Transcript

Raising Soldiers for India
CO 77/26, ff. 104-5


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To the King's most Excellent Majesty.
 
The Memorial and Petition of the Court of Directors of the United Company of Merchants of England trading to the East-Indies.
Most humbly Sheweth,
That by an Act of Parliament passed in the 21st. Year of Your Majesty's Reign entitled "An Act for establishing an Agreement with the United Company of Merchants of England trading to the Glossary - opens new windowEast Indies, for the payment of the Sum of Four hundred thousand Pounds, for the use of the Public in full discharge and satisfaction of all Claims and Demands of the Public from the Time the Bond Debt was reduced to One Million five hundred thousand Pounds until the 1st Day of March 1785, in respect of the Territorial Acquisitions and Revenues lately obtained in the East Indies; and also for securing to the Public in respect thereof, for a Term thereinmentioned a certain part or proportion of the clear Revenues and Profits of the said Company, and for granting to the said Company for a further Term, the sole and exclusive Trade to and from the East-Indies, and Limits thereinmentioned: and for establishing certain Regulations for the better management of the Affairs of the said Company, as well in India, as in Europe, and the recruiting the Military Forces of the said Company." - It is among other things recited, That it was necessary for the said Company to keep and maintain a Military Force in the East-Indies, and the present method of obtaining Recruits to keep up the same, had been found very inconvenient and defective. It is therefore enacted, that it should and may be lawful for the said United Company, by License from Your Majesty for that purpose, from time to time, to enlist such Number of Men, being Your Majesty's Subjects, and of such Ages, and for such Time, as should be expressed in such License, to serve them as Soldiers in the East-Indies, and to deposit and keep such Men, not exceeding Two thousand at any one Time in time of War, and One thousand at any Time in time of Peace at such Place or Places, in any part of Your Majesty's Dominions in Europe as shall be approved of, for that purpose by Your Majesty, until they could be sent to India.
Your Petitioners think it necessary for the Security and Protection of their Trade and Possessions in the East-Indies as soon as possible to to [sic] enlist a Number of Men to serve as Soldiers in India for the Term of five Years.
Your Petitioners therefore most humbly pray Your Majesty would be pleased by your Royal License to authorize the said United Company to enlist such a Number of Recruits (not exceeding 2500) as may be requisite for the Company's Military Forces in India, Subjects of Your Majesty, Of the Age of 16 Years and upwards to serve them as Soldiers in the East-Indies.
And your Petitioners shall ever pray.
  Signed by Order of the Court of Directors of the said United Company.
East India House.
Thomas Morton.
the 21st. May 1789.
Secretary.

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