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East Indian Railway: 1845 Company Announcement

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Note: This is a sub-section of the East Indian Railway


(Provisionally registered). Capital, 4,000,000/., in 80,000 Shares of 50/. each. Deposit 5s. per Share, being the largest deposit allowed by the Act 7th and 8th Vic., c. 110, which limits the deposits on shares in a Company, until final registration, to 10s. per cent.


Temporary Offices — 8a, Austin-friars.

The introduction into British India of railway communication has been justly regarded as one of the most important measures, both to the Government and to the public, which has ever been brought forward.

The subject has occupied the attention of mercantile men for some years, and much consideration has been bestowed upon the statistical data which their commercial operations enabled them to ascertain correctly, as well as by inquiry into the official returns received by the local Government upon the subject.

The result of these inquiries has demonstrated most satisfactorily-

1st. That a railway communication between the several principal cities of India will be attended with the greatest advantages to the Government and to the public, both European and native; and

2nd. That from the increased facilities of transport the demand for British goods would increase proportionately, and the development of Indian resources be promoted.

Impressed with these considerations, the gentlemen who form this association have had various communications with the Court of Directors of the Hon. East India Company, the substance of which will be found in the subjoined correspondence between Sir George Larpent and Mr. Stephenson, on the part of this Company, and Mr. Merrill, the secretary to the East India Company.

Upon the result of these communications, it is satisfactory to find that the East India Company and her Majesty's Government are duly impressed with the importance of the subject, and that they have decided on sending out an eminent Engineer to undertake the preparatory investigations and surveys, and that they will also be prepared to give the necessary encouragement and support to a Company to be formed for the purpose of undertaking the construction of railways in India, provided the result of the surveys shall confirm the favourable impressions at present entertained by the Government of their practicability and advantage.

The object that the promoters of this undertaking have now in view, is to form a Company to be in a position to avail itself of an arrangement to be made with the East India Company for the execution of the line to be selected by them, provided that it shall be made apparent that it can be done with prospect of advantage to the undertaking.

Assuming the line from Calcutta to Mirzapore to be that most likely to be selected, as being the most wanted, the estimates of cost already made for that line have been taken as a guide for the present purpose ; and it is proposed to raise a capital of four millions, which it is estimated will be sufficient for the construction of such a line, but in the ultimate choice of the line to be first executed, the Directors will be guided by the results of the survey about to be made by the Bengal Government.

The official correspondence which has taken place upon the subject with the Bengal Government, as well as the opinions of several of the principal commercial houses of Calcutta, and of the officers in the service of the East India Company, with the whole of the official returns, and other detailed information respecting the extent of trade, and the number of passengers upon this line, will be found in full and carefully arranged detail in the report of Mr. R. Macdonald Stephenson, lately published.

The operations of the Company will be under the direct superintendence of the Government of Bengal : and the working thereof to be subject to the inspection and sanction of their officers, so as to bring the arrangements into a position as nearly analogous to that of the British railroads, under the Board of Trade, as the different circumstances of the two countries may render practicable.

The management of the affairs of the Company will be vested in a Board of Directors in London, who will appoint one or more local committees selected from among the most respectable and influential parties in India, to whom they will delegate such powers as may be necessary for the purpose of effectually performing the duties imposed upon them.

The Board in London will consist of a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and Directors, who shall have the entire management of the Company's affairs, with power to appoint one or more of their body as managing directors.

Half-yearly meetings of the shareholders will be convened for the purpose of declaring a dividend, and to report the proceedings of the directors and the state and progress of the company's operations.

The qualification of a director to be twenty shares, of an auditor ten shares.

The dividends to be paid in London or Calcutta at the exchange rate of xx per- rupee.

The instalments will be called for in the following proportion:—

On allotment of shares, 5s. per share.

The remainder at intervals of not less than three months, or above 5l. per share at one instalment.

In the arrangement contemplated to be made with the East India Company, the exertions of the board will be directed to the object of obtaining interest to the shareholders in the interval between the commencement and opening of the first line of railway undertaken.

The deposit to be made on subscription will be 5s. per share, which is the extreme amount allowed to be taken as a deposit on a share of 50l. by a company previous to complete registration. A subscription contract will be prepared, to be executed by the Shareholders. It is intended also to apply for a Charter of Incorporation or Act of Parliament.

In the event of the negotiations with the Bengal Government not being in all respects satisfactory to the Board, the principal sum subscribed will be returned 'to the Shareholders, less the amount expended in preliminary expenses, including those already incurred by Mr. Stephenson.

Applications for Shares to be made in the annexed form to Mr. Stephenson, the Managing Director, to Messrs. Lawrence, Cazenove. and Co., and to Messrs. Garden and Whitehead, Stock and Sharebrokers, and no application will be attended to unless accompanied by a reference.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Morning Post - Saturday 17 May 1845
  2. The Times (London, England), Tuesday, May 20, 1845