1902 Encyclopedia > India > Indian History: 7. Early European Settlements

India
(Part 22)




INDIA - HISTORY (cont.)

7. Early European Settlements


Mahometan invaders have always entered India from the north-west. Her new conquerors approached from the sea and from the south. From the time of Alexander to that of Vasco de Gama, Europe had enjoyed little direct intercourse with the East. An occasionally traveller brought back stories of powerful kingdoms and of untold wealth; but the passage by sea was unthought of, and by land many wide deserts and warlike tribes lay between. Commerce, indeed, never ceased entirely, being carried on chiefly by the Italian cities on the Mediterranean, which traded to the ports of the Levant. But to the Europeans of the 15th century India was practically an unknown land, which powerfully attracted the imagination of spirits stimulated by the Renaissance and ardent for discovery. All the learning of this subject has been collected by Dr Birdwood in his admirable Report on the Old Records of the India Office (1879), from which the present section is largely borrowed. In 1492 Christopher Columbus set sail under the Spanish flag to seek India beyond the Atlantic, bearing with him a letter to the great khan of Tartary. The expedition under Vasco da Gama started from Lisbon five years later, and, doubling the Cape of Good Hope, cast anchor off the city of Calicut on the 20th May 1498, after a prolonged voyage of nearly eleven months. From the first Da Gama encountered hostility from the "Moors," or rather Arabs, who monopolized the sea-borne trade; but he seems to have found favour with the zamorin, or Hindu raja of Malabar. It may be worth while to recall the contemporary condition of India at that epoch. An Afghán of the Lodi dynasty was on the throne of Delhi, and another Afghán king was ruling over Bengal. Agmadábád in Guzerat, Gulbargah, Bíjapur, Ahmadnagar, and Ellichpur in the Deccan were each the capital of an independent Mahometan kingdom; while the Hindu raja of Vijayanagar was recognized as paramount over the entire south, and was perhaps the most powerful monarch to be found at that time in all India. Neither Mughal nor Marhattá had yet appeared above the political horizon.

After staying nearly six months on the Malabar coast, Dr Gama returned to Europe by the same route as he had come, bearing with him the following letter from the zamorin to the king of Portugal; "Vasco da Gama, a nobleman of your household, has visited my kingdom and has given me great pleasure. In my kingdom there is abundance of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, pepper, and precious stones. What I seek from thy country is gold, silver, coral, and scarlet." The arrival of Da Gama at Lisbon was celebrated with national rejoicings scarcely less enthusiastic than had greeted the return of Columbus. If the West Indies belonged to Spain by priority of discovery, Portugal might claim the east Indies by the same tight Territorial ambition conspired with the spirit of proselytism and with the greed of commerce to fill all Portuguese minds with the dream of a mighty Oriental empire. The early Portuguese discoverers were not traders or private adventurers, but admirals with a royal commission to conquer territory and promote the spread of Christianity. A second expedition, consisting of thirteen ships and twelve hundred soldiers, under the command of Cabral, was dispatched in 1500. "The sum of his instructions was to begin with preaching, and, if that failed, to proceed to the sharp determination of the sword." On his outward voyage Cabral was driven by stress of weather to the coast of Brazil. Ultimately he reached Calicut, and established factories both there and at Cochin, in the face of active hostility from the natives. In 1502 the king of Portugal obtained from Pope Alexander VI. a bull constituting him "lord of the navigation, conquests, and trade of Ethiopia, Arabia, Persia, and India." In that year Vasco da Gama sailed again to the east, with a fleet numbering twenty vessels. He formed an alliance with the rajas of Cochinand Canonore against the zamorin of Calicut, and bombarded the latter in his palace. In 1503 the great Alfonso d’Albuquerque is first heard of, as in command of one of three expeditions from Portugal. In 1505 a large fleet of twenty-two sail and fifteen thousand men was sent under Francisco de Almeida, the first Portuguese governor and viceroy of India. In 1509 Albuquerque succeeded as governor, and widely extended the area of Portuguese influence. Having failed in an attack upon Calicut, he seized Goa, which has ever since remained the capital of Portuguese India. Then, sailing round Ceylon, he captured Malacca, the key of the navigation of the Indian archipelago, and opened a trade with Siam and the Spice Islands. Lastly, he sailed back westwards, and, after penetrating into the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, returned to Goa only to die in 1515. In 1524 Vasco da Gama came out to the East for the third time, and he too died at Cochin. For exactly a century, from 1500 to 1600, the Portuguese enjoyed a monopoly of Oriental trade.



