The East Indies or the Indies are the lands of South and Southeast Asia. In a more restricted sense, the Indies can be used to refer to the islands of Southeast Asia the Indonesian Archipelago and the Philippine Archipelago; the name "Indies" is derived from the River Indus and is used to connote parts of Asia that came under Indian cultural influence. Dutch-occupied colonies in the area were known for about 300 years as the Dutch East Indies before Indonesian independence, while Spanish-occupied colonies were known as the Spanish East Indies before the American conquest and Philippine independence; the East Indies may include the former French-occupied Indochina, former British territories Brunei and Singapore and former Portuguese East Timor. It does not, include the former Dutch New Guinea western New Guinea, geographically considered to be part of Melanesia; the inhabitants of the East Indies are never called East Indians, distinguishing them both from inhabitants of the Caribbean and from the indigenous peoples of the Americas who are called "American Indians."
In colonial times they were just "natives". However, the peoples of the East Indies comprise a wide variety of cultural diversity, the inhabitants do not consider themselves as belonging to a single ethnic group. Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism are the most popular religions throughout the region, while Sikhism, Chinese folk religion and various other traditional beliefs and practices are prominent in some areas; the major languages in this area draw from a wide variety of language families, should not be confused with the term Indic, which refers only to a group of Indo-Iranian languages from South Asia. The extensive East Indies are subdivided into two sections, archaically called Hither India and Further India; the first is the former British India, the second is Southeast Asia. Regions of the East Indies are sometimes known by the colonial empire they once belonged to, British East Indies refers to Malaysia, Dutch East Indies means Indonesia, Spanish East Indies means the Philippines; the king of Abyssinia was identified with "Prester John of the Indies", since that part of the world was imagined to be one of "Three Indias".
Exploration of these regions by European powers first began in the late 15th century and early 16th century led by the Portuguese explorers. The Portuguese described the entire region; the region would be broken up into a series of Indies: The East Indies, called "Old Indies" or "Great Indies", consisting of India, the West Indies called "New Indies" or "Little Indies", consisting of the Americas. These regions were important sources of trading goods cotton and spices after the establishment of European trading companies: the British East India Company and Dutch East India Company, among others, in the 17th century; the New World was thought to be the easternmost part of the Indies by explorer Christopher Columbus, who had grossly underestimated the westerly distance from Europe to Asia. To avoid confusion, the New World came to be called the "West Indies", while the original Indies came to be called the "East Indies"; the designation East Indian was once used to describe people of all of the East Indies, in order to avoid the potential confusion from the term American Indian who were once referred to as Indians.
Insulindia List of Governor-General of the Philippines List of Governors-General of the Dutch East Indies List of governors of the Straits Settlements Malayness Bumiputera Pribumi Malay world Malay Archipelago Malay race Maphilindo Maritime Southeast Asia Nusantara Greater Indonesia Greater India History of the Americas Indian West Indies
Admiral Sir Edward Thornbrough, GCB was a senior, long-serving veteran officer of the British Royal Navy during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. He saw action in the American Revolutionary War, the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars, being wounded several times and once captured by American forces after a shipwreck. During the wreck, his conduct towards American prisoners aboard his ship was considered so exemplary that the American authorities released him without parole or exchange. During the conflict, Thornbrough won praise for taking his frigate into the thick of the action at the Glorious First of June, towing the shattered HMS Bellerophon to safety after she was isolated by several French ships of the line. Thornbrough became a senior admiral in both the Channel Fleet and the Mediterranean Fleet under Cuthbert Collingwood, who held him in high esteem, he retired in 1818 and settled in Devon with his third wife, dying in 1834. Thornbrough was born in the son of Commander Edward and Mary Thornbrough.
