EAST INDIA COMPANY. Parliamentary Reports of 1772-1773 with a royal provenance

£650.00

Minutes of Evidence Taken Before the Committee of the Whole House, and the Select Committee on the Affairs of the East India Company. Ordered By the House of Commons to be Printed. 1813.  

763pp, A large [28 x 44cm] folio volume containing the full Nine Reports from The Committee of Secrecy appointed to enquire into The State of the East India Company. Crimson half leather gilt, titled on the spine REPORTS OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS  1772 – 1773 VOL. IV.  and marbled boards, somewhat scuffed and worn but a decent copy considering its age, front board weak on the hinge. The front board has the bookplate of Sir George Chetwynd, Bart and the rear board has the royalbookplate of Prince William Frederick Duke of Gloucester [1776-1834] with his intertwined initials within a garter surmounted by a royal coronet. [see footnote]. This is Volume IV “EAST INDIES – 1772-1773” in the series of “REPORTS OF THE COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS. Re-Printed by Order of the House, 1804” which comprised 15 large folios: only 1500 copies were printed. Parliament was recalled in 1772 after the East India Company asked for a loan of a million pounds and the resulting committee of 13 which inquired into its affairs came up with a damning report which probes interestingly into all aspects of affairs in India – administration, debt and revenue, territorial management, army reform, justice, the salt trade, the China trade, shipping, etc. An invaluable primary source for research into Indian affairs in the 18th century and the age of Clive. Numerous lists and tables showing, for instance, the names of ships used by the Company with their tonnages.This volume weighs approximately 4.5kilos or 10llbs so shipping abroad will be somewhat costly.         sep2/3

Provenance: This volume would have almost certainly among those sold when the Prince’s library was sold by Sotheby & Son in July – August 1835 when the eight day sale realised £1,265. Brian North Lee: British Royal Bookplates [Scolar Press 1991] notes interestingly on 168 This bookplate was not infrequently placed at the back of books which bore (167) at the front. His reference to 167 is to the Prince’s bookplate with full coat of arms. If you look carefully at the Chetywnd bookplate you will see that it is stuck over another. The Prince’s father, 1st Duke of Gloucester & Edinburgh, was a brother of King George III.

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