Work in Progress
This page is regularly added to or corrected as I discover or am given more information. Any information you can provide about your family members, past or present, would be very welcome. Please forward to email@example.com.
This page was last amended July 2018.
The East India Company was founded as a commercial company in 1601 to trade with India and the far east. By the end of the 18th Century it had established, as private commercial enterprise, a large army and a vast swathe of Indian territory which was the beginning of the British Indian Empire. Among famous figures of English history, before today's political correctness caused some demotions, were Clive of India, Warren Hastings and Arthur Wellesley, later the Duke of Wellington. After the Indian Mutiny, as it was called in my history lessons, now the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the company's army and territories were taken over by the crown, and the company itself was dissolved in 1874.
(abt. December 1785 - ?)
Lewis Mordaunt (abt. February 1788 - ?)
Gertrude Christina Mordaunt (abt. June 1789 - ?)
George Mordaunt (abt 1753 - 13th January, 1834) He worked at a warehouse in London
The East India Company was a handy repository for prominent families to dispose of illegitimate sons and it had a reputation of creating great wealth among its employees, refering to them as "nabobs.". The 1847 novel "Vanity Fair" by Thackeray, for example, satirises a returnee from India flamboyantly showing off his great acquired wealth.
The earliest record of a family association with the East India Company that I have found was
- John Mordaunt, "LLD (Doctor of Law) Walton, Warwickshire, 29th June 1611." in a Registry of Employees. A complete guess but I have placed him, for the moment, on the Tudor and Stuarts webpage as the 3 x great grandson of William Mordaunt (1461 - 1518).
- Charles Mordaunt, 4th Earl of Peterborough had a number of illegitimate children who were dispatched to India and whose details are given in greater detail on the Earls of Peterborough page
- Henry Mordaunt (before 1748 - 1791), captain of the Bengal Army
- Charles Mordaunt (1748 - 1780?), a writer in Madras
- John Mordaunt (1749 - 1790?), officer in the Madras Army. Despite a colourful career (see Earls of Peterborough page), and the fact he served for years and attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, I have found only found one East India Company record of his service to date.
- Lewis Mordaunt ((abt. 1759 - 1781) lieutenant in the Bengal Army. I have found no other evidence of his parents other than a page of a book, List of the Officers of the Bengal Army 1758-1834, kindly forwarded to me by Dr Margaret Makepeace FRHistS, Lead Curator, East India Company Records, British Library. The records of the East India Company held at the National Library, records:
"In Memory of Lieut. Lewis Mordaunt, who departed this life 19th September 1781, In the 22nd year of his age, South Park St. Burial Bengal Ground Calcutta.
- John Stiles Mordaunt and his extensive family can be found in greater detail on the Mordaunt Family in London page. He worked as a warehouse keeper in London and several of his children and a grandchild worked for the East India Company, either in the the Bengal Army or in the offices and warehouses of London
- John Mordaunt (abt 1750 - 24th October 1794), captain of the Bengal Army Artillery had a number of children born in India who returned to the UK at some time.
- Sarah Mordaunt (? - ?)
- John Mordaunt (? - ?)
- Sophia Mordaunt
Ewer Mordaunt (1761 - 1808). He went into the East India Company in London in 1777 as an 'established' clerk in the Tea and Drug Warehouse.
- Henry Mordaunt (23rd September 1784 - 15th September 1820). He became a Bengal Cadet with the East India Company in 1799, Lieutenant in the 7th Regiment Native Infantry in 1801 (and again in 1810, advancing up in seniority), and Captain in 1814 ( The East India Register and Directory for 1820 2nd edition). His death, as Captain Henry Mordaunt of the 7th Regiment Native Infantry, at Malwa(?) in the East Indies, on 15th September 1820, was reported in the Times of 20th March 1821; "an officer highly esteemed and universally regretted by all who knew him" - I don't think that is they quite what they meant to say!
