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Thread: Honourable East India Company

  1. #1

    Question Honourable East India Company

    Sometimes I have a silly questions, I see, but I have no sea backgroud, so, please, tell me...

    ...Did ships of East India Company some armament? I guess they had, because French Duc de Duras was an of a 50–gun 4th rate ship of the line, but...was it possible to have an armament when you are not a part of Royal Navy?

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    Strange thing that Daniel.
    Have a look at this post of mine from yesterday.

    http://sailsofglory.org/showthread.p...e-of-Pulo-Aura

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    I'm quite late to this thread, but in case anyone takes a look with the same questions, the East India Company was authorized to raise its own army and navy and to make war (though nominally only on non-Christian rulers), and the Company's forces were also often supplemented by those of the Crown, especially during wartime. It basically functioned as a corporation with all the powers of a state (war, taxation, legislation, a judiciary, etc.) and none of a state's responsibilities to those it ruled, so it was well within its power to equip ships for combat as it saw fit, although I'm not sure what was ultimately typical at any given point in time (I'm much more familiar with the Company's land forces, which factor into my PhD dissertation).

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    You are indeed a useful chap to have alongside then Jason.
    I know a considerable amount about the HEIC, both from reading, and gathering information in order to run my solo games. This however is only on the Naval side and the Bombay Marine etc is a closed book, only employed so far for cutting out or landings for raids. Just Marines in any other guise really.Can you recommend any books on the 18th Century HEIC land forces?
    Do have a critical look for any howlers I may have made in my solo missions for the past few years. They feature Captain David McBride and the 40 gun, all teak, Calcutta built Frigate HMS Nottingham, which I converted from the Constitution.

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Borrowing from my dissertation bibliography, you may find the following books useful:


    Cohen, Stephen P. 1971. The Indian Army: Its Contribution to the Development of a Nation. Bombay: Oxford University Press.

    Heathcote, T. A. 2013 [1995]. The Military in British India: The Development of British Land Forces in South Asia, 1600-1947. Barnesly, South Yorkshire: Praetorian Press.

    James, Lawrence. 1997. Raj: The Making and Unmaking of British India. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin.

    Mason, Philip. 1974. A Matter of Honour: An Account of the Indian Army, Its Officers and Men.

    Omissi, David. 1994. The Sepoy and the Raj: The Indian Army, 1860-1940. Basingstoke, England: Macmillan in association with King's College London.

    Wilson, Jon. 2016. India Conquered: Britain’s Raj and the Chaos of Empire. London: Simon & Schuster.



    There's a bit on shipbuilding in Shashi Tharoor's "An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India", but I don't have it with me at the moment. Let me get back to you on that.
    Let me know if you have any specific questions/topics you're looking into. If I don't know the answer, I can probably point you in the right direction.
    Last edited by jasonb; 04-20-2019 at 03:02.

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    Thanks very much Jason.
    I will bear in mind your kind offer. There is bound to be something as I write my way through this year's adventures. I will certainly have a look at at least a couple of those books that you recommended.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    I suspect you've already come across it, but if not, "The Honourable Company: A History of the English East India Company" by John Keay seems to be exactly the sort of book you'd be interested in in terms of the Company as a whole and its maritime activities. It also mentions the Bombay Marine in several places.
    Last edited by jasonb; 04-23-2019 at 01:01.

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    That is not one that I have read.
    Looks like a good starting point.
    Thanks again Jason.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  9. #9

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    I have come across this book in my searching, 'A World for the Taking: The Ships of the Honourable East India Company'
    by Keble E. Chatterton. I have not read it. It is available as an e-book from https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-w...-india-company

    Name:  a-world-for-the-taking-the-ships-of-the-honourable-east-india-company.jpg
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    If it fits into anyone's scenario, say escorting troop transports, I have in my dissertation research notes a timeline of which Highland Regiments went to India and when from around the Seven Years' War through the Napoleonic Era.

    Also, if you're interested in HEIC land forces or even just how the Company acquired so much territory in the 18th century, understanding the development of the sepoy system (pioneered by the French) is pretty important. I can add more about it later, but I need to go at the moment.

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    Thanks chaps.
    I just ordered both those books from Amazon.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Interesting, I would be interested in any likely scenarios for sails in the Indian theatre in both Napoleonic and 7yw periods (love Tricorns)

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    Bligh has posted summaries of some historical actions and created a good number of solo scenarios. Raiding and protecting shipping is a good place to start.


    I was thinking of the following for my next get-together:

    HEIC/RN:
    Any East Indiaman using the armed merchant ship stats
    HMS Adamant

    France/French East India Company:
    Carmagnole
    Courageuse

    The French frigates are trying to take the East Indiaman but have to contend with her escort. I don't know wether these particular French ships actually served in the East Indies, but they're what's in my collection. You can rename them if necessary, but the scenario isn't meant to reflect a specific historical event anyway.

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    If you're not too picky, you could also use the sloops (or brigs, if you have any) to stand in for the ghurabs of the Maratha Navy and the Bombay Marine.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grab_(ship)
    Last edited by jasonb; 04-25-2019 at 14:01.

