Untold lives blog

Sharing stories from the past, worldwide

9 posts from June 2021

29 June 2021

Outfitting an East India Company employee

When new employees of the East India Company embarked on their first voyage to India to take up their post, they needed to think carefully about what to pack.  By the 1840s this was a well-trodden path for British officials and one company was on hand to provide everything they would need.

'List of Outfit for Writers, Cadets, and Assistant Surgeons, proceeding to India'`List of Outfit for Writers, Cadets, and Assistant Surgeons, proceeding to India' - British Library Mss Eur F94. Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

Amongst the collections of India Office Private Papers is a `List of Outfit for Writers, Cadets, and Assistant Surgeons, proceeding to India'.  This was issued between 1839 and 1844 by Grindlay, Christian, & Matthews, agents and bankers to the British Army and business community in India.  The company was founded by Robert Melville Grindlay, a retired Captain in the Bombay Infantry.  Grindlay had plenty of experience of travel with his regiment and had served as Secretary at the Committee of Embarkation at Bombay.  On returning to London he started the agency Leslie & Grindlay in 1828, principally to organise all the arrangements for clients travelling to India.  The agency would have several changes of name, and later gravitate towards banking and financial services.

Grindlay’s list of outfit for East India Company employees travelling to India makes fascinating reading in terms of what someone was expected to equip themselves with.  There is a long list of shirts, collars, waistcoats, drawers, stockings, gloves, jackets and not forgetting the trusty umbrella.  Also night wear, toiletries and tobacco.  When it comes to foot wear, there are boots, walking or dress shoes, shooting shoes, and of course slippers for relaxing in.

Clothing and military accoutrements from `List of Outfit for Writers, Cadets, and Assistant Surgeons, proceeding to India'Clothing and military accoutrements from `List of Outfit for Writers, Cadets, and Assistant Surgeons, proceeding to India' - British Library Mss Eur F94. Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

There is, as you would expect, military clothing such as dress coats, frock coats, shell jackets and regimental trousers. Along with the items of uniform are all the necessary adornments, for example caps (full dress or foraging), swords (with waterproof sword bag), belts, sashes, shoulder epaulettes, and Japanned tin cases to keep them in.

Books offered in `List of Outfit for Writers, Cadets, and Assistant Surgeons, proceeding to India'Books offered in `List of Outfit for Writers, Cadets, and Assistant Surgeons, proceeding to India' - British Library Mss Eur F94. Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

A range of reference books relating to India are listed, and various volumes on military matters including Napoleon’s Military Maxims and Infantry Sword Exercise.  There is even a folding bookcase to keep them in.

Saddlery and Sundries from `List of Outfit for Writers, Cadets, and Assistant Surgeons, proceeding to India'Saddlery and sundries from `List of Outfit for Writers, Cadets, and Assistant Surgeons, proceeding to India' - British Library Mss Eur F94. Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

As every traveller knows, it is often the small items which are forgotten, such as candles, candle sticks and snuffers, tin mugs, looking glasses, tools, writing materials, cutlery, tea pot and biscuits, watch and compass.  All could be purchased from Grindlay, along with a range of trunks to keep everything in, engraved with the owner's name on brass plates.

Cabin furniture and bedding from `List of Outfit for Writers, Cadets, and Assistant Surgeons, proceeding to India'Cabin furniture and bedding from `List of Outfit for Writers, Cadets, and Assistant Surgeons, proceeding to India' - British Library Mss Eur F94. Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

To ensure a comfortable night’s sleep, a range of beds and bedding was on offer, including a sofa with drawers, a cane sofa to swing as a cot, or an iron or brass camp bedstead, along with blankets, sheets and pillow cases.  While on the move, British officials also required appropriate furniture in order to conduct their business.  To this end, Grindlay offered a variety of chairs (cabin arm chair, folding camp chair or Dover folding chair) and tables (mahogany camp table or swinging tray or table).

