This image shows the Norman structure of Hertford Castle, during the four years that it was home to the East India Company College. Students of the college are seen walking in the grounds, dressed in gowns and mortarboards. This was their everyday dress and not reserved for graduation ceremonies as it is today.
The East India College opened in 1805, as a training centre for 16 to 18 year olds who had been nominated by senior figures in the company to serve in India. Students spent four terms, each lasting six months, receiving vocational training for a future East India Company position. The college first opened at Hertford Castle in 1805. However, in 1809, the year after this print was published, it moved to a purpose built location at Hertford Heath (now Haileybury and Imperial Service College, an independent boarding school).
Engraver and draughtsman Thomas Medland lived in Westminster. He is included in a drawing by A. E. Chalon titled ‘Students at the British Institution’ (1807), suggesting he studied there, although he may have been a teacher. He engraved illustrations for ‘Robinson Crusoe’, after drawings by Thomas Stothard and also became known for his topographical aquatints. Medland was also a watercolour painter and exhibited his watercolours at the Royal Academy. The original watercolour for the ‘West Front of the East India Company College’ was exhibited at the Academy in 1808. Medland died at his home near Haileybury College in Hertford at about the age of 68. Nothing is known of his wife, but his will divided his estate between three children.
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