The British Oceanic Empire was about Investors and Ships
The East India Company (EIC), was 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 (HEIC). It was an English joint-stock company, formed to pursue trade with the East Indies but ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent, Qing Dynasty China, North-West Frontier Province and Balochistan. The company rose to account for half of the world’s trade, particularly trade in basic commodities that included cotton, silk, indigo dye, salt, saltpetre, tea and opium. The company also ruled the beginnings of the British Empire in India.
The company received a Royal Charter from Queen Elizabeth on 31 December 1600, making it the oldest among several similarly formed European East India Companies. Wealthy merchants and aristocrats owned the Company’s shares. 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 to assume direct control of India in 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. The official government machinery of British India had assumed its governmental functions and absorbed its presidency armies.
East Indiaman was a general name for any ship operating under charter or licence to any of the East India Companies of the major European trading powers of the 17th through the 19th centuries. The term is therefore used to refer to vessels belonging to the Danish, Dutch, English, French, Portuguese, or Swedish East India companies.
Some of the East Indiamen chartered by the British East India Company were known as “tea clippers”.
In Britain, the Honourable East India Company itself did not generally own merchant ships, but held a monopoly granted to it by Queen Elizabeth I of England for all English trade between the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn, which was progressively restricted during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. English (later British) East Indiamen usually ran between England, the Cape of Good Hope and India, where their primary destinations were the ports of Bombay, Madras and Calcutta. The Indiamen often continued on to China before returning to England via the Cape of Good Hope and Saint Helena.