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This article is about the organization. You may be looking for the soundtrack theme, "East India Trading Company".

"The East India Trading Company has need of your services."
Cutler Beckett to Will Turner[src]

The East India Trading Company, otherwise referred to as the East India Company or the British East India (Trading) Company, and abbreviated as EITC or EIC, was a British joint-stock company and megacorporation formed for pursuing and monopolising trade with the Indian subcontinent and East Indies, and later expanded to China and the Caribbean. The East India Company traded mainly in cotton, silk, indigo dye, salt, spices, linens, plantains, saltpetre, tea and opium. The Company was granted a Royal Charter by Queen Elizabeth I on December 31, 1600. Shares of the Company were owned by wealthy merchants and aristocrats. 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 (including Indian sepoys and British soldiers), exercising military power and assuming administrative functions.



"Had a brush with the East India Trading Company, did we, pirate?"
Commodore James Norrington to Jack Sparrow[src]

A ship flying East India Trading Company colors.

The English East India Trading Company was established by British explorers who discovered the exotic riches of the East Indies, particularly India, during their initial voyages to the region. With trading voyages sponsored by English merchants hoping to profit from gold, silver, ivory, silk and spices, the company grew in size and power. It began to expand into the Caribbean when the attention of the company's leaders turned to the area's rich plantations. This expansion was led by it's Governor/Chairman Lord Cutler Beckett. The company ultimately expanded so much that any threat posed to it was a threat to Great Britain itself.[1][2]

Piracy was one of the biggest problems for the Company. During the early 18th century, several EITC ships were sent to join Admiral Lawrence Norrington's Royal Navy fleet and participate in his hunt for Edward Teague, Keeper of the Code and one of the most notorious pirates on the Seven Seas. Though Norrington managed to capture Teague for a brief time, his mission miserably failed.[14]

The company was based in London, led by a single Governor and a Court of Directors. Through one of its employees, Cutler Beckett, it was known to have condoned the transport of slaves from Africa to the Caribbean. However, Jack Sparrow, captain of the merchant ship Wicked Wench, refused to carry out this sinful task, and Beckett had his ship torched Sparrow himself branded a pirate.[15][9][10][5] Years after Sparrow had the Wicked Wench raised from the ocean depths and rechristened Black Pearl, his vanishing from the eyes of seven agents of the East India Company would be known.[13]

The Shadow Lord[]

"I serve the Company, whatever they need me to do."
Benedict Huntington to Marcella Magliore[src]

Around the beginning of the Quest for the Shadow Gold, Benedict Huntington, the Company's manager for Hong Kong, attempted to eradicate piracy in the East Indies, attacking the hideouts of Chinese pirates led by Mistress Ching and Sao Feng.[8] When he failed, he used the havoc created on the Seven Seas by the Shadow Lord, to attack all Pirate Lords of the Brethren Court. In his quest, he followed Jack Sparrow, the Pirate Lord of the Caribbean, from the Pacific to the Atlantic.[12][16] Though he had some success, in the end, Huntington's quest was a failure.[17]

At some point before the attack on Port Royal,[18] the Company sent a fleet of ships to the Bahamas to participate in one of the many conflicts in that area.[19]

EITC letters on the edinbergh trader

EITC letters on board the merchant ship Edinburgh Trader.

In the Caribbean[]

"It's an outrage. Port tariffs, berthing fees, wharf handling and, heaven help us, pilotage. Are we all to work for the East India Trading Company, then?"
Captain Bellamy[src]

Meanwhile, Cutler Beckett remained a loyal member of the company, attaining the title of Lord and rising to the position of Governor.[20] He relocated to Port Royal, with great ambitions for the company's future. He intended not only to eradicate piracy on the Seven Seas, but also to monopolize them completely by assuming control of Davy Jones and the Flying Dutchman. He wielded more executive power than Governor Weatherby Swann, forcing him to cooperate by sending favorable reports of Beckett's actions back to England.[6] During this time, the British government was careful to protect the Company's ships, and supplied marines and vessels of the British Royal Navy as guards and escorts in case of pirate attacks.[1][2]

The company also tightened its control over maritime commerce in the Caribbean by imposing heavy fees and tariffs on other merchants and businessmen. This made it increasingly difficult to conduct business for those not affiliated with the company.[21] This stranglehold on Caribbean shipping drove honest sailors and merchant captains like Captain Bellamy to make port in lawless places like Tortuga, beyond the company's reach.[22]

Crusade Against Piracy[]

"We need prisoners to interrogate. Which works best when they are alive."
"I am exterminating pirates, as commanded by the Company.
Cutler Beckett and Davy Jones[src]
EITC dock

Jack Sparrow at the EITC docks in Port Royal.

