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Are you telling me it definitely couldn't have been arson?

Like, you could absolutely prove in the mid-19th century that a fire was *not* deliberate. I mean, not a lot was left of a burned out building, especially a big one full of flammables and paper...

Certainly not un-suspicious if the building were the government building of an imperial superpower, and the building contained masses and masses of various government records and such related to the takeover of the East India Trading Co and so on.


I'm just saying... if I was an insurance company's investigator, I'd be suspecting the possibility of deliberate arson.

And I'll tell you what makes it largely suspicious...

Nobody talks about it. I didn't know much about it. It's non-history. "the day the british empire's legal records caught fire". Little accident, y'know, nothing newsworthy. Build a new building, which looks like it's as old as a medieval church...


The Palace of Westminster, the medieval royal palace used as the home of the British parliament, was destroyed by fire on 16 October 1834. The blaze was caused by the burning of small wooden tally sticks which had been used as part of the accounting procedures of the Exchequer until 1826. The sticks were disposed of in a careless manner [or as a deliberate fire-lighter] in the two furnaces under the House of Lords, [well it would be, wouldn't it] which caused a chimney fire in the two flues that ran under the floor of the Lords' chamber and up through the walls.

The resulting fire spread rapidly throughout the complex and developed into the biggest conflagration to occur in London between the Great Fire of 1666 and the Blitz of the Second World War; the event attracted massive crowds which included several artists who provided pictorial records of the event.


So... let's just look at the East India Trading Company and find out what parliamentary interferences were placed upon them round about that time.

Y'know, might be something...


Government of India Act 1833

The Industrial Revolution in Britain, the consequent search for markets, and the rise of laissez-faire economic ideology form the background to the Government of India Act 1833 (3 & 4 Will. 4 c. 85). The Act:

  • removed the Company's remaining trade monopolies and divested it of all its commercial functions
  • renewed for another twenty years the Company's political and administrative authority
  • invested the Board of Control with full power and authority over the Company. As stated by Professor Sri Ram Sharma,[35] "The President of the Board of Control now became Minister for Indian Affairs."
  • carried further the ongoing process of administrative centralisation through investing the Governor-General in Council with, full power and authority to superintend and, control the Presidency Governments in all civil and military matters
  • initiated a machinery for the codification of laws
  • provided that no Indian subject of the Company would be debarred from holding any office under the Company by reason of his religion, place of birth, descent or colour
  • vested the Island of St Helena in the Crown [36]

British influence continued to expand; in 1845, Great Britain purchased the Danish colony of Tranquebar. The Company had at various stages extended its influence to China, the Philippines, and Java. It had solved its critical lack of cash needed to buy tea by exporting Indian-grown opium to China. China's efforts to end the trade led to the First Opium War (1839–1842).


Ahem, well I was just curious, really.

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