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', a world advertisement enterprise desirous about banking, the opium alternate, delivery, plantation agriculture and alternate with Britain, Europe, China, south east Asia and the us. whilst his company went bankrupt in 1830, hundreds of thousands of individuals, ecu and Indian, have been ruined, triggering the worst advertisement concern in British India as much as that point. This ebook, the 1st significant learn of a British organization condominium in India, provides an account of either one of Palmer's company and private existence, displaying how his own kin and conditions formed his advertisement thoughts, with eventually disastrous effects for Anglo-Indian kinfolk in addition to his consumers. ANTHONY WEBSTER is Head of Humanities on the collage of significant 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)
For the agency houses also, Indian merchants and bankers offered much-needed additional funds, as well as access to the transcontinental hundi network. John Palmer was reputed to be the most adept of the Europeans at tapping this pool of Indian capital, in return providing various financial services for his Indian clients. But the relationship between the houses and Indian capitalists was much more intimate than the mere provision of capital. Non-Company European business had always depended upon Indian intermediaries to organise and deal with Indian producers and merchants.
Drink, gambling and debt destroyed many young Europeans, and the letters of John Palmer to his young clients are full of dire warnings and pleas for abstinence and frugality. In practice it was very difficult for the firms to restrain the foolhardy because of the intense competition among them for the accounts of the promising and the well connected. Indeed, leading figures like John Palmer partly built their reputations by dazzling displays of personal affluence, in their homes, in their generosity and in their public engagement in Calcutta society.
The outbreak of the AngloBurmese War of 1824–26, however, plunged the Anglo-Indian economy into a crisis of such severity that it became impossible to disguise the distress of even the most prestigious agency house. 71 Forced to pay crippling rates of interest to retain their depositors, it was not long before the agency houses were forced to seek financial assistance from the Bengal government. In June 1826 and March 1827, anguished petitions were made by the agency houses which secured them substantial loans.
The Richest East India Merchant: The Life and Business of John Palmer of Calcutta, 1767-1836 (Worlds of the East India Company) by Anthony Webster