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    We must get our heads together then Chris. I have one in the pipeline for Doncaster.

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonb View Post
    Bligh has posted summaries of some historical actions and created a good number of solo scenarios. Raiding and protecting shipping is a good place to start.


    I was thinking of the following for my next get-together:

    HEIC/RN:
    Any East Indiaman using the armed merchant ship stats
    HMS Adamant

    France/French East India Company:
    Carmagnole
    Courageuse
    Some useful bits here Jason.

    https://sailsofglory.org/showthread....s-Islands-1810

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    This is also quite interesting.

    http://www.heicshipslogs.co.uk/

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Very interesting. Do you have any resources about smaller craft in the East Indies?

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    Nothing at the moment, but I will do a search as soon as I'm feeling a bit more chipper.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    This bit of light reading turned up just now.


    Name:  IMG_7711.jpg
Views: 29
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    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Also here is a list to get your teeth into.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Ships_of_the_British_East_India_Company


    And this may also be of some interest.


    https://www.google.com/search?rls=co...=1556355133911

    Rob.
    Last edited by Bligh; 04-27-2019 at 02:55.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Wow. I started reading the Chatterton book, and you can tell it's from 1914 from statements about how the Company apparently benefitted "the natives". In reality, not only was an astronomical amount of wealth extracted from the subcontinent, but India’s share of the global economy dropped from around 23% ca. 1700 (as much as all of Europe combined) to about 3% in 1947 under colonial rule (yes, administration was transferred to the Crown in 1858), and the Industrial Revolution partly depended for its initial success on the systematic destruction of the Indian textile industry, eliminating cost-effective competition and leaving markets without native suppliers. (Shipping and eventually shipbuilding suffered too.) Sorry, I know that's a bit negative. The book does look quite good for the things we're interested in, but I endured a good facepalm there for a moment.

    (Lest any of my British colleagues take this some kind of self-righteous jab from an American, at that point my country was expanding westward through a program of ethnic cleansing, so there's that.)
    Last edited by jasonb; 04-30-2019 at 00:48.

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    Different times, different moral ethics.
    Best left as an historical learning curve I would say. What happened, can't be undone but we hopefully learn from our mistakes? This is not the right place for anyone to take the moral high ground. Leave it for those who are innocent to cast the first stone!
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    No moral high ground seized here. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, every age has its own peculiar virtues and vices, and it's a lot easier to see the mistaken attitudes of the past than identify those of the present to which we often remain oblivious (which is why he advocated reading old books as often as new ones).

    Anyway, apologies for diverting us from the subject at hand.

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    I am interested to find good stand-ins for grabs/gurabs/ghurabs and gallivats.
    Last edited by jasonb; 04-30-2019 at 06:40.

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    Got any pictures Jason. Written descriptions do not seem to be very clear in distinguishing them. All I know is that the HEIC had a couple of Grabs both named Bombay.

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Here's a gurab:

    Name:  Bombay_grab.jpg
Views: 19
Size:  54.9 KB

    Two gurabs engaging a frigate with a gallivat in the foreground:

    Name:  Mahratta_pirates_attacking_the_sloop_'Aurora',_of_the_Bombay_Marine,_1812;_beginning_of_the_acti.jpg
Views: 23
Size:  25.8 KB

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  29. #29
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    Thanks Jason.
    They demised a bit early for my period of operations for the Solo Campaign in the area then.
    A shame because they look very fine vessels.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    The articles say they were used into the 19th century. While the Maratha navy's heyday was earlier, I would suspect these would still have been around patrolling the coasts for pirates and in the service of some of the princely states under indirect rule or possibly for wealthier zamindars. I doubt they would be completely out of the picture in the time frame you're working with, and I don't think I'd hesitate to use them.

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    No doubt you are correct Jason.
    Just that I can't use the only named pair that I have for the HEIC.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    It looks like a sloop with the beak of a xebec. Hmmm...

    What fun! Another vessel to kit bash out of a sloop. I have to say, when I signed on here, I listed 74's as my favorite size, but I own more sloops than any other class. With my whaler under construction, I think I'm up to 12! A gurab will push me to 13.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dobbs View Post
    With my whaler under construction, I think I'm up to 12!
    You've got a whaler going too?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    Just that I can't use the only named pair that I have for the HEIC.
    That is a bummer, although you could send a frigate or two after pirate gurabs or team up with a local ruler or official (against pirates, the French, etc.), taking their ship(s) temporarily under your command.

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    That will do very nicely Jason.
    Just a matter of finding a couple of Sloops for conversion then.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    That will do very nicely Jason.
    Just a matter of finding a couple of Sloops for conversion then.
    Rob.
    I'd love to see pictures when you're done.

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    You will Jason, you will.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Thanks for the heads up Jason.
    Bit too much to pay for a book to read as a passing fancy though.
    With my failing eyesight I can't concentrate on reading on line for any length of time especially if the text is not clear and white on black. I can just manage the Anchorage blown up to 200% on my screen for a while. Hence my doing short stints on line.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    In the naval spirit, have you tried a spyglass?

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    I get much the same result as Nelson. It's the optic nerve which is damaged.

    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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