Young man, go East …………..but at your own peril!
Considering that a large number of the East India Company clerks or writers were younger sons who had little or no claim to the family fortunes and the rest had hardly any fortunes to speak of, it was only natural for a young writer to turn reckless once they were aboard the ship taking them to India and the untold riches they hoped to find on the subcontinent.
The writer was fitted out in a manner suitable for a representative of one of the richest companies of England at the time
George Annesley, Viscount Valentia described the young clerks or writers brought out to Calcutta by the East India Company to keep records and accounts thus:
“There are few of these young men who do not keep their horses, commonly their curricles, and, in many instances, their race-horses, which, together with the extravagant parties and entertainments frequent among them, generally involve them in difficulties and embarrassments at an early period of their lives.”
A young writer smoking his hookah while his servant waits with a refill.
Writer’s Building in the 1800s
Today the Writer’s Building still houses a few government ministers, clerks and their files.