"From Japand and the Spice Islands to the Red Sea and Cape of Good Hope, they were the sole masters and dispensers of the treasurers of the east; while their possessions along the Atlantic coast of Africa and in Brazil complete their maritime empire. But they never commanded the necessary resources either of military strength or personal character for its maintenance and defence. They were also in another way unprepared for the commerce of which they thus obtained the control. Their national character has been formed in their secular contest with the Moors, and above all things they were knights errant and crusaders, who looked on every pagan as an enemy at once of Portugal and of Christ. It is impossible for any one who has not read the contemporary narratives of their discoveries and conquests to conceive the grossness of the superstition and the cruelty with which the whole history of their exploration and subjugation of the Indies is stained. Albuquerque alone endeavoured to conciliate the good will of the natives, and to live in friendship with the Hindu princes, who were naturally better pleased to have the Portuguese, as governed by him, for their neighbours and allies than the Mahometans whom he had expelled or subdued. The justice and magnanimity of his rule did as much to extend and confirm the power of the Portuguese in the East as the courage and success of his military achievements, and in such veneration was his memory held by the Hindus, and even by the Mahometans, in Goa that they were accustomed to repair to his tomb, and there utter their complaints, as if in the presence of his shade, and call upon God to deliver them from the tyranny of his successors. The cruelties of Soarez, Sequeuyra, Menezes, Da Gama, and succeeding viceroys drove the natives to desperation, and encouraged the princes of western India in 1567 to form a league against the Portuguese, in which they were at once joined by the king of Achin. Their undisciplined armies were not able to stand against the veteran soldiers of Portugal, 200 of whom, at Malacca, utterly routed and put to flight a force of 15,000 of the enemy. When, in 1578, Malacca was again besieged, and on each fortune, But these incessant attacks on the Portuguese evinced the decline of their empire, while the increased military forces sent our to the East proved an insupportable drain on the revenues and population of Portugal.

"In 1580 the crown of Portugal, consequent on the death of King Sebastian, became united with that of Spain, under Philip II.,—an event which proved the last fatal blow to the maritime and commercial supremacy of Portugal. It proved fatal in many ways, but chiefly because the interests of Portugal in Asia were subordinated to the European interests of Spain. In 1600 Portugal again became a separate kingdom, but in the meanwhile the Dutch and English has appeared in the Eastern Seas, and before their indomitable competition the Portuguese trade and dominion of the Indies withered away as rapidly as it had sprung up. The period of the highest development of Portuguese commerce was probably from 1590 to 1610, on the eve of the subversion of their political power by the Dutch, and when their political administration in India was at its lowest depth of degradation. At this period a single fleet of Portuguese merchantmen sailing from Goa to Cambay or Surat would number as many as 150 to 250 ‘carracks.’ Now only one Portuguese ship sails from Lisbon to Goa in the year."

The only remaining Portuguese possessions in India are Goa, daman, and Diu, all on the west coast, with an area of 1086 square miles and a population of 407,712 souls. The general census of 1871 also returned 426 Portuguese dwelling in British India, not including those of descent, of whom about 30,000 are found in Bombay and 20,000 in Bengal, chiefly in the neighbourhood of Dacca and Chittagong. The latter are known as Firinghis; and, excepting that they retain the Roman Catholic faith and European surnames, are scarcely to be distinguished either by colour or be habits of life from the natives among whom they live.