John O’Brien
India Office Records

Further Reading:
`List of Outfit for Writers, Cadets, and Assistant Surgeons, proceeding to India', issued c1839-44, by Grindlay, Christian, & Matthews, East India Army Agency, London, shelfmark Mss Eur F94.
Grindlay, Christian, & Matthews, East-India Army and General Agency and East-India Rooms, [London: Grindlay, Christian, & Matthews, 1839] shelfmark: Asia, Pacific & Africa DRT Digital Store T 29729
A history of Grindlays Bank Ltd
Arup K Chatterjee, ‘Robert Melville: The artist, Indophile and imperialist who founded Grindlays Bank’ in Scroll.in   

Advice for ladies in India - equipment on the voyage and clothing for women


24 June 2021

Precedence of British officials and their wives in 19th century India

In 1843 Captain Christopher Simpson Maling of the Bengal Army asked the authorities about the precedence of his wife in Indian society.  Her name had been omitted from the table of precedence.  Jane Wemyss Maling was the daughter of Hon. Leveson Granville Keith Murray of the Madras Civil Service and the granddaughter of the Earl of Dunmore.

The government replied to Captain Maling that it had never interfered to regulate claims based on a statute of precedence in England.  A copy of the correspondence was sent to the East India Company Court of Directors in London.  In July 1844 a despatch to India from the directors stated that it would be perfectly correct for the government in Calcutta to decide the relative rank of ladies based on Royal Warrants and accompanying orders.  The Warrant under which the relative ranks of people in India was to be determined was dated 28 June 1841, and it specifically addressed the rank of ladies having precedence in England.  The directors anticipated that there would be no difficulty in deciding any question that might arise.  Ranks of people not mentioned in the Warrant should be regulated by general custom as decided by the Governor General in Council.

The same question of precedence was raised in 1846 by Hew Drummond Elphinstone Dalrymple, Acting Chief Magistrate and Superintendent of Police at Madras.  His wife Helenora Catherine was the daughter of Major General Sir John Heron Maxwell, Baronet of Springkell, Dumfries.  Dalrymple asked whether the daughter of a baronet was divested of her hereditary place and precedence on arriving in India, or did she fall under the last clauses of the Royal Warrant?  The Government of Fort St George consulted Calcutta and were told that the clause in the Royal Warrant applied.  This stated: ‘All Ladies to take place according to the rank assigned to their respective husbands, with the exception of ladies having precedence in England, who are to take place according to their several ranks, with reference to such precedence, after the wives of the members of council at the presidencies in India’.

Order of Precedence by Royal Warrant 28 June 1841 Continuation of Order of Precedence by Royal Warrant 28 June 1841Order of Precedence by Royal Warrant 28 June 1841 -  East-India Register and Army List 1846

The order of precedence specified by the Royal Warrant of 1841 was published in the East-India Register and Army List.  At the top of the list was the Governor General, followed by the Deputy Governor of Bengal, and the Governors of Madras, Bombay and Agra.  Then came the chief justices and bishops, followed by the commanders-in-chief; members of the different Councils; judges; and naval military and law officers.  Civilians were divided into six classes, and the military were ranked according to date of commission.  There were also stipulations for the relative rank of naval and medical personnel compared with military officers.

Margaret Makepeace
Lead Curator, East India Company Records

Further reading:
IOR/F/4/2266 File 115085 Precedence of wives in India 1840s


22 June 2021

Adopting an alias on board an East India Company ship

In December 1756, Robert Young joined the East India Company ship Boscawen as a seaman on a voyage to India and China.  His monthly wage was set at £2 5s.  Young received two months’ imprest or advance pay, and five months’ absence money was paid to his ‘attorney’.

Sailor strapped to ship, heaving the lead 'Heaving the lead' - illustration by George Cruikshank from Thomas Dibdin, Songs, naval and national (London, 1841)  Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

The journal of the Boscawen records that Robert Young died at sea on the afternoon of 18 August 1758 during the passage from Madras to China.  There were unpaid wages to claim, but his family had a problem: Robert Young did not officially exist.

The sailor’s real name was Robert Wood and the explanation behind the adoption of an alias can be found in the probate records held at The National Archives.  Robert wrote his will, using his birth name of Wood, on 16 August 1758, just two days before his death when ‘weak in Body’.  He left everything to his mother Margaret Wood of Warkworth, Northumberland.

The Boscawen arrived back in the Thames in March 1760.  On 21 March 1761, Mary Wood, spinster of St James Westminster, gave evidence to the Prerogative Court of Canterbury.  She stated that she was acting for her mother Margaret Wood, now the wife of Henry Taylor.  Mary understood that Robert had taken on his mother’s maiden name of Young when he joined the Boscawen in case he was pressed by a Royal Navy warship on the homeward bound voyage.  He might then desert with greater safety by reverting to his real name and evading detection.  Several other sailors who had entered the ship with him had taken on aliases for the same reason.

