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By Anthony Webster

John Palmer used to be the main influential and wealthiest British service provider in British India for the 1st 3 many years of the 19th century. He ran an `agency house', an international advertisement enterprise fascinated with banking, the opium exchange, delivery, plantation agriculture and alternate with Britain, Europe, China, south east Asia and the united states. while his enterprise went bankrupt in 1830, millions of individuals, ecu and Indian, have been ruined, triggering the worst advertisement difficulty in British India as much as that point. This booklet, the 1st significant research of a British service provider residence in India, offers an account of either one of Palmer's company and private lifestyles, exhibiting how his own family members and situations formed his advertisement ideas, with finally disastrous results for Anglo-Indian family in addition to his consumers. ANTHONY WEBSTER is Head of Humanities on the college of primary Lancashire.

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Additional resources for The Richest East India Merchant: The Life and Business of John Palmer of Calcutta, 1767-1836 (Worlds of the East India Company)

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In 1826, increased the likelihood of a failure of one of the larger, better established agency houses. In fact it was Palmer & Co. that was forced to close its doors in January 1830. Within four years all of The prince of merchants 35 the other agency houses had also failed. ’s collapse had so undermined the confidence of European and Indian investors that a chain reaction of sporadic runs on the other houses was set in motion. Ultimately, when the East India Company in London prohibited the granting of further assistance to rescue the agency houses, their fate was sealed.

Inevitably there emerged whole family dynasties within the civil and military ranks of the Company service. 55 Intermarriage between such families strengthened and widened these ties of loyalty and mutual support, and ensured their survival through many generations. This maze of social intimacy and obligation had to be carefully negotiated by all in authority in India, but especially by the agency houses. For them it 20 The richest East India merchant was not simply a question of securing the accounts and custom of the rich and famous.

Perhaps the most formative characteristics of European society in India were its sparseness and intense militarisation. 42 The incorporation of Indian warriors into the British army was also a way of divesting would be rebel Indian leaders of the military means of mounting an effective challenge to British rule. These British and Indian forces were scattered across the sub-continent in garrisons strategically located to enable a rapid response to any uprising or disorder; for in spite of their conquest of most of India by the 1830s, the British continued to see themselves as vulnerable interlopers in a hostile land.

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