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This article explores the development of the London East India agency houses during the first half of the nineteenth century, and their evolving commercial and political relationships with merchants and manufacturers in the British provinces. It outlines the emergence of pressure groups in Britain concerned with influencing British economic policy in India and the Far East, and their role in shaping policy as the East India Company receded in importance following the Charter Acts of 1813 and 1833. What emerges is a complex picture of collaboration between interest groups in London and the provinces. This challenges and refines aspects of the gentlemanly capitalism thesis of Cain and Hopkins, which emphasizes both the supremacy of London-based financial and mercantile interests in the formation of British policy towards the empire, and the separateness of City-based ‘gentlemanly capitalists’ from provincial mercantile and industrial interests.