Receipt signed by Mary Wood on 3 April 1761 for the balance of Robert Young’s wages  in the BoscawenReceipt signed by Mary Wood on 3 April 1761 for the balance of Robert Young’s wages  in the Boscawen IOR/L/MAR/B/572 G(2) Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

Probate was granted on 28 March 1761 to Mary Wood as attorney of Margaret Taylor.  Mary then applied to the East India Company for the money owed to Robert.  On 3 April 1761 she was paid a balance of £28 3s 9d.

Margaret Makepeace
Lead Curator, East India Company Records

Further reading:
Journal and pay accounts for the Boscawen 1756-1758 - IOR/L/MAR/B/572C, 572G(1), 572G(2).
Probate of will for Robert Wood, otherwise Young, 28 March 1761 - The National Archives PROB 11/864/155.


17 June 2021

Women’s football in the 18th century

Following on from our post celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first Women’s FA Cup Final, this post delves back further into the history of the women’s game.

I was surprised to find a newspaper report of a women’s football match at Bath in October 1726.  ‘Yesterday a new and extraordinary Entertainment was set on Foot for the Divertion of our polite Gentry; and what should it be but a Match at Foot-Ball, play’d by six young Women of a Side, at the Bowling Green.’

Report of women's six-a-side football match 1726Report of women’s football match- Ipswich Journal 8 October 1726 British Newspaper Archive

Women’s football featured at the birthday celebrations held in 1790 at Brighton for the Prince of Wales and his brother the Duke of York.  There was a cricket match played by the Duke and ‘many gentlemen of rank and fashion’.  Other amusements included two 11-a-side football matches, one for the inhabitants of Brighton and the other for young women.  Each game had a prize of 5 guineas for the winning team.  There was also a ‘jingle-match’ won by John Baker who dressed up in bells and escaped capture by ten blindfolded people for half an hour.  Baker won a jacket, waistcoat, and gold-laced hat.

Another story which caught my eye was a report of a  football match held at Walton near Wetherby in Yorkshire in 1773.  The married gentlemen of Walton played the bachelors for a prize of 20 guineas.  A fiercely fought contest was waged for over an hour ‘with many falls and broken shinns given on each side’.  The wife of one of the married men was watching her husband being hard-pressed and decided to go to help him.  She was not intimidated by seeing him brought down by the superior strength of his antagonist, but went after the ball and secured victory for her husband’s team.

Margaret Makepeace
Lead Curator, East India Company Records

Further reading:
British Newspaper Archive (also available via Findmypast)  - Ipswich Journal 8 October 1726; Chester Chronicle 3 September 1790; Leeds Intelligencer 2 March 1773.


15 June 2021

Personal Reflections on the Indian Political Service – Part Two: Life in the Gulf

This is the second of three blogs on Mss Eur F226, a collection of memoirs written by former members of the Indian Political Service (IPS).

Ten officers’ memoirs from Mss Eur F226 document service in the Persian Gulf and were recently digitised for online publication by the British Library Qatar Foundation Partnership.  Of these ten officers, all except Herbert Todd (1893-1977) were born between 1900 and 1915.  Naturally, they all served in the IPS, although several began their careers in the Indian Civil Service (ICS).  Some transferred to the British Diplomatic Service following Indian independence.  Their memoirs mainly cover the period 1920-47; a few officers also record their post-IPS careers and even their years spent in retirement.

It was common for an IPS officer to be posted to the Gulf for the first time at a relatively early stage in his career, usually to a junior position.  John ‘Jack’ Bazalgette, who arrived in Bushire [Bushehr] in the mid-1930s to take up the post of Under-Secretary at the Political Residency, remembers how a lack of work led to him being tasked with ‘sorting over the archives which dated back to before 1750 and were fascinating’.  It is intriguing to read of officers stumbling upon little-known details in the archives, much as cataloguers and researchers do today with the same material.