Around this time, it was revealed that the Company was doing much more than that. It made deals with other forces in the Caribbean, such as the infamous Jolly Roger. The alliance was to eradicate piracy. As the Company prepared for attack, many of the settled islands of the Caribbean (Port Royal, Tortuga, Padres Del Fuego) were mysteriously destroyed by explosions. The Port Royal explosion was a result of a careless planting of gunpowder (same for Padres del Fuego, as well), while the Tortuga explosions were an open war against Piracy. The Battle of Padres occurred, and the EITC implemented their force with Jolly Roger's magic, and allowed him to begin his Invasions against the three islands. The alliance ultimately broke with the discovery of Spanish Conquistador El Patron's lost weapons, after the Battle of Raven's Cove. [23]

Led by Cutler Beckett, the Company began a concerted effort to take control of the seas by capturing the Heart of Davy Jones and using it command Davy Jones and the Flying Dutchman. The Company was able to leverage the rogue actions of Will Turner to force him to help the Company find Jack Sparrow's compass and through it, the Heart of Davy Jones. Subsequent events resulted in the Company gaining control of Port Royal Governor Weatherby Swann, giving them an even great control of the Caribbean.[6]

After James Norrington brought Beckett the Heart of Davy Jones, the Company gained control of the Flying Dutchman. Now with the most powerful ship in the Caribbean under their control, the Company launched the War Against Piracy. With the Flying Dutchman backed up by an armada of three hundred ships, the Company destroyed many pirate vessels and became the greatest power in the Caribbean. The Company, having forced Governor Swann of Port Royal into service, were able to perform mass hangings on pirates and suspected pirates without challenge.[6]

Fall of the Company's Power[]

"We must embrace the oldest, noblest tradition of piracy. We must fight—to run away."
"And what be the target of this fight, eh?"
"Beckett is naught but a cog. Kill him, another takes his place. Like Jones, the East India Trading Company is immortal. No body to kick or soul to damn.
Jack Sparrow, Mistress Ching, Elizabeth Swann, and Capitaine Chevalle[src]

The threat of the Company caused the pirates to call the Fourth Brethern Court. Led by Pirate King Elizabeth Swann, the Brethren fleet faced off with the Company armada. In the titanic battle that followed, the Black Pearl defeated the Flying Dutchman in combat and the Flying Dutchman came under the control of Will Turner. With the Flying Dutchman under Will's control, it turned on the Company armada and attacked the armada's flagship, the HMS Endeavour, alongside the Black Pearl. The two pirate ships destroyed the Endeavour, killing Cutler Beckett and most of his crew, causing his armada to retreat having lost their leader.[7]

In spite of the previous events, the Company still thrived and operated across the East Indies over the following years, although the Company's power over the Caribbean was no more. By 1750, some EITC members who survived the War Against Piracy, like Theodore Groves, were recruited by His Majesty King George II of Great Britain to search along the privateer Hector Barbossa the fabled Fountain of Youth.[24]

Symbols and trademarks[]

EITCo flag

The main EITC flag.

"Deo Ducente Nil Nocet. [Nothing can harm us when God leads us.]"
―Company motto[src]

The East India Trading Company utilised a well-known trademark which it stamped, stenciled and painted on all cargo loaded aboard transports. The design featured the Company's initials separated by triple crosses, making the overall design resemble an anchor, and also featured on the flags of the Company's merchant and warships. It served as both a guarantee of quality and to ward off thieves and pirates.[1][2] Objects bearing this logo reached as far afield as the cannibal island of Pelegosto.[6]


EITC trademark

The Company also maintained a coat of arms: a gold-on-maroon design featuring waving English pennants and sea lions supporting a shield of ships and roses. The Company's Latin motto was displayed beneath. This symbolised the Company's scope and grand goals.[1][2]

Known employees[]

"I have trained all the Company agents impeccably. They can spot a pirate on sight."
Benedict Huntington to Barbara Huntington[src]

Known ships[]


The Flying Dutchman leading Beckett's armada.