With a father in the Navy, young Edward's career was destined given his close proximity in his early life to the sea. Thornbrough joined his father at sea in 1761, as captain's servant on HMS Arrogant, spent two years in the Mediterranean becoming used to the sea. Aged nine in 1763, he attended school whilst being on the books of HMS Firm, he returned to the sea in 1768 aboard HMS Temeraire with his father. The ship was commanded by Edward Le Cras. Thornbrough would marry two of Le Cras's daughters. Temeraire was guardship at Portsmouth, in the time of peace this was a monotonous duty. Thornbrough therefore moved around several ships to broaden his education, traveling to Gibraltar and spending time on HMS Albion, he moved to HMS Captain with his father and in 1771 they sailed for Boston. For two more years the ship acted as guardship in the American port and provided a floating headquarters for Admiral John Montagu. Thornbrough performed a brief independent cruise in HMS Cruizer, but the service was otherwise uneventful and he returned to Britain with Captain in 1774.
In 1775, at the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, Thornbrough returned to North America in the sloop HMS Falcon as second in command. Falcon participated in the bombardment of rebel positions during the Battle of Bunker Hill, in August Thornbrough was badly wounded in a failed attempt to seize an American schooner from Cape Ann harbour. Invalided to Britain, Thornbrough recovered in 1776 and joined the frigate HMS Richmond off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1779 he escorted a convoy to Newfoundland. Returning to Europe in 1780, Thornbrough joined the frigate HMS Flora and in her participated in the capture of the French frigate Nymphe after a long and bloody action; as consequence of his part in this engagement, Thornbrough was promoted to commander and took over the hired vessel HMS Britannia escorting a convoy to New York City. On arrival, Thornbrough was again promoted to post captain and took over captaincy of the frigate HMS Blonde. In 1782, Blonde attempted to tow her to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
During the operation the ship became lost in fog and Blonde was wrecked on a rocky islet whilst the brig continued to Halifax. On the islet, Thornbrough made sure that the American prisoners from the brig were given the same standards of treatment as the British sailors; when the survivors were rescued by two American ships a few days the American authorities were so impressed with his behaviour that they conveyed him to New York and released him without conditions as a reward. Returning to Britain, Thornbrough was to be given the ship of the line HMS Egmont, but the end of the war prevented this; the ten years of peace following the American war resulted in many officers entering semi-retirement on half-pay. Thornbrough however was given the prize frigate HMS Hebe and had Prince William Henry on board as a lieutenant. Although the Prince was a notoriously difficult officer to serve alongside, Thornbrough became friends with his subordinate, whose patronage would help him with his future career.
Thornbrough married Ann Le Cras in 1784, Prince William requested that their first son was to be named after him. The son would become Lieutenant William Henry Thornbrough, but died in 1798 aged 14; the couple would have another son, Edward Le Cras Thornbrough, who became an admiral and four daughters. In 1784, Thornbrough's father died. In 1790 during the Spanish armament, Thornbrough took over HMS Scipio. At the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars, Thornbrough requested and received command of the frigate HMS Latona. In November 1793, Thornbrough engaged several French ships of the line in a vain attempt to delay them until British warships could arrive to challenge them. In May 1794, Latona was a scout for the Channel Fleet under Lord Howe during the Atlantic campaign of May 1794; the campaign resulted in the Glorious First of June, when Latona was used as a repeating ship to relay Howe's signals down the British line. In the action however, Thornbrough was called on to take his diminutive ships through the battle lines to rescue the shattered HMS Bellerophon, being pounded by several large French ships.
Latona not only reached Bellerophon, but drove off the French battleships with her small broadsides and took the dismasted Bellerophon in tow to safety, all without suffering a casualty. Thornbrough took command of the ship of the line HMS Robust with the Channel Fleet, participated in the ill-fated 1795 invasion of Quiberon Bay with French Royalist forces; the operation was a failure and Robust was engaged in its desperate evacuation. Three
The Royal Navy is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years War against the Kingdom of France; the modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century. From the middle decades of the 17th century, through the 18th century, the Royal Navy vied with the Dutch Navy and with the French Navy for maritime supremacy. From the mid 18th century, it was the world's most powerful navy until surpassed by the United States Navy during the Second World War; the Royal Navy played a key part in establishing the British Empire as the unmatched world power during the 19th and first part of the 20th centuries. Due to this historical prominence, it is common among non-Britons, to refer to it as "the Royal Navy" without qualification. Following World War I, the Royal Navy was reduced in size, although at the onset of World War II it was still the world's largest.
