military campaigns around Madras, 1781-1783, signed by various officers including John Garstin and A.W. Hervey. In addition, the collection includes one letter to Lord Frederick North from [Alexander] Hannay dated 1783. There is also one unsigned letter to Lord George Macartney, most likely from Mohamed Ali Khan Wallajah, the Nabob of Arcot, dated March 8, 1783.

Box 1 Folder 4

Historical Note

The East India Company was an English joint-stock company formed in 1600 that ruled portions of South Asia until 1858.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], India and East India Company Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

Provenance

The India and East India Company Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in August 1971. Some materials in the collection were once part of the collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps.

Processing Information

Processed by Rubenstein Library Staff, Noah Huffman, and Mitch Fraas, December 2010

Encoded by Noah Huffman, December 2010

Accession from August 26, 1971 is described in this finding aid.

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.