A new rival company, known as the ‘English
privileges for itself. But Sir William failed in his mission. There was ruinous
competition between the two for a while but they finally agreed to come
together in 1702. Their final amalgamation came in 1708 by the award of the
Earl of Goldolphin under the title of ‘the United Company of Merchants of
England Trading to the East Indies’. This new company continued its
existence till 1858.
The French East India Company was formed by Colbert under state
patronage in 1664. The first French factory was established at Surat by
Francois Caron in 1668. Later Maracara set up a factory at Masulipatam in
A small village was acquired from the Muslim governor of Valikondapuram
by Francois Martin and Bellanger de Lespinay in 1673. The village
developed into Pondicherry and its first governor was Francois Martin. Also
Chandernagore in Bengal was acquired from the Mughal governor in 1690.
The French in India declined between 1706 and 1720 which led to the
reconstitution of the Company in 1720. The French power in India was
revived under Lenoir and Dumas (governors) between 1720 and 1742. They
occupied Mahe in the Malabar, Yanam in Coromandal (both in 1725) and
Karikal in Tamil Nadu (1739). The arrival of Dupleix as French governor in
India in 1742 saw the beginning of Anglo-French conflict (Carnatic wars)
resulting in their final defeat in India.
The Danes formed an East India Company and arrived in India in 1616. They
established settlements at Tranquebar (in Tamil Nadu) in 1620 and at
Serampore (Bengal) in 1676. Serampore was their headquarters in India.
However, they failed to strengthen themselves in India and were forced to
sell all their settlements in India to the British in 1845.
Nature and Character of European Commerce
Role of European Companies