1813, British United East India Company (EIC), Java. Colonial ½ Stuiver Coin. F+
Mint Year: 1814 Reference: KM-241. Denomination: ½ Stuiver Condition: A well-circulated F+ Issuer: British United East India Company Region: Netherlands East Indies, Java Island. Diameter: 27mm Material: Copper Weight: 3.81gm
Obverse: Star above region of circulation (JAVA), date (I8I4) and letter (Z).
Reverse: Initial B above heart-shaped emblem (V-E-I-C) of the British United East India Company, splitting value (½-St).
The East India Company (EIC), originally chartered as the Governor and Company of Merchants of London trading into the East Indies, and more properly called the Honourable East India Company, was an English and later (from 1707) British joint-stock company formed for pursuing trade with the East Indies but which ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent, North-West Frontier Province and Balochistan.
Commonly associated with trade in basic commodities, which included cotton, silk, indigo dye, salt, saltpetre, tea and opium, the Company received a Royal Charter from Queen Elizabeth in 1600, making it the oldest among several similarly formed European East India Companies. Shares of the company were owned by wealthy merchants and aristocrats. The government owned no shares and had only indirect control. The Company eventually came to rule large areas of India with its own private armies, exercising military power and assuming administrative functions. Company rule in India effectively began in 1757 after the Battle of Plassey and lasted until 1858 when, following the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the Government of India Act 1858 led to the British Crown assuming direct control of India in the era of the new British Raj.
The company was dissolved in 1874 as a result of the East India Stock Dividend Redemption Act passed one year earlier, as the Government of India Act had by then rendered it vestigial, powerless and obsolete. Its functions had been fully absorbed into the official government machinery of British India and its private presidency armies had been nationalised by the British Crown.