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nationally identified by colonization. 883, Sighelenus, Bishop of Sherburne, Every Englishman who goes there to India, under the pretext of making hopes to return; nobody loves to live offerings at the shrine of St. Thomas, there ; none settle; no one regards it and the monk adds, that at the date of as his home. Hence the lack of per- his chronicle, some of the commodi. sonal interest in the country; and ties which the bishop brought back hence, again, the general coldness of were to been seen in the church at which we have been complaining. The Sherburne. The crusades, in later duties of all in office are performed periods, made us somewhat better acfaithfully and well; but they are per- quainted with the usages and producformed as duties, and such sympathy tions of the East ; but it was not until as strangers feel is, like their con. about the period of the Reformation, nexion with the soil, temporary. We when, and much owing to that event, notice the defect, not for the purpose we were becoming a manufacturing of disparaging our government of In- people, that the expanding spirit of comdia, which is, beyond all question, the mercial enterprise began to exhibit itbest its nations have ever known-one self in vigorous efforts to extend our which gives them that great element trade, and then intercourse with India of social happiness, security of person became our first object. The earliest and of property, and what we are dis- of these attempts was the voyage of posed to regard as of almost equal Robert Thorne, in the reign of Henry importance, immunity from agitation. VIII., in the year 1527, to discover a We notice the defect, not, we say, for north-west passage to India. Then the purpose of underrating the horrors followed the fatal voyage of Sir Hugh of anarchy and terrors of misrule, Willoughby, who, with all his crew, from which our government has saved perished on the coast of Lapland. the people of India ; or of depreciat- This voyage was in search of a northing the higher degree of civilisation east passage, and was made in the which it has been, to a great extent, reign of Edward VI., in whose time, the means of introducing ; but for the and that of Elizabeth, others of a like purpose of showing that to compen- character were repeatedly undertaken sate for a defect which appears to be by such well-known navigators as the Cainherent in the nature of our con- bots, Frobisher, Davis, Hudson; some nexion with India, we are bound the to seek out a north-west, others a northmore carefully to consult her interests, east passage to India. These intrepid and, as a means towards this, to make mariners failed in finding for their them more known, in various forms, country the short track to the gold of through the press. Interest and pride Cathay, or to the diamond mines of seem alone to link us to India-interest Golconda ; but they taught her a better in its rich resources--pride in the ho- service, in rendering her sons hardy nours we have won there. We long and accomplished seamen.
The disto be united to that country by a holier covery of the Cape of Good Hope, by tie-by that good feeling which must Bartholomew Diez, in 1486, and the arise from well-directed efforts to im- actual voyage made to India, by Vasca prove the condition and raise the cha- de Gamo, in 1498, revealed the longracter of its many peoples. Our hum- sought-for course. We have, in our ble sphere is, to aid in making these former paper, noticed the steps by known, and our first step an attempt which the Portuguese and the Dutch, to outline their history.
availing themselves of this discovery, The India trade was, from the ear- established their connexion with the liest period, looked on in the West as East. It was not until Drake's cirthe most magnificent of all commercial cumnavigation voyage that our Engobjects; and each European nation, lish merchants directed their attention as it rose in maritime importance, as- to the course to India by the Cape. pired to a participation in its golden Drake, who had passed that promon. fruits. It is characteristic of the ge- tory in fair weather, disrobed it of the pius of Alfred, justly named the Great, terrors with which it had been invested that he endeavoured to direct the at. by the Portuguese and Dutch ; and his tention of our merchants to that line
voyage, which had given new impulse of traffic. He, as we are told by Wil- to the enterprise of our traders, was liam of Malmesbury, sent, in the year soon followed by an incident well calculated to stimulate their desire for gain the shores of his kingdom. Pursuant -We mean the capture of some Por- to this, they, in the course of that tuguese Indiamen with immense trea- year, built a factory at Surat, and sure, and with papers affording infor
