The mutiny was a watershed in BritishIndian relations. It meant the end of the East India Company, whose original charter was granted by Elizabeth. The company had been assailed for years by free-traders, such as John Bright, as an anachronism and an impediment to commercial progress. The events of 1857 convinced many others of the company's unfitness for ruling India. The company defended itself by having no less a personage than J. S. Mill (then a key administrator for the company) draft a lengthy pamphlet in defense of the company's rule. But the public cry for direct Crown administration was too great, and company rule ceased in September 1858.