The Dutch were the first European nation to break through the Portuguese monopoly. During the 16th century Bruges, Antwerp, and Amsterdam became successively the great emporia whence Indian produce, imported by the Portuguese, was distributed to Germany and even to England. At first the Dutch, following in the track of the English, attempted to find their way to India by sailing round the north coasts of Europe and Asia. William Barents is honourably known as the leader of three of these arctic expeditions, in the last of which he perished. The first Dutchman to double the Cape of Good Hope was Cornelius Houtman, who reached Sumatra and Bantam in 1596. Forthwith private companies for trade with the East were formed in many parts of the United Provinces, but in 1602 they were all amalgamated by the states-general into "The Dutch east India Company." Within a few years the Dutch had established factories on the continent of India, in Ceylon, in Sumatra, on the Persian Guld, and on the Red Sea, besides having obtained exclusive possession of the Moluccas. In 1618 they laid the foundation of the city of Batavia in Java, to be the seat of the supreme government of the Dutch possessions in the East Indies, which had previously been at Amboyna. At about the same time they discovered the coast of Australia, and in North America founded the city of New Amsterdam or Manhattan, now New York. During the 17th century the Dutch maritime power was the first in the world. The massacre of Amboyna in 1623 led the English East India Company to retire from the Eastern seas to the continent of India, and thus, though indirectly, contributed to the foundation of the British Indian empire. The long naval wars and bloody battles between the English and the Dutch within the narrow seas were not terminated until William of Orange united the two crowns in 1689. In the far East the Dutch ruled without a rival, and gradually expelled the Portuguese from almost all their territorial possessions. In 1635 they occupied Formosa; in 1640 they took Malacca, a blow from which the Portuguese never recovered; in 1651 they founded a colony at the Cape of Good Hope, as a half-way station to the East; in 1658 they captured Jaffnapatam, the last stronghold of the Portuguese in Ceylon; in 1664 they wrested from the Portuguese all their earlier settlements on the pepper-bearing coast of Malabar. The rapid and signal downfall of the Dutch colonial empire is to be explained by its short-sighted commercial policy. It was deliberately based upon a monopoly of the trade in spices, and remained from first to last destitute of the true imperial spirit. Like the Phoenicians of old, the Dutch stopped short of no acts of cruelty towards their rivals in commerce; and, like the Phoenicians, they failed to introduce a respect fro their own higher civilization among the natives with whom they came in contrast. The Knell of Dutch supremacy was sounded by Clive, when in 1758 he attacked the Dutch at Chinsurah both by land and water, and forced them to an ignominious capitulation. In the great French war from 1781 to 1811 England wrested from Holland every one of her colonies, though Java was restored in 1816 and Sumatra in exchange for Malacca in 1824. Ata the present time the Dutch flag flies nowhere on the mainland of India, though the quaint houses and regular canals at Chinsurah, at Negapatam, at Jaffinapatam, and at many petty ports on the Coromandel and Malabar coasts, remind the traveler of familiar scenes in the Netherlands. In the census of 1872 only seventy Dutchmen were enumerated throughout the whole of India.

The earliest English attempts to reach India were made by the North-West Passage. In 1496 Henry VII. granted letters patent to John Cabot and his three sons (of whom one was the better known Sebastian) to fit out two ships for the exploration of that route. They failed, but discovered the island of Newfoundland, and sailed along the coast of America from Labrador to Virginia. In 1553 the ill-fated Sir Hugh Willoughby attempted to force a passage along the north of Europe and Asia, the successful accomplishment of which has been reserved for a Swedish savant of our own generation. Sir Hugh perished miserably, but his second in command, Chancellor, reached a harbour on the White Sea, now Archangel. Thence he penetrated by land to the court of the grand-duke of Moscow, and laid the foundation of "the Russia Company for carrying on the overland trade between India, Persia, Bokhara, and Moscow." Many subsequent attempts were made at the North-West Passage from 1576 to 1616, which have left on our modern mans the imperishable names of Frobisher, Davis, Hudson, and Baffin. Meanwhile, in 1577, Sir Francis Drake had circumnavigated the globe, and on his way home had touched at Ternate, one of the Moluccas, the king of which island agreed to supply the English nation with all the cloves it produced. "The first Englishman who actually visited India was Thomas Stephens, in 1579, unless there be any foundation in fact for the statement of William of Malmesbury, that in the year 883 Sighelmus of Sherborne, being sent by King Alfred to Rome with presents to the pope, proceeded form thence to the east Indies to visit the tomb of St Thomas at Mylapore (Mailapur, also called saint Thomé, a suburb of Madras), and brought back with him a quantity of jewels and spices. Stephens was educated at New College, Oxford, and was rector of the Jesuits’ College in Salsette. His letters to his father are said to have roused great enthusiasm in England to trade directly with India. In 1583 three English merchants, Ralph Fitch, James Newberry, and Leedes, went out to India overland as mercantile adventurers. The jealous Portuguese threw them into prison at Ormuz, and again at Goa. At length Newberry settled down as a shopkeeper at Goa, Leedes entered the service of the Great Mughal, and Fitch, after a lengthened peregrination in Ceylon, Bengal, Pegu, Siam, Malacca, and other parts of the East Indies, returned to England."

