XIII] EARL Y EUROPEAN SETTLEMENTS 461
concessions in the way of widening their basis, and in i693 New
Sir Josia Child, by bribery on the most lavish scale, actually charter
succeeded in procuring from the Crown a new charter. But Company,
in this he overreached himself, and the following year the 1693.
Commons in anger passed a resolution that 'all the subjects Resoli-
of England have a right to trade to the East Indies unless tion of
prohibited by Act of Parliament.' In I695 an inquiry was I694.
held into the bribery and corruption employed in procuring
the charter; and among those who were politically ruined
by the revelations that followed were the Speaker, Sir John
Trevor, and the Duke of Leeds, the Lord President of the
Council. A still heavier blow soon fell upon the Old Com-
pany. In I698, on providing Charles Montagu, Chancellor The
of the Exchequer, with a loan of £2,000,000, the new associa- General
tion was constituted by Act of Parliament a General Society, 1698.
to which was granted the exclusive trade to India, saving the
rights of the Old Company until they expired in three years'
time. The great majority of the subscribers to the General
Society, which was on a 'regulated' basis, at once formed
themselves into a Joint Stock Company and were incorporated
by the Crown as the 'English Company trading to the East The New
Indies,' to distinguish it from the Old or London Company. English
The latter, to safeguard themselves, by an adroit move, sub- Company.
scribed E£3I5,ooo to the funds of the General Society in the
name of-their treasurer, John Du Bois. Thus the position
after I698 was curiously complicated. Four classes of mer-
chants had the right to trade to the Indies: (i) the New
Company; (2) the Old Company trading on their original
capital until I70I, and after that on the limited subscription
of £3I5,000; (3) those subscribers to the General Society who
had held aloof from the Joint Stock of the New Company,
their capital amounting to about £22,000; (4) a few separate
traders who, relying on the Commons' resolution of I694,
had sent out ships prior to i698 and had been permitted
to complete their voyages. The two latter are comparatively
unimportant and may be left out of account. Between the
Companies there followed a desperate struggle, waged at home
with all the rancour and bitterness of the party spirit of the
day, and in the East with a strange disregard of national
To the chief settlements in India the New Company sent Struggle
out Presidents of their own, all of whom had been formerly between
dismissed from the service of the Old Company. Lively panics.
,passages of arms ensued at Bombay between Sir John Gayer