By the end of the war, the United States Navy had emerged as the world's largest. During the Cold War, the Royal Navy transformed into a anti-submarine force, hunting for Soviet submarines and active in the GIUK gap. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, its focus has returned to expeditionary operations around the world and remains one of the world's foremost blue-water navies. However, 21st century reductions in naval spending have led to a personnel shortage and a reduction in the number of warships; the Royal Navy maintains a fleet of technologically sophisticated ships and submarines including two aircraft carriers, two amphibious transport docks, four ballistic missile submarines, six nuclear fleet submarines, six guided missile destroyers, 13 frigates, 13 mine-countermeasure vessels and 22 patrol vessels. As of November 2018, there are 74 commissioned ships in the Royal Navy, plus 12 ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary; the RFA replenishes Royal Navy warships at sea, augments the Royal Navy's amphibious warfare capabilities through its three Bay-class landing ship vessels.
It works as a force multiplier for the Royal Navy doing patrols that frigates used to do. The total displacement of the Royal Navy is 408,750 tonnes; the Royal Navy is part of Her Majesty's Naval Service, which includes the Royal Marines. The professional head of the Naval Service is the First Sea Lord, an admiral and member of the Defence Council of the United Kingdom; the Defence Council delegates management of the Naval Service to the Admiralty Board, chaired by the Secretary of State for Defence. The Royal Navy operates three bases in the United Kingdom; as the seaborne branch of HM Armed Forces, the RN has various roles. As it stands today, the RN has stated its 6 major roles as detailed below in umbrella terms. Preventing Conflict – On a global and regional level Providing Security At Sea – To ensure the stability of international trade at sea International Partnerships – To help cement the relationship with the United Kingdom's allies Maintaining a Readiness To Fight – To protect the United Kingdom's interests across the globe Protecting the Economy – To safe guard vital trade routes to guarantee the United Kingdom's and its allies' economic prosperity at sea Providing Humanitarian Aid – To deliver a fast and effective response to global catastrophes The strength of the fleet of the Kingdom of England was an important element in the kingdom's power in the 10th century.
At one point Aethelred II had an large fleet built by a national levy of one ship for every 310 hides of land, but it is uncertain whether this was a standard or exceptional model for raising fleets. During the period of Danish rule in the 11th century, the authorities maintained a standing fleet by taxation, this continued for a time under the restored English regime of Edward the Confessor, who commanded fleets in person. English naval power declined as a result of the Norman conquest. Following the Battle of Hastings, the Norman navy that brought over William the Conqueror disappeared from records due to William receiving all of those ships from feudal obligations or because of some sort of leasing agreement which lasted only for the duration of the enterprise. More troubling, is the fact that there is no evidence that William adopted or kept the Anglo-Saxon ship mustering system, known as the scipfryd. Hardly noted after 1066, it appears that the Normans let the scipfryd languish so that by 1086, when the Doomsday Book was completed, it had ceased to exist.