The defeat of the "Invincible Armada" in 1588, at which time the crowns of Spain and Portugal were united, gave a fresh stimulus to maritime enterprise in England; and the successful voyage of Cornelius Houtman in 1596 showed the way round the Cape of Good Hope into waters hitherto monopolized by the Portuguese.

The foundation of the English East Indian Company was on this wise:—"In 1599 the Dutch, who had now firmly established their trade in the east, having raised the price of pepper against us from 3s. per lb to 6s. and 8s., the merchants of London held a meeting on the 22d September at Founders’ hall, with the lord mayor in the chair, and agreed to form an association for the purpose of trading directly with India. Queen Elizabeth also sent Dir John Mildenhall by Constantinople to the Great Mughal to apply for privileges for the English company, for which she was then preparing a charter, and on the 31st December 1600 the English East India Company was incorporated by royal charter under the title of ‘The Governor and Company of Merchants of London trading to the East Indies.’" The original company had only one hundred and twenty-five shareholders, and a capital of £70,000, which was raised to £400,000 in 1612, when voyages were first undertaken on the joint-stock account. Courten’s association, known also as "The Assada Merchants," from a factory founded by them in Madagascar, was established in 1635, but, after a period of internecine rivalry, united with the London Company in 1650. In 1655 the "Company of Merchant Adventurer’s obtained a charter from Cromwell to trade with India, but united with the original company two years later. A more formidable rival subsequently appeared in the English company, or "General Society trading to the East Indies," which was incorporated under powerful patronage in 1698, with a capital of 2 millions sterling. According to Evelyn, in his Diary for March 5, 1698, "the old East India Company lost their business against the new company by ten votes in parliament, so many of their friends being absent, going to see a tiger baited by dogs." However, a compromise was speedily effected through the arbitration of Lord Godolphin in 1702, and the London and the English companies were finally amalgamated in 1709, under the style of "The United Company of Merchants of England trading to the East Indies." At the same time the Company advanced a loan to the state of £3,190,000 at 3 per cent. interest, in consideration of the exclusive privilege to trade to all places between the cape of Good Hope and the Straits of Magellan.

The early voyages of the Company, from 1600 to 1612, are distinguished as the "separate voyages," twelve in number. The subscribers individually bore the expenses of each voyage, and reaped the whole profits. With the exception of the fourth, all these separate voyages were highly prosperous, the profits hardly ever falling below 100 per cent. After 1612 the voyages were conducted on the joint-stock account.

The following chronological sketch of the progress of the Company in the east in quoted almost verbatim from Dr Birdwood’s valuable report:—

"The English were everywhere opposed from the first, as the Dutch had been, by the Portuguese; but James Lancaster succeeded in the first voyage (1602) in establishing commercial relations with the king of Achin, and at Priaman in the island of Sumantra, and with the Moluccas, and at bantam, where he settled a factory or ‘House of Trade’ in 1603. In 1604 the Company undertook their second voyage, commanded by Sir Henry Middleton, who extended their trade to Banda and Amboyna. The success of these voyages was so great that it induced a number of private merchants to endeavour to obtain a participation in the trade; and in 1606 James I. granted a license to Sir Edward Michelborne and others to trade ‘to Cathay, China, Japan, Corea, and Cambaya,’ Michelborne, however, on arriving in the East, instead of exploring new sourced of commerce as the East India Company were doing, followed the pernicious example of the Portuguese in plundering the native traders among the islands of the Indian Archipelago. He in this way secured a considerable booty, but brought great disgrace on the British name, and much hindered the Company’s business at Bantam. In 1608 captain D. Middleton, in command of the fifth voyage, was prevented by the Dutch form trading at Banda, but succeeded in obtaining a cargo at Pulo Way. In that year also Captain Hawkins in the third voyage, commanded by Captain Keeling, proceeded form Surat as envoy from James I. and the east Indian Company to the court of the Great Hughal. He was graciously received by the emperor (Jahángir), and remained three years at Agra. In 1609 Captain Sharpey, who had conducted the fourth voyage, obtained the grant of free trade at Aden, and a cargo of pepper at Priaman. In that year also the Company constructed the dockyard at Deptford,—which was the beginning, observes Sir William Monson, ‘of the increase of great ships in England.’ In 1611 Sir Henry Middleton, in command of the sixth voyage, arrived before Combay, and resolutely fought the Portuguese, who tried to beat him off, and obtained some important concessions from the native powers. In 1610-11 also captain Hippon, commanding the seventh voyage, succeeded in establishing agencies at Masulipatam and in Siam, and at Patania or Patany on the Malay peninsula, and a factory at Pettipollee.





