In the heart of old London is an enormous, rambling structure, originally a chapter house of the Knights Templars, that still has about it a suggestion of the Crusades of the Middle Ages. For the last four hundred years at least, the buildings have housed the offices and lodgings of lawyers and barristers. Charles Lamb was born there, and it was the setting for many lectures by nineteenth-century writers. It is associated with Tommy Traddle of Dickens's David Copperfield and with the characters of Gilbert and Sullivan's operetta Trial by Jury. The Temple received extensive bomb damage during World War II but was restored so artfully that now it is not possible to distinguish the restored from the original areas.
East India Company
English trade with India began about 1591. The East India Company was chartered in 1600 by Queen Elizabeth I and given the monopoly for the eastern trade: silk, calico, cotton, and tea were principal imports despite high duties. During the eighteenth century the company's extensive commercial influence developed into political power. In 1784 the British government shared with the East India Company virtual rule of India. After the Indian Mutiny of 1857 the company was taken over by the British government.
The East India Company was extremely important in the lives of several writers of the early nineteenth century. About 1790, when he was only fifteen years old, Charles Lamb joined the company. He soon became a clerk in the accounting department, where he remained for thirty-three years. In 1806 James Mill, father of John Stuart, began writing his History of British India; its publication in 1817 secured him a post at India House, the London office of the East India Company. After reading for the law, John Stuart Mill took a position under his father at the company. He rose rapidly to become chief examiner and remained in this post until 1858, when the governance of India was transferred to the Crown.
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|Title Annotation:||Literary Names and Terms: People and Places; London's Temple; East India Company|
|Author:||McCoy, Kathleen; Harlan, Judith|
|Publication:||English Literature from 1785|
|Article Type:||Reference Source|
|Date:||Jan 1, 1992|
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