Contents page from John Bazalgette’s memoirContents page from John ‘Jack’ Bazalgette s memoir, 1984. Mss Eur F226/2, f. 2. © Estate of John Bazalgette

The tedious nature of imperial administration is well documented , and several memoirs describe a dearth of stimulating work, although perhaps this was a matter of opinion.  Hugh Rance, who was Assistant Political Agent in Bahrain just after the Second World War, found the work ‘interesting and extremely varied’, whereas his predecessor Michael Hadow describes it as ‘stultifying.’

In their spare time, many officers pursued the same leisure activities to which they were accustomed back home, albeit with notable differences.  Officers recall playing tennis and golf on ‘baked mud’ surfaces in Bushire.  While serving in Bahrain, Hugh Rance played in cricket matches against teams from the Royal Navy, the Bahrain Petroleum Company and the British Overseas Airways Corporation, on concrete or gravel pitches.

Some officers write of feeling isolated in their Gulf locations, whereas others describe active social lives.  According to Rance, Bahrain in the 1940s was ‘a great meeting place’, with many British officers and their families passing through, as well as British and United States expatriates arriving as oil company employees.  He remembers being out ‘nearly every night at some party or other’ when the weather was good.

Front cover of Hugh Rance’s memoir 'A Grandfather's Tale'Front cover of Hugh Rance’s memoir, 1984. Mss Eur F226/23, f. 1.  The copyright status is unknown.  Please contact [email protected] with any information you have regarding this item.

Unsurprisingly, the memoirs discuss the weather and climate at length.  There are numerous accounts of sleeping on roofs and bathing in irrigation tanks in attempts to stay cool during the summer months.  Some found it too much, took extended leave and never returned.  Others stayed on, until replaced by their equivalents from the Foreign Office in 1948. 

In sum, these ten memoirs provide a unique insight into one generation’s experiences of living and working in the Gulf during the last years of British India.

David Fitzpatrick
Content Specialist, Archivist, British Library Qatar Foundation Partnership

Further reading:
India Office Private Papers Mss Eur F226/2, 7, 10, 13, 22, 23, 26, 28, 30 and 34
Personal Reflections on the Indian Political Service – Part One: An Overview


10 June 2021

Sobriety and decorum - Passengers on East India Company ships

The movement of people on board East India Company ships to and from Asia was subject to strict rules in the 18th and 19th centuries.  The ships carried civilian employees, maritime and military personnel, non-official inhabitants, women, children, and Indian servants.  Large contingents of troops took their passage, both for the Company and Royal armies, and in 1708 the Company ordered that ship surgeons would be allowed 10 shillings for each soldier delivered alive in India.

 East Indiaman Essex at anchor in in Bombay HarbourEast Indiaman Essex at anchor in in Bombay Harbour by Francis Jukes (1785) British Library P493 Images Online

East India Company commanders were required to keep ‘true and exact diaries and journals of the ship’s daily proceedings’, including the names of passengers with the places where they entered and left the ship.  All passengers were issued with printed regulations established to preserve good order in Company ships, outward and homeward bound.  Commanders were to pay attention to comfortable accommodation and ‘liberal treatment’ of their passengers, setting an example of sobriety and decorum.  Diversity of characters and dispositions on board ship made some restraint necessary for all.  Good manners and known customs should prevail.  Commanders were to mediate in disputes between officers and passengers.

In 1819, the Company stated that the ‘wholesome practices’ formerly observed had been laid aside.  Late hours and the ‘consequent mischiefs’ had been introduced, endangering the ships and destroying propriety.  No fire was to be kept beyond 8pm unless in a stove for the use of the sick.  Candles were to be extinguished by 9pm between decks and by 10pm at the latest in cabins.  Lights must not be visible to any vessel passing in the night.  Passengers and officers were to leave the meal table at the same time as the commander.  One puncheon (84 gallons) of rum marked ‘Captain’s Table’ was sent on board for the commander and his servants, officers, and cabin passengers.  No other spirits were to be drawn from the ship’s stores by these groups.

Any commander carrying out or bringing home a passenger without the permission of the Company’s Court of Directors was fined: £500 for a European or for a native of India who was the child of a European; £20 for a male or female ‘black servant’, native of India or elsewhere.  The Company said it had incurred great expense returning to India servants who had been discharged by their masters and mistresses after being in England for some time.  Commanders must have a certificate of a deposit of £50 made for each ‘black servant’ or refuse to accept them.  Care was to be taken not to take on board European deserters from the Company armies.