According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, in 1068, Harold Godwinson's sons Godwine and Edmund conducted a ‘raiding-ship army’ which came from Ireland, raiding across the region and to the townships of Bristol and Somerset. In the following year of 1069, they returned with a bigger fleet which they sailed up the River Taw before being beaten back by a local earl near Devon. However, this made explicitly clear that the newly conquered England under Norman rule, in effect, ceded the Irish Sea to the Irish, the Vikings of Dublin, other Norwegians. Besides ceding away the Irish Sea, the Normans ceded the North Sea, a major area where Nordic peoples traveled. In 1069, this lack of naval presence in the North Sea allowed for the invasion an
The "seventy-four" was a type of two-decked sailing ship of the line which nominally carried 74 guns. It was developed by the French navy in the 1740s and spread to the British Royal Navy where it was classed as third rate. From here, it spread to the Spanish, Dutch and Russian navies; the design was considered a good balance between firepower and sailing qualities, but more it was an appealing ideal for naval administrators and bureaucrats. Seventy-fours became a mainstay of the world's fleets into the early 19th century when they began to be supplanted by new designs and by the introduction of steam powered ironclads; as a standard type, the seventy-four was only an ideal construction. There was great variation between seventy-fours of different navies. In the period 1750–1790, different ships could have displacements of anything at just under 2,000 tonnes up to 3,000 tonnes; the armament could vary with everything from 24-pounder to long 36-pounder guns, some seventy-fours of the Danish navy had only 70 guns.
The first 74-gun ships were constructed by the French as they rebuilt their navy during the early years of the reign of Louis XV. The new ship type was a large two-decker big enough to carry the largest common type of gun on the lower gun deck, something only three-deckers had done earlier; this great firepower was combined with good sailing qualities compared to both the taller three-deckers and the shorter old-style 70-gun two-deckers, making the 74 the perfect combination of the two. A disadvantage of the 74 was that it was expensive to build and man compared to the older type of two-decker; the 74-gun ship carried 28 on the lower gun deck, 28–30 on the upper gun deck, 14–18 on the upper works. Crew size was around 500 to 750 men depending on design and nationality, with British ships tending to have smaller crews than other navies; the French had large and small seventy-fours, called "grand modèle" and "petite modèle", the waterline length of a "grand modèle" seventy-four could be up to 182 feet.
This was copied by the Royal Navy in about two dozen such ships of its own, such as HMS Colossus where they were known as Large, while the other seventy-fours built to be between 166–171 feet were known as Common. Given the construction techniques of the day, the seventy-four approached the limits of what was possible; such long hulls made from wood had a tendency to sag over time. Increased maintenance could counter this to some extent; this limited the success of the bigger two-deck 80-gun ships that were built in small numbers after the seventy-four had been introduced. Three-deckers did not have the same problem due to their additional deck giving more rigidity; the significance of the 74s however is hard to overstate, as a summary of the ships of the line for all nations that were in commission at any time during the Revolutionary/Napoleonic Wars period. 1st & 2nd rates 156 3rd rate 74s 408 4th rate 199 The Royal Navy captured a number of the early French 74-gun ships during the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years' War and was impressed by them compared to its own smallish 70-gun ships.
As a result, it started building them in great numbers from about 1760. Navies that were restricted by shallow waters, such as the Dutch and Scandinavian navies, at least early on tended to avoid the 74-gun ship to a certain degree due to its size and draught, preferring smaller two-deckers instead. So, the seventy-four was a standard feature in all European navies around 1800. Only a handful of 74-gun ships were commissioned into the United States Navy; the type fell into disuse after the Napoleonic Wars, when improved building techniques made it possible to build bigger two-deckers of 84 or 90 guns without sacrificing hull rigidity. The last seventy-four, the French Trafalgar veteran Duguay-Trouin, was scuttled in 1949, her stern ornamentation is on display at Greenwich. In addition, dozens of ship models exist, produced as part of constructing the real ships, thus believed accurate both externally and internally. Dublin-class ship of the line Hercules-class ship of the line Valiant-class ship of the line