From Supranational to National: Changing Patterns of Investment in the British East India Company, 1750-1820
This chapter considers several aspects of investment in Britain’s overseas empire by examining patterns of East India stockholding at a time, roughly from 1750 to 1820, when that empire was expanding fast and undergoing profound changes in terms of its composition, form, and geographical distribution. Light can thus be thrown upon those whose financial resources were linked, via the growing London stock market, with the world of overseas endeavour - those whose personal fortunes had become closely intertwined with the nation’s imperial fortunes. It is hoped that this will demonstrate something of the nature and underlying characteristics of the economic processes that helped to forge and tighten powerful two-way links between Britain and her overseas empire. In turn, the chapter will also reveal an important metropolitan change that was occurring in British imperial endeavour in its Asian context during the half-century or so after 1750.