Before the days of the Raj, British India was ruled by a private corporation: The Honourable East India Company. The Company, which began in India as a purely mercantile institution, eventually came to control vast territories across the subcontinent. These wild frontiers and busy cities required garrisons to defend them, and the expansion of Company interests demanded the ability to wage war. To do this, the Company commanded a massive private army. Made up of both European and Indian soldiers, and working in close- if not always frictionless- tandem with H.M.'s regiments, it was a fascinating institution that only came to an end with the massive Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 and the dissolution of Company rule. In this video, I discuss the organization of this army, and the way in which it related to government forces. If you are interested in purchasing _Sahib: The British Soldier in India 1750-1914_ by Richard Holmes, you can find it here: