The East India Company is a British joint-stock company that aims to trade with East Indies, the Americas, and China. In addition to this, the Company is also an organisation of representatives of prominent public positions who pull the strings of the fate of the Empire.


The East India Company was keen to expand its trade to China through the Americas but when Horace Delaney died, leaving Nootka Sound as an inheritance to his son James Delaney, Sir Stuart Strange, the head of the Society, he found himself in dire straits. The piece of land was in fact in a strategic position that could have favoured their opponents should they had been able to seize it, thus leading to a war if the territorial limits had not been complied with. The distinguished members tried at first to buy the territories from James Delaney and then relying on his patriotism and devotion towards His Majesty, Prince Regent. Both attempts were scoffed at by Delaney.[1]

Unable to reach an agreement, the Company opted for the attempt on the life of James Delaney, and then to use the alleged widow of Horace Delaney, Lorna Bow, for their own ends.[2]

Failed previous attempts, Sir Stuart Strange (on behalf of the whole Company) discussed the terms of an alliance with Solomon Coop, secretary of the Prince Regent, by assuming a future alliance between the East India Company and the British Crown against James Delaney.[3]

James Delaney and the Dolphin Inn gang led by Atticus organised a robbery on the damage of the East India Company, stealing components to create gunpowder from their warehouses.[4]

Sir Stuart Strange found himself in serious trouble, forced to destroy some documents when Solomon Coop allied with George Chichester, spokesman for the Sons of Africa. East India Company, in fact, was responsible for the sinking of The Influence, secretly used as a slave ship that cost the lives of hundreds of enslaved men, women and children.[5]

Memorable QuotesEdit

"When you left London, the East India was a trading company. Now it is God Almighty."
— Robert Thoyt to James Delaney

Robert Thoyt: "East India don't deal slaves."
James Delaney: "No, no, they don't. But they do run cloth and trade beads to Tangiers with the Scarfe family, and then slaves to Trinidad from Bunce Island through Spanish privateers. For one with such close connections, I am surprised that you don't know."
— discussing the EIC's slave trades

James: "Mr Thoyt you have been my father's lawyer for the past 40 years. And in all that time, you reported every detail of his most intimate business to his enemies at the East India Company. You are their whore (sic). The same as almost everyone else in this city, apart from those who are actually labelled a whore (sic)."
Robert Thoyt: "Come on, James. When you left London, the East India was a trading company. Now it is God Almighty. The Prince Regent fears it. No government in the world dares to stand up to it. It owns the land, the ocean, the fucking sky above our heads. It has more men and weapons and ships than all the Christian nations combined. You think all who submit are evil."
— discussing the East India Company's power


Episode Appearances Edit

Season 1


  • Taboo features historical trading body the East India Company as some combination of super-corporation, spy agency and government – and the history of the real company is even more colourful. [6]
  • In Taboo, the East India Company is presented as an organisation that does employ numerous spies scattered throughout London and surrounding areas, as well as hit men, well inserted in every social stratum, acting even against the Crown if necessary.
  • The representation of the East India Company in Taboo was met with conflicting opinions from critics and historians. Some historians and authors, such as Dr Tirthankar Roy and Nick Robins, said that the creators of the TV series are in error in representing the East India Company as a sinister multinational and spy agency driven by religious or greedy purposes. [7] For others like Professor Matthew McCaffrey, instead, Taboo offers a realistic portrayal of monopoly and corruption of multinational companies and trade associations. [8]


  1. Knight, Steven (writer) & Nyholm, Kristoffer (director); January 7, 2017 BBC; January 10, 2017, FX; "Episode 1". Taboo.
  2. Knight, Steven (writer) & Nyholm, Kristoffer (director); January 14, 2017, BBC; January 17, 2017, FX; "Episode 2". Taboo.
  3. Knight, Steven (writer) & Nyholm, Kristoffer (director); January 21, 2017 BBC; January 24, 2017, FX; "Episode 3". Taboo.
  4. Knight, Steven & Ballou, Emily (writer) & Nyholm, Kristoffer (director); January 28, 2017 BBC; January 31, 2017, FX; "Episode 4". Taboo.
  5. Knight, Steven & Hervey, Ben (writer) & Engström, Anders (director); February 4, 2017 BBC; February 7, 2017, FX; "Episode 5". Taboo.
  6. What was the real East India Company? BBC1's Taboo takes on the formidable corporation - Radio Times
  7. BBC to break 'Taboo' with 'inaccurate' portrayal of East India Company - Telegraph
  8. McCaffrey, Matthew - "FX's Taboo Offers a Realistic Portrayal of Monopoly" - Fee
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