I wrote last week about the National Trust's Interim Report on the Connections between Colonialism and Properties now in the Care of the National Trust, Including Links with Historic Slavery. Subsequent to this, I wrote to the Trust about this passage about Allen Bank, a house near Grasmere.
"The poet William Wordsworth (1770–1850) lived for a time at Allan Bank. He and his sister, writer Dorothy Wordsworth (1771–1855), are both known for expressing views in opposition to slavery.
Their brother, John Wordsworth (1772–1805), became Commander of the East India Company ship Earl of Abergavenny in 1801. He captained two successful voyages to China, in which the family invested. Wordsworth’s third voyage would have made the family a considerable sum, but the ship sank a few days into the journey, causing the death of John and many others."
I did not get a helpful reply (after a promise, I was fobbed off), but less than three minutes on the internet revealed a readily available account * of the sinking of the Earl of Abergavenny (including details of the investments by the Wordsworth family) which was not referenced in the report.
These investments turned out to be money lent to their brother so that he could buy goods in the UK to sell in China; and then to buy goods in China to sell back here. The link to the East India Company was that this was happening (as was common practice with officers) on a Company ship.