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The Coming of the Europeans : English   

The Coming of the Europeans : English   

  • John Newberry was the first Englishman who came to India in the times of Akbar bearing a letter from the king of England.
  • Ralph Fitch came to Akbar’s court bearing a letter from Queen Elizabeth. He lived in Agra and Fatehpur Sikri and wrote that Agra and Fatehpur Sikri were bigger than London.        The Coming of the Europeans : English
  • William Leeds was a famous English diamond expert appointed by Akbar for verification of diamonds.
  • John Mildenhall arrived in times of Akbar in 1599 for the purpose of trade with Indian merchants.
  • The English East India Company was in 1600 given a Charter by Queen Elizabeth giving it monopoly of Eastern trade for 15 years. A fresh charter was later given by James I in 1609 giving it a monopoly for an indefinite period.
  • William Hawkins was sent by the company in 1608 to Jehangir’s court seeking permission to open a factory in Surat. Jehangir although initially was willing to grant permission but later refused due to Portuguese pressure.
  • In 1611, British Admiral Middleton defeated the Portuguese navy near Bombay and again in 1612, British Admiral Thomas Best defeated the Portuguese navy at Surat, led Jehangir in 1612 to gyve the go-ahead to the English to erect a factory at Surat.
  • Sir Thomas Roe came to India as an ambassador of James Ito Jehangir’s court in 1615 and stayed there till the end of 1618 during which period, he obtained the emperor’s permission to trade and erect factories in different parts of the empire.            The Coming of the Europeans : English
  • On the West coast, the English established factories at Baroda, Ahmedabad, Broach by 1619, all of which including Agra factory were placed under the control of the president and council of the Surat factory. The company acquired Bombay from Charles II on lease at an annual rental of ten pounds in 1668. Gerald Aungier was the first governor of Bombay. Surat was replaced by Bombay as the headquarters of the company on the west coast in 1687.
  • On the South-eastern coast, factories were established at Masulipatnam in (1611) and Armagaon near Pulicat (1626). In 1639, Francis Dey obtained the site of Madras from the Raja of Chandragiri and built Fort St. George there. Madras soon replaced Masulipatnam as the headquarters of the English on the Coromandel coast and in 1658, all the English settlements in Eastern India (Bengal, Bihar and Orissa) and the Coromandel coast were placed under the control of the president and council of Fort St. George.
  • In Eastern India, factories were set up at Hariharpur and Balasore in Orissa (1633), at Hugli in 1651, followed by those at Patna, Dacca, Qasimbazar. In 1690, a factory was established at Sutanuti by Job Charnok and the Zamindari of the three villages of Sutanuti, Kalikata and Govindpur were acquired by the British in 1698. These villages later grew into the city of Calcuttta.        The Coming of the Europeans : English
  • The factory at Sutanuti was fortified in 1696 and was named Fort William in 1700. A council with a president for Fort William was created. Sir Charles Eyre was the first president and all settlements in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa were placed under the Presidency in 1700.
  • The relations between the Mughals and the English were marked by the desire to dominate each other. Initially, Hugli was sacked and war was declared on the Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb in 1686 by the English.
  • The Mughals retaliated by the capture of all English settlements in Bengal in 1687. The British began hostile activities under Sir John Child on the West coast, seizing Mughal ships and harassing haj pilgrims. The Mughals retaliated by capturing English factories all over the empire in 1688.89.
  • The British finally surrendered but were pardoned by the emperor in 1690 and were granted a firman in 1691 which exempted the company from payment of customs duties in Bengal in return for an annual Payment and a second firman was granted by Farrukhsiyor in 1717 which confirmed the privileges of 1691 and extended them to Gujarat and the Deccan.          The Coming of the Europeans : English

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