‘In 1614 the Company’s fleet, of the tenth voyage, under Captain Best, west attacked off Swalley, the port of Surat, at the mouth of the river Tápti, by an overwhelming force of Portuguese, who were utterly defeated in four successive engagements, to the great astonishment of the natives, who had hitherto considered them to be invincible. The first fruit of that decisive victory was the settlement of a factory at Surat, with subordinate agencies at Gogra, Ahmadábád, and Cambay. Trade was also opened with the Persian Gulf. In 1614 an agency was established by Mr Edwards of the Surat factory at Ajmir. In 1615 Sir Thomas Roe was sent out by James I. as ambassador to the court of Jahángír, and succeeded in placing the Company’s trade in the Mughal dominions on a more favourable footing. The factory at Surat was the chief seat of the Company’s government in western India until the presidency was transferred to Bombay in 1685. In 1618 the English established a factory at Mocha, while the Dutch compelled them to resign all pretensions to the Spice Islands. In that year also the Company failed in its attempt to open a trade with Dabul, Baticola, and Calicut, through a want of sincerity on the part of the zamorin. In 1619 it was permitted to settle a factory and build a fort at Jask, in the Persian Gulf.

"In 1619 also the ‘Treaty of Defence’ with the Dutch, to prevent disputes between the English and Dutch companies, was ratified. When it was proclaimed in the East, hostilities solemnly ceased for the space of an hour, while the Dutch and English fleets, dressed out in all their flags and with yards manned, saluted each other; but the treaty ended in the smoke of that stately salutation, and perpetual and fruitless contentions between the Dutch and English companies went on the same as ever. Up to that time the English company did not possess any portion of territory in sovereign right in the Indies, excepting in the island of Lantore or Great Banda. That instead was governed by a commercial agent of the Company, who had under him thirty Europeans as clerks, overseers, and warehousemen; and these, with two hundred and fifty armed Malays, constituted the only force by which it was protected. In the islands of Banda and Pulo Roon and Rosengyn the Company possessed factories, in each of which were ten agents. At Macassar and Achin also they possessed factories or agencies, the whole being subordinate to Bantam. Such was the precarious situation of the English Company in the East at the commencement of their long struggle for commercial equality with the Dutch, whose ascendancy in the Indian Archipelago was already firmly established on the basis of territorial dominion and authority. In 1620 the Dutch, notwithstanding the Treaty of Defence concluded the previous year, expelled the English from Pulo Room and Lantore, and in 1621 from Bantam. The fugitive factors attempted to establish themselves first at Pulicat and afterwards at Masulipatam on the Cornomandel coast, but were effectually opposed by the Dutch. In 1620 the Portuguese made an attack upon the English fleet under Captain Shillinge, but were again defeated with great loss, and from that time the estimation in which the Portuguese were held by the natives of India steadily declined, while that of the English was proportionately raised. In that year the Company established agencies at Agra and Patná. In 1622 the English, joining with the Persians, attacked and took Ormuz from the Portuguese, and obtained from Sháh Abbas a grant in perpetuity of the customs of Gombroon. This was the first time that the English took the offensive against the Portuguese. In the same year the Company succeeded in re-establishing their factory at Masulipatam.

"On the 17th February 1623 occurred the ‘Massacre of Amboyna;’ and from that time the Dutch remained masters of Lantore and the neighbouring islands, and of the whole trade of the Indian Archipelago, until these islands were recaptured by the English in the great naval wars which commenced in 1793. In 1624 the English, unable to oppose the Dutch, withdrew nearly all their factories from the Archipelago, the Malay peninsula, Siam, and Japan. Some of the factors and agents retired to the island of Lagundy in the Strait of Sunda, but were forced, by its unhealthiness, to abandon it.