thus made their final settlement on mation of greater value. Besides the the continent of India. This was in details thus made known, there had the reign of James I., who, about the been a good deal of knowledge saine period, sent out Sir Thomas on the subject of the Indian trade, Roe as his ambassador to the court of collected by an association called the Great Mogul. This mission supthe Levant Company, which had been plies us with a most interesting acfor some years established, and which count of the emperor, his court and conveyed goods from Aleppo and Bag- country, but was not attended with dad, and thence by the Tigris to Ormus, any political advantages. Soon after on the Persian Gulf. This company this an incident occurred, which led succeeded in opening a very extensive our merchants to abandon their conintercourse with India ; but the ex- nexion with the Eastern Archipelago, penses of the transit were so great that and to direct all their attention to the the returns were not very lucrative. trade with continental India. The Encouraged by the hope of larger pro- naval power of the Portuguese was fits, and prompted, as we have said, by declining, and with it their influence the spirit of maritime enterprise, ves
in the East, but the Dutch were our sels were fitted out, and voyages made active and powerful competitors. They to India, some by government vessels, were deeply jealous of our endeavours and some by vessels fitted out by indi. to share with them the lucrative trade viduals. They, in all cases, partook of the Spice Islands, and evinced this of a piratical character, and their gains feeling in an act which will for ever were usually enormous. Still the ha- stain their annals - known as the zards were found to be too great for massacre of Amboyna. They had in private capital, and an application, in that island a strong fort, garrisoned consequence of this, having been made with two hundred men, and there to Queen Elizabeth, she, in December, were eighteen Englishmen residing in 1600, granted to the petitioning mer- the town engaged in trade. These chants a charter, erecting them into a they arrested altogether, with some few corporation, under the title of “ The Japanese and one Portuguese, on the Governors and Company of Merchants ground that they had conspired to of London trading to the East Indies." seize the fort. The statement of the This charter gave them the privilege charge exhibits the improbability of its of exclusive trade; but the crown re- truth, and this is further heightened served to itself the right of resuming by the nature of what they called their its grant, after a three years' notice. evidence. Their first information was The early intercourse of the company from one of their own Japanese solwas with the Indian islands, and their diers, and obtained by the application chief station was at Bantam, in Java. of torture. They then put all the They subsequently found it advan- prisoners to the rack. At first each tageous to open a trade with the con- of them denied any knowledge of such tinent of India, which was first at- a plot, but the torture being again tempted at Surat, in 1609. The Por- applied, they of course confessed all tuguese, who were at that time in pos. that their accusers wanted. When session of the trade there, showed every released from pain, they repeated their disposition to oppose them ; but they denial of the charge, but being torquailed before the determination of tured anew, were compelled to reSir Henry Middleton, who commanded confess it. Nine of the English, inthe company's ships. Our merchants cluding their captain, were put to soon made some character with the death, their heads being cut off by a native traders, and gained no little in- scimitar. They all declared their influence with the nabobs and princes of nocence in the most solemn manner.
Nine Japanese and one Portuguese On the 11th January, 1612, they shared their fate, while the remaining obtained from the Emperor Jehang- Englishmen were pardoned. hire a firman, authorising them to hold The account of this cruel proceeding establishments in certain places along excited, as might be expected, the
greatest indignation in England, and tleman was equally successful at the to increase it, the court of directors court of the Nabob of Bengal, from had a picture prepared, copied and whom he procured, in 1636, permiscirculated, representing the horrors of sion for the company's servants to the scene. It was not, however, the erect a factory at Hoogley, on the sointerest of our government to go to named branch of the Ganges. Much war on the occasion, and negotiations about the same tiine a fort was erected were commenced, which were pro- at Madraspatam, on the Coromandel tracted from 1623, the period of the coast, where we had for some time pretransaction, until about 1654, in the viously had depots. This new station time of Cromwell, when an adjustment was named Fort St. George; and thus took place. The immediate result have we traced the commencements of was, however, wbat the Dutch no our three presidencies, on the Malabar doubt anticipated—the abandonment of and Coromandel coasts, and in Bengal. our intercourse with the Indian Archi- But the state of affairs in England pelago. Our merchants felt that they precluded the company from availing had neither forces nor forts enough to themselves of these opening prosprotect a trade, and thus was this
pects, and during the civil wars their guilty act long attended with all the existence, as a corporation, was in advantages which its originators had peril. contemplated.
