Also known as “East India College”, Haileybury, in Hertfordshire, provided education for potential civil servants of the East India Company. Pupils were young men between 15-20 years of age who had been nominated by EIC Directors to become Writers in the Indian Civil Service. The college operated from its establishment in 1809 (the East India College had previously been at Hertford Castle since 1806), until it closed in 1858.
History of the college
The first premises were at Hertford Castle but a purpose built site was later acquired and the College moved there in 1809. The architect was William Wilkins who later designed the National Gallery in London.
Prior to the opening of Haileybury , Lord Wellesley, had established a college in Calcutta . However, it was subsequently considered to be more favourable to give prospective writers a European education and also ensure they had all the necessary skills to prepare them for life in India. For example, in addition to subjects such as classics, philosophy and mathematics, the pupils were taught Oriental languages.
In 1853 the Government of India Act replaced the system of patronage with open examination. This meant that not all writers appointed to India would go through Haileybury and, in fact, the last pupils were admitted in 1856. Later , after the Indian Mutiny the British Government took over the administration of India from the EIC and the college closed in January 1858.
It subsequently opened as a private school
Records of the East India College, Haileybury are held at the British Library under the reference IOR/J1-4 (These include writers' petitions).
Historic books online
- Memorials of Old Haileybury College archive.org, Includes lists of pupils from date of college opening to closure in 1857 detailing time spent at the college and subsequent career in India.
- College Website (Haileybury.com) Includes lists of pupils who died in various conflicts in India and recipients of East India Company VCS
- The John Company’s College: Haileybury and the British Government’s attempt to Control the Indian Civil Service A dissertation by Robert Lynn McCartor 1981