East India House antique print from ‘A New Display of the Beauties of England or a description of the most elegant or magnificent public edifices, royal palaces, noblemen’s and gentlemen’s seats, and other curiosities, natural or artificial in different parts of the kingdom: adorned with a variety of copper plate cuts, neatly engraved,’ published c.1776 by Robert Goadby. Published in the year of the American Revolution! A rare Georgian print.
East India House was the London headquarters of the East India Company, from which much of British India was governed until the British government took control of the Company’s possessions in India in 1858. It was located in Leadenhall Street in the City of London. The first East India House on the site was an Elizabethan mansion, previously known as Craven House, which the Company first occupied in 1648. This was completely rebuilt in 1726–29; and further remodelled and extended in 1796–1800. It was demolished in 1861.
Robert Goadby (1721–1778) was an English printer and publisher in Sherborne, Dorset. He was a Whig supporter, and influential through his newspaper, the Sherborne Mercury. He was also responsible for the biography of the rogue Bampfylde Moore Carew; Goadby and his wife have both in fact been claimed as the author of a popular work on his life that gave Carew the status of folk hero. His publishing business was large for a small provincial centre, and his Sherborne Mercury was an influential journal in South West England. He also published from 1744 The Western Flying Post, amalgamated into the Mercury in 1748. Goadby made enemies as well as friends by his plain speaking and views. He died after a long illness on 12 August 1778, and was buried in Oborne. He was a religious man and naturalist, and bequeathed an endowment providing for the preaching of a sermon on the first Sunday of May in every year in Sherborne Church on the beauties of nature. As the endowment became too valuable for its purposes, provision for the poor was made with the surplus.