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Flagships of ImperialismThe P&O Company and the Politics of Empire From Its Origins to 1867$
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Freda Harcourt and Sarah Palmer

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780719073939

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719073939.001.0001

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Views from the boardroom, 1840–55

Views from the boardroom, 1840–55

(p.143) Chapter Five Views from the boardroom, 1840–55
Flagships of Imperialism

Freda Harcourt

Manchester University Press

This chapter discusses the administration of P&O between 1840 and 1855 and the various power struggles that took place between the shareholders, ordinary directors and the three MDs during the period. Upon on the formation of the company from the merger of the Peninsular Steam Company and the Transatlantic Company, Willcox, Arthur Anderson and Carleton were appointed Managing Directors (MD) and were entrusted with the general agency and management under the control of the Board. Various disputes and issues for which the MDs came under attack during board meetings include power struggles that lasted many years between Anderson and Sir John Campbell, a desire by the shareholders to know more about P&O's finances than were normally provided in its six-monthly reports, issues related to the power of the MDs, the influence of political connections to the company's success and issues related to the retirement of the MDs and the appointment of directors.

Keywords:   P&O, Peninsular Steam Company, Transatlantic Company, Sir John Campbell, Arthur Anderson

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