"In 1625-26 a factory was established at Amragáon on the Coromandel coast, subordinate to Masulipatam; but in 1628 Masulipatam was, in consequence of the oppressions of the native governor, for a time abandoned in favour of Armagáon, which them mounted twelve guns and hand twenty-three factors and agents. In 1629 the factory at Bantam was re-established as an agency subordinate to Surat; and in 1630 Armagáon, reinforced by twenty soldiers, was placed under the presidency of Surat. In 1632 the factory was re-established at Masulipatam, by a firman, known as the "Golden Firman,’ from the king of Golconda. In 1634, by a fireman dated February 2, in Bengal, without any other restriction than that their ship were to resort only to Pippli in Orissa. The Portuguese were in the same year expelled from Bengal. In 1634-35 Bantam was again raised to an independent presidency, and an agency was established at Tatta, or "Scindy.’ In 1637 Courten’s Association (chartered 1635) settled agencies at Goa, Baticola, Kárwár (Carwar), Achin, and Rájápur. Its ships had in 1636 plundered some native vessels at Surat and Diu, which disgraced the Company with the Mughal authorities (who could not comprehend the distinction between the Company and the Association), and depressed the English trade with Surat, while that of the Dutch proportionately increased. In 1638 Armagáon was abandoned as unsuited for commerce; and in 1639-40 Fort St George, Maderaspatam (‘Chineeepatam’), was founded by Francis Day and the factors at Armagáon were at once removed to it. It was made subordinate to Bantam, until raised in 1683 to the rank of a presidency. In 1640 the Company established an agency at Bussorah, and a factory at Kárwár. Trade having much extended, the Company’s yard at Deptford was found too small for their ships, and they purchased some copyhold ground at Blackwall, which at that time was a waste marsh, without an inhabitant; and there they opened another dockyard, in which was built the ‘Royal George’, of 1200 tons, the largest ship yet seen in England. In 1642 the factories at Balasore and Húgli (Hooghly) were established. In 1645, in consequence of services rendered by Dr Gabriel Broughton, surgeon of the ‘Hopewell,’ to the emperor Sháh Jahán, additional privileges were granted to the Company; and in 1646 the governor of Bengal, who, had also been professionally benefited by Broughton, made concessions which placed the factories at Balasore and Hooghly on a more favourable footing. In 1647 Courten’s Association established its colony at Assada, in Madagascar. In 1652 Cromwell declared war against the Dutch on account of their accumulated injuries against the Company. In 1653 the Company’s factory at Lucknow was withdrawn. No record has been found of its establishment. In 1658 the Company established a factory at Kásimbázár (Cossimbazar, ‘Castle Bazaar’), and their establishments in Bengal were made subordinate to Fort St George instead of Bantam.

"In 1661 Bombay was ceded to the British crown as part of the dower of Catherine of Braganza. It was not delivered up by the Portuguese until 1665, and was transferred to the East India Company in 1668. The seat of the western presidency was removed to it from Surat in 1685. At that time the Company’s establishments in the east Indies consisted of the presidency of Bantam, with its dependencies of Jambee, Macassar, and other places in the Indian Archipelago; Fort St George and its dependent factories on the Coromandel coast and Bengal; and Surat, with its affiliated dependency of Bombay, and factories at Broach, Ahmadábád, and other places in western India, and at Gombroon and Bussorah in the Persian Gulf and Euphrates valley. In that year also (1661) the factories which had been established at Patná, Balasore, and Kásimbázár were ordered to be discontinued, and purchases made only at Hooghly. In 1664 Surat was pillaged by Sivají, but Sir George Oxenden bravely defended the English factory; and the Mughal emperor, in admiration of his conduct, granted the Company in exemption from customs for one year.