"I do want you to remember, Jack, that the EITC has more ships than the British Royal Navy."
Cutler Beckett to Jack Sparrow[src]

Behind the scenes[]

"What we like about pirates is that they represent freedom. And the East India Company, as a giant multi-national corporation, represents the end of individual freedom. They're defining the world as they want it to be, and there will be a lot of people they're going to leave out. The more dominance they have, the less room there is for people like Captain Jack Sparrow."
Ted Elliott[src]
  • The East India Trading Company, otherwise referred to as the East India Company, was first mentioned in the 2003 film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,[13] prior to its first appearance in the back-to-back sequels Dead Man's Chest and At World's End.[6][7] The "British East India (Trading) Company" was used in the press kits[25][26] as well as the 2007 book Bring Me That Horizon: The Making of Pirates of the Caribbean.[27]
  • In real-world history, the real British East India Company was a tool of imperialist domination, economically and politically, from 1600 to its dissolution in 1858, essentially ruling India and spreading its tentacles as far as the Persian Gulf, Southeast Asia and East Asia. Even the most generous contemporary histories describe the East India Company’s activities as extraordinarily greedy and inhumane.[25] The organization was mainly known as simply the "East India Company", whose motto was "Auspicio Regis et Senatus Angliae [By the Command of the King and Parliament of England]". Also, the Company seems to have far greater power in the Pirates of the Caribbean universe than it had in real-world history. Two example of that are the Company's expansion in the Caribbean and Lord Cutler Beckett's war against piracy, both of which never happened.
  • In the audio commentary for The Curse of the Black Pearl, both screenwriter Ted Elliott and the DVD subtitles mistakenly named the organization "The East Indian Trading Company" while explaining the historical inaccuracy of Jack Sparrow's "P" brand.[28]
  • One of the production photos from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales shows the director Joachim Rønning standing close to the two bags with the EITC symbol on the quarterdeck of the Black Pearl.[29] It is unknown whether or not this means that the East India Company was originally supposed to appear in the film.


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Non-canon appearances[]


External links[]

See also[]

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Pirates of the Caribbean: The Visual Guide
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, pp. 48-49: "East India Trading Co."
  3. From the official website for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest: Powerful letters signed by King George I, giving pirates permission to become a privateer, or pirate hunter. It is the coveted blank check to freedom
  4. The current timeline of the Pirates of the Caribbean, series as of Dead Men Tell No Tales/Salazar's Revenge, has King George II active during the events of Dead Man's Chest and At World's End
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 The Price of Freedom
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 7.16 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
  8. 8.0 8.1 Legends of the Brethren Court: Rising in the East
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Dead Man's Chest.pdf Michael J. Ricciardi - Copywriter (June 1, 2006) (backup link)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 The Pirates' Guidelines
  11. 11.0 11.1 The Secret Files of the East India Trading Company
  12. 12.0 12.1 Legends of the Brethren Court: The Turning Tide
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
  14. Jack Sparrow: Sins of the Father
  15. 15.0 15.1 Pirate 101: "Figure Head"
  16. Legends of the Brethren Court: Wild Waters
  17. Legends of the Brethren Court: Day of the Shadow
  18. The trailer for the video game Pirates of the Caribbean: Isles of War sets the EITC invasion of the Bahamas in 1740, "before the events of The Curse of the Black Pearl". However, that date contradicts the rest of the timeline which sets the main events of The Curse of the Black Pearl in 1728.
  19. Pirates of the Caribbean: Isles of War
  20. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Complete Visual Guide, p44-45: "Lord Beckett"
  21. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
  22. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
  23. Pirates of the Caribbean Online
  24. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
  25. 25.0 25.1 POTC2 Presskit
  26. POTC3 Presskit
  27. Bring Me That Horizon: The Making of Pirates of the Caribbean
  28. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Audio Commentary with Screenwriters Stuart Beattie, Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio and Jay Wolpert
  29. Joachim Rønning on the set of Dead Men Tell No Tales