Bellona-class ship of the line Arrogant-class ship of the line Canada-class ship of the line Ramillies-class ship of the line Albion-class ship of the line Elizabeth-class ship of the line Royal Oak-class ship of the line Culloden-class ship of the line Alfred-class ship of the line Ganges-class ship of the line Courageux-class ship of the line Mars-class ship of the line Ajax-class ship of the line Pompée-class ship of the line America-class ship of the line Fame-class ship of the line Repulse-class ship of the line Swiftsure-class ship of the line Vengeur-class ship of the line Black Prince-class ship of the line Annibal-class ship of the line Téméraire-class ship of the line César-class ship of the line Séduisant-class ship of the line Yaroslav-class ship of the line Tsar Constatine-class ship of the line Svyatoy Petr-class ship of the line Selafail-class ship of the line Anapa-class ship of the line Three Saints-class ship of the line Ezekiel-cla
James Haldane Tait
Rear-Admiral James Haldane Tait was a 19th-century Scottish naval commander during the Napoleonic Wars and through the early 19th century. He was born in Glasgow the son of a merchant in the Trongate, his mother Margaret Duncan was the sister of Admiral Adam Duncan. He joined the Royal Navy in March 1783 aged 12 as Captain's Servant on HMS Edgar, he saw service on his uncle's ship HMS Ganges. On both ships they remained in the Portsmouth area. From 1787 he joined the Navy of the East India Company but on the rise of military tensions between Britain and Spain he rejoined the Navy in September 1790, he was now a midshipman on HMS Defence, an older and more battle-hardened ship than his earlier commissions. In October 1793 he transferred with Captain G. Murray, to HMS Duke. In April 1794, when Murray was promoted to rear-admiral, he followed him to HMS Resolution and sailed to North America. Under Admiral Murray he served as an acting lieutenant to Captain Hardy on HMS Thisbe and had a brief spell with Captain Roddam Home on HMS Africa.
He was commissioned as a full lieutenant on 6 July 1796. Whilst with Murray he saw action against the American fleet; as a lieutenant he moved to HMS Cleopatra. The Cleopatra saw great action in 1796 with Tait present: capturing the French ships Aurore, Hirondelle and Nouvelle Eugenie. From 1797 to 1799 he served again with his uncle defending the English Channel. In 1799 he was given command of HMS Jane; this small lugger gained a huge reputation under Tait patrolling the British and European coast, capturing 56 French or Dutch vessels and by 1801 Tait was growing in fame. Scotland reacted well to this and he was given the Freedom of the City variously to Dundee and Aberdeen. In April 1802 he was promoted to commander. After some time with the Sea Fencibles at Dunbar, he was given command of HMS Volcano in October 1803 protecting Dungeness. In 1805 he was captain of HMS Sir Francis Drake in the East Indies, he took over as captain of HMS Grampus in March 1806 and was stationed in India and the Cape of Good Hope.
The ship returned to Britain in 1809, Tait spent some years ashore. In 1814 he took charge of HMS Venus patrolling the Norwegian fjords. In 1815 he saw a year's service with HMS Junon in the West Indies and his final charge in 1816 was HMS Pique in the West Indies. In March 1817 he was invalided out of the navy, he retired to 6 Bellevue Crescent in Edinburgh's Second New Town. His promotion to Rear-Admiral of the Blue was in retrospective recognition of his worth and he did not see any operational use of the rank, he died on 7 August 1845. He is buried in St Cuthberts churchyard in central Edinburgh just west of Princes Street Gardens; the grave lies on the small mound to the south-west of the church. He was married three times: firstly to Mary Duncan, he had one son Adam Duncan Tait who became minister of Kirkliston and was grandfather to Sir Robert Hutchison, 1st Baronet of Thurle
On boats and ships, the keel is either of two parts: a structural element that sometimes resembles a fin and protrudes below a boat along the central line, or a hydrodynamic element. These parts overlap; as the laying down of the keel is the initial step in the construction of a ship, in British and American shipbuilding traditions the construction is dated from this event. Only the ship's launching is considered more significant in its creation; the word can be used as a synecdoche to refer to a complete boat, such as a keelboat. The adjustable centerboard keel traces its roots to the medieval Chinese Song dynasty. Many Song Chinese junk ships had a ballasted and bilge keel that consisted of wooden beams bound together with iron hoops. Maritime technology and the technological know-how allowed Song dynasty ships to be used in naval warfare between the Southern Song Dynasty, the Jin dynasty, the Mongols. A structural keel is the bottom-most structural member; the keel runs from the bow to the stern.
