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406
[EARLY EUROPEAN SETTLEMENTS
INDIA


on the 31st of December 1600, and the first expedition of four ships under James Lancaster left Torbay towards the end of April 1601, and reached Achin in Sumatra on the 5th of June 1602, returning with a cargo of spices. Between 1600 and 1612 there were twelve separate voyages, but in the latter year a joint-stock system began involving continual communication with the Indies. At first the trade was mainly with the Indian archipelago, but soon the English began to feel their way towards the mainland of India itself. In 1608 Captain Hawkins visited Jahangir at Agra, and obtained permission to build a factory at Surat, which was subsequently revoked, and in 1609 some English merchants obtained an unstable footing at Surat. Wherever the English went they were met by the hostility of the Portuguese; and on the 29th of November 1612 the Portuguese admiral with four ships attempted to capture the English vessels under Captain Best at Swally, off the mouth of the Tapti river; but the Portuguese were severely defeated, to the great astonishment of the natives, and that action formed the beginning of British maritime supremacy in Indian seas. The first fruits of the victory were the foundation of a factory at Surat and at other places round the Gulf of Cambay and in the interior. From the imperial firman of December 1612 dates the British settlement on the mainland of India. At this point begins the Indian history of the company, for the domestic history of which see East India Company.

The ten years that elapsed between the battle of Swally in 1612 and the British capture of Ormuz in 1622 sufficed to decide the issue in the struggle for supremacy between the British and the Portuguese. The latter, unwillingly linked to the dying Rivalry with Portugal.power of Spain, were already decadent, and on the 20th of January 1615 a great Portuguese armada, consisting of six great galleons, three smaller ships, two galleys and sixty rowed barges, was defeated for the second time in Swally roads by Captain Nicholas Downton, in command of four British vessels. In 1618 the English opened trade between Surat and Jask in the Persian Gulf, and in 1620 gained a victory over the Portuguese fleet there. Early in 1622 the English fleet gained a second decisive victory, and captured Ormuz, the pearl of the Portuguese possessions in Asia. From this date onwards India and the Persian Gulf lay open to the English as far as Portugal was concerned, and before Portugal broke loose from Spain in 1640 her supremacy in Asiatic seas was hopelessly lost. In 1642 she partially and in 1654 finally accepted the situation, and opened all her Eastern possessions to English trade.

The struggle with the young and growing power of Holland was destined to be a much more serious affair than that with the exhausted power of Portugal. The Dutch had just emerged victorious from the struggle with Spain, Rivalry with the Dutch. and were pulsing with national life. In 1602 the Dutch routed the Portuguese near Bantam, and opened the road to the Spice Islands. In 1603 they threatened Goa, in 1619 they fixed their capital at Batavia, in 1638 they drove the Portuguese from Ceylon and in 1641 from Malacca. When Portugal emerged in 1640 from her sixty years’ captivity to Spain, she found that her power in the Eastern seas had passed to the Dutch, and thenceforward the struggle lay between the Dutch and the English. The Dutch were already too strongly entrenched in the Indian archipelago for English competition to avail there, and the intense rivalry between the two nations led to the tragedy of Amboyna in 1623, when Governor Van Speult put to torture and death nine Englishmen on a charge of conspiring to take the Dutch forts. This outrage was not avenged until the time of Cromwell (1654), and in the meantime the English abandoned the struggle for the Spice Islands, and turned their attention entirely to the mainland of India. In 1616 the Dutch began to compete with the English at Surat, and their piracies against native vessels led to the Mogul governor seizing English warehouses; but soon the native authorities learnt to discriminate between the different European nations, and the unscrupulous methods of the Dutch cast them into disfavour.

In 1611 Captain Hippon in the seventh separate voyage essayed a landing at Pulicat, but was driven off by the Dutch, who were already settled there, and sailed farther up the coast to Pettapoli, where he founded the first English settlement in theMadras settlements. Bay of Bengal, which finally perished through pestilence in 1687. Captain Hippon, however, also touched at Masulipatam, the chief sea-port of the kings of Golconda. In 1628 the Dutch won over the native governor there, and the English were compelled to retreat to Armagon, where they built the first English fort in India. In 1639 Francis Day, the chief at Armagon, founded Madras, building Fort St George (1640), and transferring thither the chief factory from Masulipatam. Here the English obtained their first grant of Indian soil, apart from the plots on which their factories were built. In 1653 Madras was raised to an independent presidency, and in 1658 all the settlements in Bengal and on the Coromandel coast were made subordinate to Fort St George.

In 1633 eight Englishmen from Masulipatam, under Ralph Cartwright, sailed northward to Harishpur near Cuttack on the mouth of the Mahanadi, and entered into negotiations to trade with the governor of Orissa; and in June 1633 Cartwright founded a Bengal settlements.factory at Balasore, which proved very unhealthy. In 1651 the English reached Hugli, which was at that time the chief port of Bengal; about that year Gabriel Boughton, a surgeon, obtained from the Mogul viceroy permission for the English to trade in Bengal. In 1657 Hugli became the head agency in Bengal, with Balasore and Cossimbazar in the Gangetic delta and Patna in Behar under its control. In that year the name of Job Charnock, the future founder of Calcutta, appeared in the lowest grade of the staff.

The company had long fixed an eye on Bombay. Its position half way down the Indian seaboard gave it both strategic and commercial importance, while it lay beyond the authority of the Moguls, and so could be fortified without offending them. Acquisition of Bombay.In 1626 the company joined with the Dutch under Van Speult in attacking Bombay, but could not retain possession. In 1661 Charles II. received Bombay from Portugal as part of the Infanta Catherine’s dowry, but effective possession was not taken until 1665, and in 1668 Charles handed the island over to the company. At first the loss of life, owing to the unhealthiness of the climate, was appalling; but in spite of that fact it gradually prospered, until it reached its present position as the second port and city of India. In 1670 Gerald Aungier fortified the island, and so became the true founder of its prosperity. In 1674 a treaty was entered into with Sivaji. In 1682 Sir Josiah Child at home and Sir John Child in India formed a combination, which recognized that in the struggle between the Mogul and the Mahrattas the English must meet force with force; and in 1687 Bombay supplanted Surat as the chief seat of the English in India.

In 1664 Shaista Khan, the brother of the empress Nur Jahan, became viceroy of Bengal, and though a strong and just ruler from the native point of view, was not favourable to the foreign traders. In 1677 the president of Madras had to warn himThe founding of Calcutta. that unless his exactions ceased, the company would be obliged to withdraw from Bengal. In 1679 the English obtained from the Mogul emperor a firman exempting them from dues everywhere except at Surat; but Shaista Khan refused to recognize the document, and on the 14th of January 1686 the court of directors resolved to have recourse to arms to effect what they could not obtain by treaty. This was the first formal repudiation of the doctrine of unarmed traffic laid down by Sir Thomas Roe in 1616. An expedition was despatched to India consisting of six companies of infantry and ten ships under Captain Nicholson. Two of the ships with 308 soldiers arrived at the Hugli river in the autumn of 1686. At this time Job Charnock was the chief of the Bengal council, and, owing to an affray with the Mogul troops at Hugli on the 28th of October 1686, he embarked the company’s goods and servants on board light vessels and dropped down the