Are there estimates that give an approximation of the total number of casualities per year or at least per decade (e.g. in the way Wrigley and Schofield report outmigration numbers in their Population History of England).

One could come up with rough estimates via census records, given approximate average death figures according to, say, the local disease environments etc. (here would be a Q in the flavour of that). The problem is, though, that official censuses only started around 1800 but the British/English overseas endeavours already took off in the 17th century. I am not aware of any EIC related work that tries to give time-consistent estimates on these figures.

It seems that on the Dutch/VOC there has been a lot more work in general. There are even studies that discuss the problem of missing men in Amsterdam. (even though the VOC mostly recruited from migrants from some point onwards - something that was not the case to that extent for the EIC)

  • Does trading casualties include people who bought a bunch of opium and OD'd? Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 16:49
  • as long as they were British, yes! Even though most trading casualities should have occured due to the disease environment on the ships and the respective port areas - less so from armed skirmishes (I would guess). Commented Feb 18, 2019 at 17:31
  • 1
    A footnote in this book suggests these two sources: 1) Jean Sutton, Lords of the East: The East India Company and Its Ships 1600–1874 (London, 2000) and 2) Philip Curtin,Death by Migration: Europe’s Encounter with the Tropical World in the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge, 2009), chap. 1.
    – Brian Z
    Commented Feb 21, 2019 at 18:51


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