The keel is the first part of a ship's hull to be constructed, laying the keel, or placing the keel in the cradle in which the ship will be built may mark the start time of its construction. Large, modern ships are now built in a series of pre-fabricated, complete hull sections rather than being built around a single keel, so shipbuilding process commences with cutting the first sheet of steel; the most common type of keel is the "flat plate keel", this is fitted in the majority of ocean-going ships and other vessels. A form of keel found on smaller vessels is the "bar keel", which may be fitted in trawlers and smaller ferries. Where grounding is possible, this type of keel is suitable with its massive scantlings, but there is always a problem of the increased draft with no additional cargo capacity. If a double bottom is fitted, the keel is inevitably of the flat plate type, bar keels being associated with open floors, where the plate keel may be fitted. Duct keels are provided in the bottom of some vessels.
These run from the forward engine room bulkhead to the collision bulkhead and are utilized to carry the double bottom piping. The piping is accessible when cargo is loaded; the keel surface on the bottom of the hull gives the ship greater directional stability. In non-sailing hulls, the keel helps the hull to move forward, rather than slipping to the side. In traditional boat building, this is provided by the structural keel, which projects from the bottom of the hull along most or all of its length. In modern construction, the bar keel or flat-plate keel performs the same function. There are many types of fixed keels, including full keels, long keels, fin keels, winged keels, bulb keels, bilge keels among other designs. Deep-draft ships will have a flat bottom and employ only bilge keels, both to aid directional control and to damp rolling motions In sailboats, keels use the forward motion of the boat to generate lift to counteract the leeward force of the wind; the rudimentary purpose of the keel is to convert the sideways motion of the wind when it is abeam into forward motion.
A secondary purpose of the keel is to provide ballast. Keels are different from centreboards and other types of foils in that keels are made of heavy materials to provide ballast to stabilize the boat. Keels may be fixed, or non-movable. Retracting keels may pivot or slide upwards to retract, are retracted with a winch due to the weight of the ballast. Since the keel provides far more stability when lowered than when retracted, the amount of sail carried is reduced when sailing with the keel retracted. Types of non-fixed keels include canting keels. Canting keels can be found on racing yachts, such as those competing in the Volvo Ocean Race, they provide more righting moment as the keel moves out to the windward-side of the boat while using less weight. The horizontal distance from the weight to the pivot is increased, which generates a larger righting moment; the word "keel" comes from Old English cēol, Old Norse kjóll, = "ship" or "keel". It has the distinction of being regarded by some scholars as the first word in the English language recorded in writing, having been recorded by Gildas in his 6th century Latin work De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae, under the spelling cyulae.
Carina is the origin of the term careen. An example of this use is Careening Cove, a suburb of Sydney, where careening was carried out in early colonial days. Coin ceremony Kelson False keel Daggerboard Leeboard Bilgeboard Bruce foil Keelhauling – an archaic maritime punishment Rousmaniere, The Annapolis Book of Seamanship, Simon & Schuster, 1999 Chapman Book of Piloting, Hearst Corporation, 1999 Herreshoff, The Sailor’s Handbook, Little Brown and Company Seidman, The Complete Sailor, International Marine, 1995 Jobson, Sailing Fundamentals, Simon & Schuster, 1987
East India Company
The East India Company known as the Honourable East India Company or the British East India Company and informally as John Company, Company Bahadur, or The Company, was an English and British joint-stock company. It was formed to trade in the Indian Ocean region with Mughal India and the East Indies, with Qing China; the company ended up seizing control over large parts of the Indian subcontinent, colonised parts of Southeast Asia, colonised Hong Kong after a war with Qing China. Chartered as the "Governor and Company of Merchants of London trading into the East Indies", the company rose to account for half of the world's trade in basic commodities including cotton, indigo dye, spices, saltpetre and opium; the company ruled the beginnings of the British Empire in India. In his speech to the House of Commons in July 1833, Lord Macaulay explained that since the beginning, the East India company had always been involved in both trade and politics, just as its French and Dutch counterparts had been.
