During the latter nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, chartered companies o en led the way in securing and administering British interests in Africa. e rst three sources in this volume address aspects of the role played by two of these chartered companies: the Royal Niger Company (RNC) and the Imperial British East Africa Company (IBEAC). In many respects the fate of these two companies could not have been more di erent. Sir George Goldie’s RNC emerged from its chartered phase as a ‘soundly- nanced monopoly with considerable reserves and generous government compensation’.2 e rst source reproduced includes both the Company’s initial Charter and also details its eventual revocation and the issues involved in the process. In addition, the second source demonstrates how the RNC administered law in relation to both Africans and Europeans within its territories. It reveals how the Company enjoyed a virtual carte blanche in this role. e third source, Th e Settlement of Uganda and British East Afr ica Company, o ers a rather di erent example of the end of chartered rule. Sir William McKinnon’s Imperial British East Africa Company (IBEAC), which had expenses of £80,000 a year and an income of £35,000 in 1892, was not as successful as its West African equivalent and eventually went bankrupt.3 e source included here details how the Company’s directors sought to bring pressure on Westminster to o er more favourable terms upon assuming

responsibility for the Company’s dwindling assets. e nal company that made up the triumvirate of African chartered companies, Cecil Rhodes’ British South Africa Company (BSAC), is discussed elsewhere in this volume and collection.