The East India Company College was from 1805 to 1858 the college of the British East India Company (EIC).
The College provided general and vocational education for youths of sixteen to eighteen nominated by EIC Directors to writerships in the EIC overseas civil service. Attendance was generally for four 6-month terms.
It first opened in Hertford Castle , then moved in 1809 to a purpose-built site at Hertford Heath , near Hertford, now used by Haileybury College. Its architect, William Wilkins, later went on to design the National Gallery in London, which bears some similarities.
In 1856 an open competitive examination replaced the system of appointment by patronage. In the wake of the Indian Mutiny, in January 1858, the British government took over the administration of India, and the college closed.
Thomas Malthus taught there from 1805. In 1809 he moved into the east side of a house, which he then bought (it remains today) in 1815. Bewick Bridge (1767-1833) was Professor of Mathematics at some time, Charles Babbage applied for a job in 1816, James Mackintosh was professor of law and general politics from 1818 to 1824. At some time before 1837, The Revd. Joseph Hallett Batten , D.D., of Penzance was principal of the College. Between 1826 and 1844, a Persian educator, Mirza Muhammed Ibrahim , held a permanent appointment as a professor of Persian, then Monier Monier-Williams - whose sanskrit dictionary is still in print - taught Asian languages (1844-58).
Last updated: 08-30-2005 18:22:05