Company, noun

In historical contexts. The Company: Elliptical for (the) Dutch East India Company; VOC sense 2; informally called Jan Compagnie, John Company. Also attributive. See also Seventeen.
Note:
Established as a trading company in 1602, the Dutch East India Company was responsible for the first permanent white settlement at the Cape of Good Hope.
1685 J. Tyrell in R. Raven-Hart Cape G.H. 1652–1702 (1971) II. 255They have wine that they make there at 9d a quart the Nearst prise and frute as Quinces plenty and aples Sum Small Quantity in the Companyes Garden, and other frutes.
1696 W. Erle in R. Raven-Hart Cape G.H. 1652–1702 (1971) II. 423Severall of the Inhabitants have very pretty Gardens, and the Company, a large Town.
1731 G. Medley tr. of P. Kolben’s Present State of Cape of G.H. I. 4I obtain’d of the said Directors the Favours compriz’d in the following Articles. 1. To pass to the Cape of Good Hope in one of the Company’s ships.
1773 J. Byron in J. Hawkesworth Acct of Voy. 137The Company’s garden is a delightful spot, and at the end of it there is a paddock belonging to the Governor, in which are kept a great number of rare and curious animals.
1798 S.H. Wilcocke tr. of J.S. Stavorinus’s Voy. to E. Indies I. 558Zebras are sometimes caught alive, brought to the Cape, and tamed. I saw one in the Company’s menagery.
1810 G. Barrington Acct of Voy. 167Nothing can be so mean and cringing as the conduct of the first description of planters, when they have anything to transact with the principal officers of the Company.
1857 Cape Monthly Mag. II. Sept. 153The empire of ‘the Company’ knew only colonial tyrants and the mass upon whom these tyrants trampled.
1911 H.H. Johnston Opening Up of Africa 185In 1770 the total European population in Dutch South Africa..was nearly ten thousand in number, of whom eight thousand were free colonists, and the remainder the servants or employés of the Company.
1941 C.W. De Kiewiet Hist. of S. Afr. 8When the days of the Company were over, there was no legend amongst the Boers of oppression.
1971 S. Afr. Panorama May 9The Company felt that the establishment of an independent farming community close to the settlement would save the V.O.C. a considerable sum of money.
1983 M. Du Plessis State of Fear 102The Company’s garden was designed..to save the sailors from scurvy and to tame a metaphysical wilderness.
1987 G. Viney Col. Houses 59In the last days of Company rule official corruption reached a perfectly disgraceful level.
The Company: Elliptical for (the) Dutch East India Company; VOC2; informally called Jan Compagnie, John Company. Also attributive.
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