Posted on: 10 February 2010

• Cricket was first played in India in 1721 by the officers and men of an English ship. The game became popular in all the Company’s Presidencies and the Calcutta Cricket Club was founded in 1792.
• Some women travelled out on the East Indiamen to find a husband. But the practice of keeping a bibi – an Indian mistress or wife – was well established at all levels in the Company by the 18th century. Some estimates put the number of marriages made by Company servants to bibis as high as 90% of the total.
• India was the main source of the world’s diamonds for most of the period the East India Company was trading. Thomas Pitt, Governor of Madras, made a fortune in India . To take his fortune home he bought a 400 carat diamond for £24,000. This ‘Pitt diamond’ was sold 15 years later for more than 5 times what he had paid.

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