The India trade was in fact thrown Mill, whose prejudices often mar open, for the five years which preceded his work, assumes at times an air of 1657, the date at which Cromwell impartiality, which is sadly misplaced. renewed the privileges of the company. He endeavours on this occasion to The effects of this free trade are very excuse the Dutch, by suggesting that, differently stated in works of the pebiassed by self-interest, they may have riod; but the nearest guess we can believed their rivals guilty. The fan- make at the truth leads us to think ciful assumption of motives may pal- that our merchants offered India liate any crime; but unhappily this is goods at low prices, and extended not the only proceeding which_taints their sales to almost every part of the colonial conduct of the Dutch. Europe, underselling the Dutch even On the contrary, it is only character- in Amsterdam. In confirmation of istic of their selfish and cruel policy in this last fact, Sir John Malcolm cites the East.
a passage, in the “ Letters of ThurPartly in consequence of the loss of loe,” Cromwell's secretary, to the trade which ensued directly on this effect that the merchants of Amstercatastrophe, and partly from the large dam, * having heard that the Lord expense incurred by their contests Protector would dissolve the East with the Portuguese, the East India India Company at London, and deCompany became at this time a good clare the navigation and commerce to deal embarrassed ; and it was while the Indies to be free and open, were their finances were thus deranged, greatly alarmed, as they considered that a circumstance took place, which such a measure would be ruinous to led to their settlement in Bengal, and their own East India Company.' subsequently proved the main source The prospects of our own East of their prosperity.
India Company became more en. A physician, named Boughton, hav- couraging under Charles II. and his ing been called on to attend the brother James. The former renewed daughter of the Emperor Shah Je- and extended their privileges, and haun, in a dangerous illness, was so made over to them the island of Bomfortunate as to cure her, and, in con- bay, which he had received as part of sequence, gained her father's good- the portion of his queen, the Infanta will. With generous feeling, he of Portugal. James added the imavailed himself of this to advance the portant prerogatives of levying troops, interests of his countrymen, and ob- holding courts-martial, and coining tained for them the privilege of carry
money. It is not, perhaps, to be woning on a free trade. The same gen- dered at, that these high powers were
* Malcolm's India, vol. i., p. 19, n.
sometimes abused-that merchants dread at this time were the merchants with such prerogatives were too eager of their own country, who interfered for gain—that factors, living in what with their monopoly, and were known was felt, from its distance, to be a new by the name of “ Interlopers." Their world, forgot their responsibility. In profits were doubtless larger than 1665, Sir Edward Winter, governor those of the company, and they beof Madras, being superseded for undue so influential at home, that practices, had the boldness to imprison when, in 1698, the charter of the East the person who was sent out to succeed India Company was brought under him, and actually held the government the consideration of parliament, they until 1668, when, by the special di- actually obtained for themselves the rection of the king, he resigned it. exclusive right of trading with the Sir John Child seized thirteen large East. This they acquired by offering ships at Surat, the property of mer- to the government an advance on chants there, and sailed with his plun- better terms than those proposed by der to Bombay, of which he was then the company. But the latter soon governor. It appears, indeed, that after got a new confirmation of their this was effected with the knowledge grant; and thus the nation had at the of a sub-committee of the directors at same time two East India Companies, home; but if this circumstance di- each with privileges alike exclusive, minishes the audacity of the act, it granted by the crown and confirmed exhibits the morals of the company as by the legislature, and both expending of no very elevated order. Quite in their gains in corrupting parliament, agreement with this view are the sen- not only by purchasing seats, but also timents of the chief director, as ex- by directly bribing members of the pressed in a letter to one who was lords and commons.
Wearied by appointed a judge in India. “I ex- such expensive struggles, they at length pect,” says that autocratic trader, combined their stock, under the char" that my will and orders shall be ter given to the old company, on the your rule, and not the laws of Eng- 5th September, 1698, and assumed land, which are a heap of nonsense the name under which they have ever compiled by a number of country since remained incorporated—“The gentlemen, who hardly know how to United Company of Merchants Tradgovern their own families, much less ing to the East Indies.” The privithe regulating companies and foreign leges of the united corporation were commerce. Having now the power of confirmed, and extended by an act of condemning the company's enemies, or parliament, in 1708, and the general such as shall be deemed so, particularly tranquillity which, a few years afterthose that shall question the company's wards, ensued on the peace of Utrecht, power over all the British subjects in was favourable to their interests. India, I expect my orders from time It was a little previously to these to time shall be obeyed and received last dates that the company seems as statute laws."
for the first time to have raised their It was not, as our readers will easily views from trade to territory. In believe, by conduct and principles 1689 they write out to their agents such as these, that the East India that revenue is for the future to enCompany advanced in power, but in gage their attention, as much as trafdespite of them. They incurred the fic; that they wish to be " a nation in dislike and the hostile feelings of the India," and they cite with approval native princes, and Aurungzebe threat- the example of the Dutch, who they ened to raze their factories to the say wrote to their governors ten para. ground. He seized Surat, sent a fleet graphs about tribute, for every one to attack Bombay, and at the same which concerned commerce.
