This lecture explores the East India Company and its trade in Persia and how it interacted with power structures and the local environment. Despite the importance of Persian trade, little has been written on the Company’s operations in Persia. This lecture will consider the day-to-day experience of the Company’s merchants, the commercial side of the Company’s operations and how it provided a ‘navy for hire’ for the Safavids and their successors. Far from being an English, British or even European venture, the Company was staffed by a range of nationalities: English, Indian, Eurasian, Armenian and Persian. The East India Company in Persia was not only an entity in its own right but intertwined with regional political life and the commerce of the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean—a relationship built on mutuality not coercion.
Peter Good previously lectured in Early Modern Europe and the Islamic World at the University of Kent and is now based in Japan. He is the author of The East India Company in Persia: Trade and Cultural Relations in the Eighteenth Century.
This online lecture is presented by The British India Historical Trust. For more information and to book tickets, please visit: https://www.britishinindia.org.uk/lectures.