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Modern History / Arrival of Europeans

Arrival of British in India


    The arrival of British in India started when the British East India Company was formed on 31st December, 1600. Queen Elizabeth I of Britain passed a Charter (law made by Parliament) in which the company was given permission for doing trade and 15 years monopoly rights were given to do trading in India. In 1609, James I passed another Charter in which the monopoly was extended to an indefinite period. The company enjoyed monopoly until 1813. In 1858, the company was got abolished.

    British Settlements in India

    In the initial stage, the following sites were the British settlements in India.

    • Surat in Gujarat - It was first settlement in 1608.
    • Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh (1611).
    • The headquarters of the settlements were being located at Madras, Bombay and Calcutta. All the three governors in the headquarters were independent of each other.

    British Settlement in Madras

    In 1639, Francis Day acquired territory of Madras from an officer named Damerla Venkatadri Naidu of the king Venkatapati Raya III (Araveedu Dynasty). On this site, Chennapatnam ( named after Chennappa, father of Naidu ) was built. Francis Day built a fort named St. George Fort in Madras.

    British Settlement in Bombay

    In 1668, an officer named Gerald Aungier acquired the site of Bombay from British king Charles II. Portuguese princess Braganza was married to Charles II. Charles II got Bombay as dowry from Portuguese.

    British Settlement in Calcutta

    In 1691, an officer named Job Charnock purchased 3 villages named Gobindapur, Kalikata and Sutanuti from Mughal governor. They were merged to form Calcutta. British built a fort called Fort William, the seat of governor of Bengal.