Commanders charged those proceeding to India at their own expense for passage and a place at their table.  Rates were on a sliding scale according to rank, from £200 for an Army general to £80 for writers, lieutenants, ensigns, and single women, and £60 for cadets.

Baggage allowances were also given according to rank.  The return baggage from India, exclusive of bedding and a few pieces of cabin furniture, ranged from five tons for gentlemen of the Company Councils and generals, to one ton for writers, lieutenants, ensigns, single women, and other cabin passengers.  Additional tonnage was allocated for wives and families.

Margaret Makepeace
Lead Curator, East India Company Records

Further reading:
Charles Cartwright, An Abstract of the Orders and Regulations of the Honourable Court of Directors of the East-India Company, and of Other Documents (London, 1788).
Instructions from the commanders of the East India Company's own ships to their officers, &c. (London, 1819)
IOR/L/MAR/B East India Company marine records 

Servants sailing from India with the East India Company

08 June 2021

A Scandalous Annotation Part II: George Francis Grand

In a previous post we explored the story of Catherine Grand, whose marriage to George Francis Grand at Chandernagore on 10 July 1777 is recorded in the Bengal Parish Registers.  We know from the annotated entry that Catherine married the famous French politician Talleyrand, but can we find out more about her first husband?

Title page of Narrative of the life of a gentleman long resident in IndiaTitle page of Narrative of the life of a gentleman long resident in India Google Books

We can piece together much of Grand’s life, not least because he wrote Narrative of the life of a gentleman long resident in India.  George Francis (sometimes François) Grand was born sometime after 1750, son of Jean Jacques (John James) Grand, a merchant from Lausanne, Switzerland, and his wife Françoise (Frances) Elizabeth Le Clerc de Virly.  He was educated in Lausanne and apprenticed in London, before entering a military cadetship to Bengal in 1766.  He achieved the rank of Captain, but resigned his military service in March 1773 owing to ill-health and returned to England.  In 1775, through the auspices of family members, Grand was nominated for a writership with the East India Company and sailed again for India, arriving in Bengal via Madras in June 1776.

Grand met and courted the teenage Nöel Catherine Werlée (sometimes Verlée or Varle) at Ghireti House, the home of Monsieur Chevalier, Governor of the French Settlement at Chandernagore.  According to George’s account the couple were blissfully happy after their marriage.  By the end of 1778 however, Catherine’s liaison with the politician Philip Francis had been revealed (amid secret night-time assignations, ladders over walls, and scuffles with servants), and the couple were mired in scandal.  Despite her protestations, George effectively banished his wife and successfully sued Francis in court for ‘criminal conversation’ or adultery.  He was never to see his wife again.

Despite the scandal revealed by the Court case, Grand was appointed as Collector of Tirhut and Hajipur in 1782, probably as a result of his acquaintance with Warren Hastings.  Whilst in Bihar, Grand promoted and invested heavily in indigo manufacture. In 1788 he was appointed Judge and Magistrate in Patna.  However, he was warned by the East India Company that he had to give up his indigo concerns.  His failure to do so led to his eventual removal from the Company’s service, much to Grand’s chagrin.  His appeals to the Company unsucessful, he left India for good in 1799.

Having returned to Europe, Grand certainly visited Paris.  However, he states categorically that he did not see his divorced wife Catherine.  There appears to have been contact though: in 1802, Grand was appointed to a position with the Dutch Government at the Cape of Good Hope.  His position appears to have been procured at the behest of Catherine, and with the influence of Talleyrand.  It certainly removed George Francis far away.  After experiencing some initial hostility at the Cape, Grand had to content himself with a vague position consulting on matters relating to India trade.  By 1806, under the British Government, he was appointed Inspector of Woods and Lands. 

View of the Cape of Good Hope from the sea with sailing ships in the foregroundR . Reeve, View of the Cape of Good Hope, 1807. British Library Maps K.Top.117.116.f Images Online 

Grand married for the second time in 1804 to Egberta Sophia Petronella Bergh (1781-1839) of Oudsthoorn.  He died in Cape Town in January 1820.   In his book he writes: ‘You know the sequel – happy in my second choice of a partner,  I upbraided not the worldly opportunity lost.  May you be blessed in the like manner, should it ever be your lot to deplore as I did the cruel separation which forced me from the first’.

