On this day in 1695, Thomas Bowrey paid his bill from James Causton amounting to 15 shillings for provision selling £300 E. India Stock. It appears that Causton was acting as, what we would call today, a stockbroker.
Over the previous few years, Bowrey had been purchasing blocks of East India Company shares. He purchased this stock either directly from the East India Company (when he paid the full face value) or from other stock holders (for a discounted price). In the latter case, an intermediary such as Causton was used.
By this time, the East India Company was a joint stock company and the risk of owning a share of the company was spread across all the Company’s voyages. Before 1657, shares were sold for each individual trading voyage and an investor’s return was dependant on the success or otherwise of that single voyage.