"In 1681 Bengal was separated from Madras, and Mr Hodges appointed ‘agent and governor’ or the Company’s affairs ‘in the Bay of Bengal, and of the factories subordinate to it at Kásimbázár, Patná, Balasore, Maldab, and Dacca. A corporal of approved fidelity, with twenty soldiers, was to be a guard to the agent’s person at the factory of hooghly, and to act against interlopers.’ In 1683 Fort St George (Madras) was constituted a presidency. In 1684 Sir John Child was made ‘captain-general and admiral of India,’ and Sir John Wyborne ‘vice-admiral and deputy governor of Bombay;’ and in 1685 the seat of the presidency was transferred from Surat to Bombay. In 1686 the factory at Hooghly was much oppressed by the governor of Bengal, and the Company’s business in India generally suffered from the wars of the Mughals and Marhattás. Sir John Child was therefore appointed ‘governor-general,’ with full power in India to make war or peace, and ordered to proceed to inspect the Company’s possessions in Madras and Bengal, and arrange for their safety. On the 20th December the Company’s agent and council quitted the open factory at Hooghly, and retired to Sutanati (Calcutta). Tegnapatam (Fort St David) was first settled in this year (1686), and definitively established in 1691-92. In 1687 the Company retired from all its factories and agencies in Bengal to Madras, but established the settlement of Fort York at Bencoolen. In 1689 the Company’s factories at Vizagapatam and Masulipatam were seized by the Mahometans, and the factors massacred. It was in 1689 the Company’s factories at Vizagapatam and Masulipatam were seized by the mahometans, and the factors massacred. It was in 1689 also that at last the Company determined to consolidate their position in India on the basis of territorial sovereignty, in order to acquire the political status of an independent power in their relations with the Mughals and Marhattás. To this end they passed the following resolution for the guidance of the local governments in India:—‘The increase of our revenue is the subject of our care, as much as our trade; ‘tis that must maintain our force when twenty accidents may interrupt out trade; ‘tis that must make us a nation in India; without that we are but a great number of interlopers, united by His Majesty’s royal charter, fit only to trade where nobody of power thinks it their interest to prevent us; and upon this account it is that the wise Dutch, in all their general advices that we have seen, write ten paragraphs concerning their government, their civil and military policy, warfare, and the increase of their revenue, for one paragraph they write concerning trade."

It will be convenient to refer in this place to the other European nations who attempted at various times to open trade with the East. The Portuguese at no time attempted to found a company, but always maintained their Eastern trade as a royal monopoly. The first incorporated company was the English, established in 1600, which was quickly followed by the Dutch in 1602. The Dutch conquests, however, were made in the name of the state, and rank as national colonies, not as private possessions. Next came the French, whose first East India Company was formed in 1604, the second in 1611, the third in 1615, the fourth (Richelieu’s) in 1642, the fifth (Colbert’s) in 1644. The sixth was formed by the union of the French East and West India, Senegal, and China companies under the name of "The Company of the Indies," in 1719. The exclusive privileges of the company were, by the king’s decree, suspended in 1769, and the company were, by the king’s decree, suspended in 1769, and the company was finally abolished by the National Assembly in 1796. The first Danish East India Company was founded in 1612, and the second in 1670. The settlements of Tranquebar and Serampur were both founded in 1616, and acquired by the English by purchase from Denmark in 1845. Other Danish settlements on the mainland of India were Porte Novo, and Eddova and Holcheri on the Malabar coast. The company founded by the scotch in 1695 may be regarded as having been still-born; and the "Royal Company of the Philippine Islands," incorporated by the king of Spain in 1733, had little to do with India proper; of more importance, though but short-lived, was "The Ostend Company," incorporated by the emperor of Austria in 1723, its factors being chiefly persons who had served the Dutch and English companies. But the opposition of the maritime powers forced the court of Vienna in 1727 to suspend the company’s charter for seven years. The Ostend company, after passing through a very trying existence, prolonged through the desire of the Austrian Government to participate in the growing east India trade, became bankrupt in 1784, and was finally extinguished by the regulations which were prescribed on the renewal of the English East India Company’s charter in 1793. The last nation of Europe to engage in maritime trade with India was Sweden. When the Ostend company was suspended, a number of its servants were thrown our of employment, of whose special knowledge of the East Mr Henry Koning, of Stockholm, took advantage, obtaining a charter for the "Swedish Company," dated June 13, 1731. This company was reorganized in 1806. The extent to which foreign nations now carry on direct dealings with India may be inferred approximately from the following figures, taken from the census report of 1871. There were then in British India about 8000 inhabitants of continental Europe; but of these the nationality of only 2628 was more particularly specified, chiefly in Bengal. Germans numbered 755, French, 631; Portuguese, 426; Italians, 282; Greek, 127; Swedes, 73; Russians, 72; Dutch, 70; Norwegians, 58; Danes, 45; Spaniards, 32; Belgians, 20; Swiss, 19, Turks, 18.


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