The company received a Royal Charter from Queen Elizabeth I on 31 December 1600, coming late to trade in the Indies. Before them the Portuguese Estado da Índia had traded there for much of the 16th century and the first of half a dozen Dutch Companies sailed to trade there from 1595; these Dutch companies amalgamated in March 1602 into the United East Indies Company, which introduced the first permanent joint stock from 1612. By contrast, wealthy merchants and aristocrats owned the EIC's shares; the government owned no shares and had only indirect control until 1657 when permanent joint stock was established. During its first century of operation, the focus of the company was trade, not the building of an empire in India. Company interests turned from trade to territory during the 18th century as the Mughal Empire declined in power and the East India Company struggled with its French counterpart, the French East India Company during the Carnatic Wars of the 1740s and 1750s; the battles of Plassey and Buxar, in which the British defeated the Bengali powers, left the company in control of Bengal and a major military and political power in India.
In the following decades it increased the extent of the territories under its control, controlling the majority of the Indian subcontinent either directly or indirectly via local puppet rulers under the threat of force by its Presidency armies, much of which were composed of native Indian sepoys. By 1803, at the height of its rule in India, the British East India company had a private army of about 260,000—twice the size of the British Army, with Indian revenues of £13,464,561, expenses of £14,017,473; the company came to rule large areas of India with its private armies, exercising military power and assuming administrative functions. Company rule in India began in 1757 and lasted until 1858, following the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the Government of India Act 1858 led to the British Crown's assuming direct control of the Indian subcontinent in the form of the new British Raj. Despite frequent government intervention, the company had recurring problems with its finances, it was dissolved in 1874 as a result of the East India Stock Dividend Redemption Act passed one year earlier, as the Government of India Act had by rendered it vestigial and obsolete.
The official government machinery of British India assumed the East India Company's governmental functions and absorbed its navy and its armies in 1858. Soon after the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, the captured Spanish and Portuguese ships with their cargoes enabled English voyagers to travel the globe in search of riches. London merchants presented a petition to Queen Elizabeth I for permission to sail to the Indian Ocean; the aim was to deliver a decisive blow to the Portuguese monopoly of Far Eastern Trade. Elizabeth granted her permission and on 10 April 1591 James Lancaster in the Bonaventure with two other ships sailed from Torbay around the Cape of Good Hope to the Arabian Sea on one of the earliest English overseas Indian expeditions. Having sailed around Cape Comorin to the Malay Peninsula, they preyed on Spanish and Portuguese ships there before returning to England in 1594; the biggest capture that galvanised English trade was the seizure of the large Portuguese Carrack, the Madre de Deus by Sir Walter Raleigh and the Earl of Cumberland at the Battle of Flores on 13 August 1592.
When she was brought in to Dartmouth she was the largest vessel, seen in England and her cargo consisted of chests filled with jewels, gold, silver coins, cloth, pepper, cinnamon, benjamin, red dye and ebony. Valuable was the ship's rutter containing vital information on the China and Japan trades; these riches aroused the English to engage in this opulent commerce. In 1596, three more English ships were all lost at sea. A year however saw the arrival of Ralph Fitch, an adventurer merchant who, along with his companions, had made a remarkable fifteen-year overland journey to Mesopotamia, the Persian Gulf, the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia. Fitch was consulted on the Indian affairs and gave more valuable information to Lancaster. On 22 September 1599, a group of merchants met and stated their intention "to venture in the pretended voyage to the East Indies, the sums that they will adventure", committing £30