From Campsie to Kedgeree: Scottish Enterprise, Asian Trade and the Company Raj
Campsie: Presbytery of Glasgow, Synod of Glasgow and Ayr, County of Stirling. The Parish of Campsie measures eight English miles in length, and seven in breadth . . . . It is bounded on the North by the parish of Fintry; on the West by Strathblane and Baldernock; on the South by Calder and Kirkintilloch; and on the East by Kilsyth; forming a distinct commissariat along with Hamilton, stiled the commissariat of Hamilton and Campsie.
Kedgeree: A village and police station on the low lands near the mouth of the Hoogly, on the west bank and 68 miles below Calcutta. It was formerly well known as a usual anchorage of the larger Indiamen.
This article deals with the activities of one Scottish family—the Lennox family of Campsie in Stirlingshire—in Asian trade during the closing decades of the eighteenth century. The growth of private trade by Europeans in Asia in this period, and of the Agency Houses that managed much of their activity, is well-known. However, the classic studies of this subject have relied largely on official records and have used these to address issues in the history of imperial expansion. Thus standard accounts have tended to concentrate on the political relations between private traders and the East India Company, and to see private trade in the eighteenth century mainly as the by-product of the corruption of Company power. Viewed from inside the private business networks that made this possible, the perspective is rather different.