Home > Uncategorized > Toynbee on the EIC, Malthus

Toynbee on the EIC, Malthus

The metamorphosis of the East India Company’s servants “from pettifogging traders … into imperialistic swashbucklers and large-scale extortionists” was accomplished between A.D. 1750 and A.D. 1785 (see Spear, T. G. P., The Nabobs (London 1932, Milford), p. 23). “The transformation of factors into soldiers and statesmen … meant that soldiers and officials brought commercial minds to their new duties, in which, if they were not always over-careful of the Company’s coffers, they never forgot their own” (ibid., p. 28). In Bengal the European adventurers’ reign of terror was at its height from A.D. 1761 to A.D. 1771-2, when it was curbed by Warren Hastings’ reforms (see ibid., pp. 32-33).

How did they do it? Education. EIC opened a school:
1765: acquired Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, and the Northern Circars;
1806: opened a college for probationer-appointees to its administrative service in India, used it until EIC demise, 1857.
College initially in Hertford Castle, 3 years later moved to Haileybury. About 100 students; length of the course = two years; students 16-19 at admission. You got in by nomination from a Director of EIC, and graduated straight into a post in India.
Indian Civil Service open competitive exams began 1855.
Haileybury is now a public school – it closed 1855-62, so no uninterrupted trad.

Malthus was a professor on its staff from A D. 1806 until his death in A.D. 1834. !!!!!!

In the early years of the nineteenth century of the Christian Era the highest reasonable hope might well have been thought to be the conversion of a piratical Clive into a chicken-livered Jos. Sedley […]. At Calcutta, where the transition from a respectable obscurity to a corrupt ascendancy had taken place between A.D. 1756 and 1765, there was a reversion towards respectability under Cornwallis’ régime (proconsulari munere fungebatur A.D. 1786-93). The nineteenth-century era of virtuous aloofness was inaugurated by Wellesley (fungebatur A.D. 1798-1805). See Spear, op. cit., p. 26.

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