Take a look at Dan Snow’s programmes on BBC2 about the rise and fall of the East India Company, and its role in the development of the British empire. Available on i-player - BBC 2
The East India College was established by the East India Company. As the ‘honourable company’ grew, it steadily became more bureaucratic and so the demand for clerks and copyists increased. In October 1805, the company purchased land at Haileybury, near Hertford and Haileybury College opened in 1809 to educate and train recruits before their overseas posting.
Stephen Austin of Hertford already had a long relationship with the Company stating ‘Booksellers, Binders, and Stationers to the East India College’ on their stationery. Stephen Austin III began printing examination papers and text books for the College, including texts in oriental languages. This developed over the years and records show that he produced texts in Sanskrit, Bengali, Arabic, Persian, Pushto, Hindustani, Hindi, Hebrew and other Eastern languages, as well as in Greek, Latin, German and French. The
In the second programme, Dan shows an examination paper dated 1851 from the College which was almost certainly printed by Stephen Austin.
David Perman has written a history of Stephen Austin & Sons Ltd to celebrate our 250th Anniversary. David is lecturing on Stephen Austin III – ‘The Patriarch’ – at the Hertford and Ware Local History Society at 8 pm Thursday 14 March in St Mary’s Church Hall, Ware. www.hertfordwarehistory.org.uk
Read more about Haileybury today at www.haileybury.com