Henry Mordaunt and/or H Mordaunt. The New East India Kalendar, 1801, published by Debrett J., lists on the same page, two newly arrived Cadet Mordaunts in the Bengal Military Department, a Henry Mordaunt and an H Mordaunt. Henry Mordaunt was, presumably the Henry Mordaunt, grandson of John Stiles, above. Was there an H Mordaunt I have not otherwise come across, or was it a compilor's error, listing the same person twice?
There are several mentions in the East India Records of William Mordaunts which I have put together as follows. All right, there is an element of conjecture in this but, until a correspondent can come forward with information to disprove it, I am sticking by it.
Osmond Mordaunt (? - before 1787) who appears between 1734 and 1758, described as a "gentleman, Papist" in a list of freeholders in Stoke Fleming on the south Devon coast close to Dartmouth.
In the Mordaunt Family in the Rest of Briain page, under Devon, is mention of a Catholic family settled there in the late 1600s. Included is an
- A son, name not yet discovered who took his family to Portugal. One of his sons was:-
- William Mordaunt , who, I believe is the W. Mordant (sic) who appears in the East India Kalender and Asiatic Register, 1797 - 1799, under the list of Portuguese Merchants and Agents residing in Calcutta and he is the William Osmond Mordaunt who, according to East India Company records held at the National Library, married Francisca Rebeiro, which is a Portuguese name, in Fort William, Calcutta on 31st July, 1805. A witness was a Pereira, a name also listed among the Portuguese Merchants and Agents residing in Calcutta, 1797 - 1799. I am presuming also he is the William Mordaunt listed in the registers of 1797 - 1799, 1801 and 1804, although he is no longer labelled as Portuguese. I think, also, that he is the William Mordaunt who, according to East India Company records (Type his name on this search page and then click on his name on the next page) held at the National Library, was buried 6th January, 1826. at Ft William. He was listed as a pensioner supported on the Charitable Fund and, again, I think it most probable that he and Francisca had a son
- William Mordaunt (b. 1806) who, according to East India Company records (Type his name on this search page and then click on his name on the next page) held at the National Library, was a writer who married Ann Rechay in Berhampore, in the Bengal presidency, on 17th June, 1828. His age, I presume not his bride's, was given as 22 years which would mean he was born under a year after the wedding of William Osmond and Francesca.
The next names do not appear in any family line that I have detected so far.
Thomas Mordaunt, A Thomas Mordaunt is listed in a register of East India Company employees, possibly compiled in the 1790s, with no further information except the vague date 1783. He is listed again in the New East India Kalender 1801, now described vaguely as a "Merchant, Ditto, 1783." What the Ditto refers to is not clear. He was listed again in the East India Kalender and Asiatic Register, 1797 - 1799 in Boglepore, somewhere in modern Bangladesh but clearly with a changed name. He is listed again in the East India Registry and Directory 1804.
James Mordaunt, also appears in the same register of East India Company employees, possibly compiled in the 1790s, described as "Trader, Portugeuze (sic) Ship", whatever that refers to
Martin O. Mordaunt, according to East India Company records (Type his name on this search page and then click on his name on the next page) held at the National Library, died in Bengal on 5th April, 1818.
Richard Lovall Mordaunt (1834? - 1840), according to East India Company records (Type his name on this search page and then click on his name on the next page) held at the National Library, was buried on 19th December, 1840, in Bengal. The National Library index seems to me to suggest he was 6 years old, a ward at the "Free School."
J. S. Mordaunt is listed in the Indian Army and Civil Service List 1866 as a Lieutenant in the 109th Regiment of Foot (Bombay Infantry), seniority from 13th July, 1862, and again in the 1871 List, still as a Lieutenant but with seniority dated 24th August 1862. Why his name is printed in italics in the list, I do not have the patience to search through some 600 pages of the volumes to find out. He was finally listed as a Captain in the 1877 List, seniority 30th July, 1872. This time his name if not printed in italics. The East India Company had been closed down after the Indian Mutiny (or Indian Rebellian of 1857, if you prefer) and the regiments had become part of the British Army. At some time in the 18th century the records stoped printing christian names and used initials instead. So, who J S Mordaunt was, I have yet to find out.