Page:A Brief History of the Indian Peoples.djvu/172

This page needs to be proofread.

168 EARLY EUROPEAN SETTLEMENTS. contact. The knell of Dutch supremacy in India 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. During the great French wars from 1793 to 1815, England wrested from Holland her Eastern colonies ; but Java was restored in 18 16, and Sumatra exchanged for Malacca in 1824. At the present time, the Dutch flag flies nowhere on the mainland of India. Quaint houses with Dutch tiles and orna- ments in the now British towns of Chinsurah, Negapatam, Jaffnapatam, and at several petty ports on the Coromandel and Malabar coasts, together with the formal canals or water-channels in some of these old settlements, remind the traveller of scenes in the Netherlands. Early English Adventurers, 1496-1596. — The earliest English attempts to reach India were made by the North-west or Arctic Sea. In 1496, Henry VII. granted letters patent to John Cabot and his three sons (one of whom was the famous Sebastian) to fit out two ships for the exploration of this North- western route. They failed, but discovered the island of New- foundland, and sailed along the coast of America from Labrador to Virginia. In 1553, the ill-fated Sir Hugh Willoughby attempted to force a passage north-east, through the Arctic Sea along the north of Europe and Asia, the successful accomplish- ment of which has been reserved for a Swedish officer in our own day. Sir Hugh perished; but his second in command, Chan- cellor, reached a harbour on the White Sea, now Archangel. Many subsequent attempts were made to find a North-west passage from 1576 to 1616. They have left on our modern maps the imperishable names of Frobisher, Davis, Hudson, and Baffin. Meanwhile, in 1577, Sir Francis Drake had sailed round 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 modern Englishman known to have visited India was Thomas Stephens, rector of the Jesuits' College in Salsette, in 1579. fn 1583, three English merchants — Ralph Fitch, James Newberry, and Leedes — went out to India overland as mercantile adven- turers. The jealous Portuguese threw them into prison at