FOUNDATION OF THE EAST INDIA COMPANY. 169 Ormuz, and again at Goa. At length Newberry settled down as a shopkeeper at Goa; Leedes entered the service of the Mughal Emperor; and Fitch, after lengthened wanderings in Ceylon, Bengal, Pegu, Siam, Malacca, and other parts of the East Indies, returned to England. The defeat of the ' Invin- cible Armada,' sent by the united kingdom of Spain and Portugal against the English in 1588, gave a fresh stimulus to our maritime enterprise ; and the successful voyage of Cor- nelius Houtman in 1596 showed the way round the Cape of Good Hope into waters hitherto monopolized by the Portuguese. English East India Companies. — The English East India Company had its origin in the commercial rivalry between Lon- don and Amsterdam. In 1599, the Dutch raised the price of pepper against the English from 3^. to 6s. and 8s. per pound. The merchants of London held a meeting on the 22 nd Septem- ber 1599, at Founders' Hall, with the Lord Mayor in the chair, and agreed to form an association for the purposes of trading directly with India. Queen Elizabeth also sent Sir John Milden- hall by way of Constantinople to the Mughal Emperor to apply for privileges for an English company. 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 125 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 as ' The Assada Merchants,' from a factory subsequently founded by it in Madagascar, was established in 1635, but, after a period of keen rivalry, it combined with the London Company in 1650. In 1655, the ' Company of Mer- chant Adventurers' 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 two millions sterling. However, a com- promise was effected through the arbitration of Lord Godolphin,
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