Green’s Dictionary of Slang

John Company n.

also John

the East India Company, also attrib.

[Ind]Hicky’s Bengal Gaz. 2-9 June n.p.: Alas! poor John Company! thou art Bled [...] to Death by — Hireling Schemers.
[Aus]Sydney Gaz. 23 Sept. 2/3: The French critics [...] talk of John Company’s devouring twenty kingdoms, and of merchants supporting dethroned princes and paying punctually the pensions of kings.
[Ind][W.B. Hockley] Pandurang Hàrì I 111: Then again he told me that some of the TopeeWallas say ‘John Company,’ and he knew that John was a man’s name, for his master was called John Brice, but he could not say to a certainty whether ‘Company’ was a man or woman’s name.
[UK]Colburn’s New Mthly Mag. XXXI 241: ‘By the honour of John Company, thou shalt pay the piper!’.
[Ind]F.J. Bellew ‘Memoirs of a Griffin’ in Asiatic Jrnl & Mthly Register May 52: I saw your name amongst those of a batch of griffs and Tazuwulaits (fresh Europeans), having arrived by the Rottenbeam Castle. Welcome back, my dear fellow, John Kumpanyka raj.
[US]‘Wildrake’ ‘Turf Scenes’ in Amer. Turf Register Feb. 263: [P]lenty of fun to be met with at an ‘up country’ station, that may perhaps boast a Queen’s regiment, one or two of John Company’s ditto, a judge, a clergyman [...] and Paria dogs ad infinitum.
[Ind]Delhi Sketch Bk 1 Oct. 61/2: Confusion to Honourable John’s Court.
[Aus]Goulburn Herald (NSW) 2 Oct. 4/1: The reign of John Company, therefore, draws to its close.
[Aus]Argus (Melbourne) 15 Nov. 10/1: Mr. Chester is an old Eastern traveller, by sea and land, and a long service in the Indian navy, when ‘John Company’ was sovereign.
[Ind]H. Hartigan Stray Leaves (2nd ser.) 192: Jack joined the depot of the great Jehan Cumpanie Bahadoor at Chatham.
‘Wyvern’ Culinary Jottings 5th ser. 285: It rejoiced this fine old servant of honest John Company, I remember, to give ‘tiffin’ parties at which he prided himself on sending round eight or nine varieties of curries.
[Aus]Leader (Melbourne) 25 Nov. 29/3: ‘The grandfather was one of the original ‘John Company,’ and that’s where the family money was made’.
[Aus]Newsletter (Sydney) 1 Jan. 5/2: Once upon a time, in the days of John Company, a score of cadets, vain and ignorant of the world, were despatched from Calcutta up country.
[UK]Gibbons Truth About the Legion 188: The corps was raised by a Catholic Englishman who had been an Officer in the old ‘John Company’ army of pre-Mutiny India .