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Russia, Britain, Dutch & Baranagar

Russia, Britain, Dutch & Baranagar in Sat 14th Oct 1815

Jayanta Baksi

Introduction: Please be noted an additional remarkable point [Source: History (1793-1844) – Europe Again by Roger Houghton]:

Here, the chapter 14 is chiefly interesting for the disclosures about the Licensing system for trading with the enemy. A useful ‘how to’ guide is shown in the complaint of Lloyd’s Underwriters, after the defeat of the Baltic convoy – it’s in the Sat 6th June 1812 edition. Roger Houghton collected documentary evidence from newspaper extracts [the Bombay Courier and the Canton Register, the latter supplemented by the Friend of China] for publication which covered 50 years from 1793 when British traders were leading the invasion of Asia and South America & it seems to offer a much better indicator of government’s basic thinking and likely response in any given situation although rarely actually professed – this cause is the self-interest of British. The great thing about newspaper reports of those days that they record events as they occur before interpretation starts. There are also some commentaries here, mostly in the form of Letters to the Editor or articles from the Edinburgh Review which are inevitably interpretative but I believe they help to elucidate the values and opinions of the time.

Sat 14th Oct 1815: “Our Treaty with the Dutch was made last August but was shown to the House of Commons only in June this year. We give back all colonies except the Cape, Demerara, Essequibo and Berbica. We exchange the island of Banea for the port of Cochin in Malabar. We have agreed to the Dutch occupation of Belgium. The Dutch undertake to prohibit the slave trade in their possessions. We are obliged to pay Sweden £1 million as compensation for some lands which she was promised but will not now receive. We are also paying the Swedes 24 million Livres to forego Guadeloupe which was promised to them. We pay £2 millions to the Dutch to improve the defences of the Low Countries. We will pay up to £3 million more to the Dutch to settle the Belgian provinces under Dutch rule.

The Dutch town of Baranagar, a Calcutta suburb which catches some of the Company’s Bills business, is rented to Britain in perpetuity. Russia has demanded compensation from the Dutch for military protection. In payment, the Dutch will pay part of the capital and all arrears of interest up to 1816 on the Russian loan of 26 million Florins raised for Russia by Hope & Co of Amsterdam. The British will pay 25 million Florins to the Dutch to accomplish this by underwriting loans on the Amsterdam exchange at 5% interest”.
[Language & spelling – Not altered. Jayanta Baksi]

Ohf! Great news indeed. Baranagar was rented to Britain for infinite time & by whom? Yes, by the Dutch’s. Why? Of course intended for business as Baranagar catches some of the Company’s Bills trading; however at that time Baranagar area was under the possession of Dutch.

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