The East India Company's merchant ships ploughed the seas for over two hundred years while they traded with India and the Far East.
Thousands of men would have been involved in manning the ships amounting to roughly fifty to 130 per vessel. The surviving logs record these men, not only with a name, rank and how much they earned but on occasion with details such as drunkenness, insolence, desertion, HM pressing, injury and death. They would be an itinerant class ranging between a hard and dangerous life at sea to an often drunken and lecherous life on shore. Very little is known from whence they came, certainly London was the place where most would have been hired. Another major port was Southampton, the home of the Royal Navy. The RN was always short of crew and often pressed sailors from HCS ships while at sea. Most were English but there was a large contingent of Irish and Scottish with a surprising number from Europe and further afield.
Merchant ships doubled up as passenger liners and troop carriers, there was simply no other way to get to India and the Far East. These passengers etc. were also recorded in the logs, giving name, profession, sex, age and whether children. It is surprising that children occasionally took these long and arduous journeys apparently unaccompanied.
Only includes the listings in the logs made by the captain or senior officer, it does not include chance encounters within the log itself such as pilots, surveyors, Company officials, officers from passing ships etc. Sometimes a passenger would not appear on the passenger list such as the infamous Major Boyce on the Huddart. Occasionally the ship would carry a number of troops only listed en bloc.
The Juliana ledger and paybook has also been published. This is an interesting cross-reference of the crews names, which shows variation in spelling and should be consulted.
The links below takes you to two databases, one by crew and one by passenger. As in the logs, additional information is to be found within square brackets in the Events column.