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|East India Company|
31 December 1600
1 June 1874
The East India Company was a British trading enterprise that delivered goods and commodities to several ports throughout the British Empire, and a major naval force during the Age of Enlightenment and the Golden Age of Piracy.
Throughout its history, the company held a tight monopoly on trade throughout most of the coastlines of the known world, and established a massive trading network that spanned from India and China in the east to the Caribbean Sea and the Thirteen Colonies in the west. The company owned over 1700 ships, creating the largest and most powerful merchant navy of all time.
Secretly, however, the business was used on several occasions by members of the Templar Order, in their efforts to spread their influence throughout the ever-growing empire. As of 1713, Sir Aubrey Hague was an executive of the company, and Benjamin Pritchard was a captain sailing for the company until his death that year; both men had been Templars. Additionally, Duncan Walpole had been in the employ of the company, before a fellow sailor approached and recruited him into the Assassin Order.
Around 1748, the East India Company was in danger of facing resistance from the Kingdom of Mysore and the Assassins in the area.
Several years after, in 1773, the company was being used by William Johnson to fund the sale of Kanien'kehá:ka territory in colonial America. The company was the only business able to import tea to the city of Boston, where it was taxed at alarming prices before the profits would go to Johnson. However, the intervention of the Sons of Liberty, as well as that of the Colonial Assassin Connor, sparked the Boston Tea Party and saw the remainder of the unsold tea dumped into Boston's harbor, foiling Johnson's plan.
In 1839, after the Templar Francis Cotton successfully poisoned Ranjit Singh, Maharaja of the Sikh Empire, the resulting confusion following the ruler's death allowed the company to launch the Anglo-Sikh wars, which ultimately resulted in the annexation of India by the British.