But as time assailed them in other points. yet their views in this respect were of The servants of the company made the humblest character; they only ex. the most abject submission, and the tended to the acquisition of territory emperor, only looking on them as by purchase, and in this manner they traders, and conceiving their com- became possessed of some districts on merce to be of some importance to his the Coromandel coasts, where they subjects, forgave them. The enemies built Fort St. David ; and the Nabob from whoin the company had most to of Bengal, desiring to replenish his exchequer, in order to enable him to that government on the Coromandel sustain a war, the company succeeded coast. Returning to France, he was in buying from him the zemirdarships selected by his own government to of certain towns and districts, amongst form their new colonies in the isles of which was that of Calcutta, where France and Bourbon, and by a wise they erected Fort William, and which and energetic administration he adwas, in 1707, declared to be the seat of vanced the resources and civilisation a presidency.
of those islands in a very remarkable From the peace of Utrecht, until manner. He made roads, constructed the recommencement of hostilities bridges, had the natives taught the in Europe, embracing a period of most useful trades, extended and immore than thirty years, the company proved the cultivation of the coffeeadvanced in commercial prosperity. plant, and introduced the culture of The date of the war which then took indigo and of the sugar-cane. The place between England and France, character be thus made, raised his in1744, is a cardinal era in the history fluence with the ministers at home, of our Asiatic realm ; but before we and on his return to Europe, in 1740, attempt any narrative of its events, we he suggested a plan whereby he should must glance at the relations of the be prepared, on the first outbreak of latter power with the East.
hostilities, to attack and destroy the In the reign of Louis XIV., and English settlements in the East, bethe year 1664, Colbert founded a fore a fleet from Europe could arrive French East India Company; their to support them. This we shall see capital was £625,000 ; their charter, he afterwards attempted. M. Dupleis, pursuant to the views of the age, was who was at this time governor of Pona monopoly, with what were even at dicherry, and chief of the French in that time singular encouragements. India, was also a remarkable man. They were to have not only an immu- He inherited from his father, who was nity from all taxes for fifty years, but a director of the French East India the government bound itself to make Company, a large fortune, which he good to them any loss they might sus- greatly increased by successful specutain within the first ten. Their com
lations in the India trade. He was, in mencing efforts were made in Madagas- 1720, sent out as first member of the car, but their settlement was ill-chosen council at Pondicherry; was afterand unsuccessful. They afterwards, wards made chief of the French sta. with better fortune, took possession of tion at Chandernagore, and having in the islands of Ceane and Mascarenhas, these positions made known his public and gave them respectively the, names talents, he was appointed governor-inof Mauritius and Bourbon. In 1668 chief at Pondicherry. He was bold, they established a factory at Surat, able, unscrupulous, and ambitious, and after failing in other places, they Being largely engaged on his own acformed a station at Pondicherry. This count in the internal trade of India, place, which was well fortified, be- he became better acquainted with the came the centre of the French trade politics and relations of that country in India, and they acquired some ter- than any other European of that period. ritory around it ; when, in 1744, These were the two most prominent Walpole was driven from power, and Frenchmen in India when the war of war took place between England and the Austrian succession broke out, in France, the French conceived the idea 1744. At this time France had unof destroying our settlements in India, doubtedly more influence in the East and of extending their own influence. than England.
Her East India ComThey had at this time some agentspany was to the full as wealthy, and there of distinguished ability. One she had besides extensive possessions was M. de Labourdonnais, a native of in the Spice Islands. She could also Brittany, who, early in life, engaged in command a larger military force, and trade in India, and made there a con- had besides armed and disciplined the siderable fortune. His talents at- sepoys. tracted the attention of the viceroy of from her that we learned the two Goa, at whose suggestion he entered main secrets of our successes in the the service of the king of Portugal, East—the superiority of regular troops and was for two years the agent of when employed against Asiatic hordes,
we may observe,