John Shepherd (governor and chairman)

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John Shepherd (1792–1859)[1] was chairman of the East India Company in 1844, 1850 and 1851.[2] He was Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company from 1856 to 1858.[3] No other person has ever, in a commercial capacity, had so much influence over the governance of so much of the world.

Personal life[edit]

He died on 12 January 1859 at Mansfield St. London.[4]

Early career[edit]

He served as a fourth officer in the Indian marine from 1813–1814, and was commander of the Duke of York from 1821 - 1822.[1]

Later career[edit]

The 1850s were a time when the Canadian Government were trying to break the monopoly which the Hudson's Bay Company held over trade in the Red River and Saskatchewan Districts. This coincided with Shepherd's term in office as Governor.[5] Shepherd's previous experience as Chairman of the East India Company helped in devising a strategy to negotiate the best terms possible for the Hudson's Bay Company.[3] John Shepherd was the only person ever to have been appointed both the Chairman of the East India Company and Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company. The former at that time had trading influence over one fifth of the world's population and governed most of the subcontinent of India, whilst the latter owned 3,000,000 square miles of North America and was the largest land owner in the world.[3] No other person has ever, in a commercial capacity, governed or been ultimately directly responsible for, so much of the world or such a large proportion of the world's population as John Shepherd was as a result of his appointments to the most senior positions in these two companies. Shepherd was Deputy Master of the Corporation of Trinity House.[6]


  1. ^ a b Dictionary of Indian Biography. Ardent Media. p. 387. 
  2. ^ Great Britain. India Office (1902). The India List and India Office List for ... Harrison and Sons. pp. 111–113. 
  3. ^ a b c Galbraith, John S. (1957). he Hudson's Bay Company: As an imperial factor, 1821-1869. University of California Press. p. 338. 
  4. ^ "SHEPHERD, John" (PDF). Retrieved December 7, 2012. 
  5. ^ Journals of the Legislative Council of the province of Canada, Volume 16, Issue 2. Hunter, Rose. 1858. pp. Appendix (No.3). 
  6. ^ Sylvanus Urban. "The Gentleman's magazine, VOLUME XXXIX.". John Bowyer Nichols and sons. Retrieved December 7, 2012.