Lesley Shapland,
Cataloguer, India Office Records

Further reading:
George Francis Grand, Narrative of the life of a gentleman long resident in India (Cape of Good Hope, 1814). Available via Google Books 
H.E. Busteed, Echoes from Old Calcutta (Calcutta: Thomas Spink & Co., 1888). Chapter VIII: Madame Grand. Available online via Google Books 
C. E. Buckland, Dictionary of Indian Biography (London: Swan Sonnenschein & Co, 1906).
IOR/N/1/2 Bengal Baptisms, Marriages, Burials (1755-1783), f. 275.
IOR/H/207 Bengal Revenue Papers, pp. 299-319: Papers relative to the appointment of George Francis Grand to the management of Tirhoot.
IOR/H/80 Case papers, memorials, and petitions, (13) pp. 283-7: Memorandum relative to George Francis Grand, Judge of Patna, 18 Sep 1800.
Various references to Grand can be found in the papers of Sir Philip Francis (Mss Eur C8; D18-25; E12-47; F5-17; G4-8).
Letters from Grand to Warren Hastings can be found in Add MS 28973-29236 Official and Private papers of Warren Hastings.


03 June 2021

Most flattering prospects to perfect destitution – Samuel Benstead’s emigration to New York

In the 1830s, thousands of London warehouse labourers lost their jobs when the East India Company stopped all its commercial operations.  The men were given pensions, but some decided to apply for a lump sum in lieu of regular payments to enable them to emigrate with their families.  Sometimes this bold step was not as successful as the labourers believed it would be.

The Emigrant's Address - Illustrated cover of printed music showing a sailing shipThe Emigrant's Address by W Sanford - Illustrated cover of printed music (1853) Shelfmark H.1742.(3.)  © The British Library Board

Samuel Benstead retired from the Company’s Fenchurch Street tea warehouse in September 1834 aged 41 on a weekly pension of 7s 6d.  He couldn’t find work so he put in a request to commute his pension so he could emigrate to New York with his wife Frances Mary (Fanny) and their seven children.  Samuel had been a hosier before joining the Company and he planned to work in America as a slop seller  (a dealer in cheap ready-made clothing).  After rejecting his first application, the Company granted him a lump sum of £203 in February 1835.

Samuel had had to undergo a medical examination by a Company surgeon to prove that he was in good health and of temperate habits.  He had also submitted a certificate, signed by a doctor in Whitechapel, that he was sober and industrious and that there was a reasonable prospect that the large sum of money would be more useful to the family than a regular allowance.

In May 1838 Samuel wrote to the Company from America, petitioning for help. The family had arrived in New York in May 1835. Within a few weeks Samuel had set up business as grocer in New Jersey.  Then he was persuaded to invest in a ‘large concern’ and lost money.  He was reduced from ‘most flattering prospects to perfect destitution’.  Another child was born in 1836.

A second letter was sent by Samuel in July 1838, but this time from Limehouse Fields in London.  Help from a friend had enabled him to return on a Quebec packet ship.  When he landed after 3½ years’ absence, Samuel only had 6d in his pocket.  His two eldest sons had been left in America where he believed they would do well.  The Company turned down Samuel’s request for help.

In April 1840 Samuel petitioned the Company again, giving more details of what had happened in New York.  His business as grocer and general provision dealer was successful until May 1837 when it was hit by the ‘Panic’, a financial crisis in New York.  Almost all business was done on credit, and many hundreds of dollars were owed to Samuel.

Penniless and sick on his return to London, Samuel said that he now had a good opportunity in Jersey and asked the Company for a small sum to help him move his family there.  He claimed he had no other prospect on earth if he couldn’t get to Jersey.  The Company decided that Samuel’s request could not be considered, so in May 1840 his wife Frances sent another petition asking for help with transport costs.  This was also turned down.

The 1841 census shows Samuel, once more a hosier, living in Mile End Old Town with Frances and four of their children aged between four and twelve,  By 1851, Samuel was dead, and Frances was working as a nurse, still living in Mile End with a daughter and two sons.

Margaret Makepeace
Lead Curator, East India Company Records

Further reading:
Records about the Benstead family can be found in the India Office Family History Search and in IOR/L/F/1/2; IOR/L/F/2/30, 48 & 49; IOR/L/AG/30/4 & 5; IOR/L/MIL/5/485.