The Original Corporate Raider--The East India Company
One of the most fascinating bits of research for Time-Crossed Christmas was in regard to the East India Company (also known by a number of other names). I knew it from novels and movies of India but had no idea of the size or political power it held. We think of giant corporations today having too much sway, but by 1803 (203 years after its founding) the EIC had an army of 260,000 men--over twice the size of the standing British army at the time. The fact is that it was the company, known for importing tea, spices, silk, opium, etc., that seized most of India at the end of the 18th century, not the British government. At its height the EIC was an unregulated private company with only 35 permanent employees operating from a single small office in London. The British Crown finally gained control of it in 1859, after only 259 years!
For a more in-depth look, check out this article below.
This is the East India's flag during the time of Time-Crossed Christmas when Lord William Lowther shipped out to India.