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Mordaunt Family History and Genealogy Resource

17. East India Company

   
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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 henry@mordaunt.me.uk.
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.

    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.

  • 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. I have found no East India Company record of him to date but the Earls of Peterborough page gives details of other evidence
    • 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 some time after his death
      • Sarah Mordaunt (? - ?)
      • John Mordaunt (? - ?)
      • Sophia Mordaunt (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
      • Henry Mordaunt (23rd September 1784 - 15th September 1820). He became a Bengal Cadet with the East India Company in 1799. 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!
    • 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.

    There now follows three Williams who I have not been able to trace so far in any other record. I have linked them together with no evidence other than their name in common. The names William and Osmond do appear among the distant cousins of the Baronet line, but that could be of no significance.

  • William Osmond Mordaunt, according to East India Company records held at the National Library, married Francesco (sic) Rebeiro in Fort William, Calcutta on 31st July, 1805. I presume this was an error on the part of the recorder and that she may have been Francesca Rebeiro, which is a Portugese name.

  • 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 who was the

  • 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.

    The next two names do not appear in any family line that I have detected so far.

  • 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."