East India Company. This association originated from the subscriptions (trifling in amount) of a few private individuals. It gradually became a commercial body, with gigantic means; and next, by the force of unforeseen circumstances, assumed the form of a sovereign power, while those by whom it was directed continued, in their individual capacities, to be without power or political influence, thus presenting an anomaly without a parallel in the history of the world. The company was formed in London, in 1599, when its capital, amounting to £30,000, was divided in one hundred and one shares. In 1600 the adventurers obtained a charter from the crown, under which they enjoyed certain privileges, and were formed into a corporation for fifteen years, with the title of "The Governor and Company of Merchants of London Trading to the East Indies." Under this charter, the management of the company's affairs was entrusted to twenty-four members of a committee, chosen by the proprietors from among their own body; and this committee was renewed by election every year. The first adventure of the association was commenced in 1601. In the month of May, in that year, five ships, with cargoes of merchandise and bullion, sailed from Torbay, to India. The result was encouraging; and between 1603 and 1613 eight other voyages were performed, all of which were highly profitable, with the exception of the one undertaken in the year 1607. In the other years the clear profits of the trade varied from one hundred to two hundred per cent, upon the capital employed. The charter of the company was renewed for an indefinite period in 1609, subject to dissolution, on the part of the government, on giving three years' notice to that effect. In 1611, the company obtained permission from the Mogul to establish factories at Surat, Ahmedabad, Cambya, and Goga: in consideration of which permission it agreed to pay to that sovereign an export duty upon all his shipments at the rate of three-and-a-half per cent. The functions of government were first exercised by the company in 1624, when authority was given to it by the king, to punish its servants abroad, either by civil or martial law; and this authority was unlimited in extent, embracing even the power of taking life. A rival association was formed in 1636, but, after two years competition, was united with the former company, and the new company assumed the title of " The United Joint Stock." In 1652 the company obtained license for carrying on unlimited trade throughout the province of Bengal, without payment of duties. The first factory of the English was at Bantam, in Java, established in 1602. At the close of the seventeenth century the three presidencies, Bengal, Madras, and Bombay, were distinguished, as they still are; but it was not till 1773 that Bengal became the seat of the supreme government. The first occasion on which the company was brought into hostile collision with any of the natives of India occurred in the beginning of 1664. A serious dispute arose in Parliament upon the powers of the company in 1666. In 1682-3 a project was set on foot for the establishment of a rival company, but it did not obtain the sanction of government. A new charter, to have effect for twenty-one years, was granted in 1G93. The home government of the company consists of - first, the court of proprietors; second, the court of directors; and third, the hoard of control. The board of control consisted, formerly, of six privy councillors; and the chancellor of the exchequer, and principal secretaries of state, were, by virtue of their office, members of the board; but, by an act passed in 1793, this became no longer necessary. By an act of Anne's Parliament, the company had the exclusive right of trading to all places eastward of the cape of Good Hope, to the Straits of Magal-haens; and these privileges were continued by successive acts of Parliament till 1814, but were afterwards modified. In 1833, the charter was renewed for twenty years, but by an act which took away from the company the right of exclusive trading to its own territories, or to the dominions of any native power in India or China, and threw the whole open to the enterprise of individual merchants.