British first come to Surat in India

Vasco da Gama came to India from Portugal in 1498. His fleet landed in Calicut (present day Kozhikode) in North Kerala. Portuguese then went to set up there trade centre in India to carry out import-export of goods like spices, cotton, silk and other valuables to Europe. Portuguese expand there reach on the west coast and slowly establish their rule via Portuguese East India Company. Over the span of next 100 years they rise to become rulers in many parts of the west coast, majorly in Goa, Daman, Kerala and others.

Other troops from Europe continue their expeditions to India. French majorly occupying the east coast of India in Pondicherry, Kolkata and other places in Tamil Nadu. Dutch slowly reach the fate of demise. Other troops stop any further expeditions as Portuguese and French rise their power in India.

For over 100 years, during the 16th century Portuguese have their monopoly on the West Coast of India,while the French seem to enjoy the control on East Coast of India. Britishers were trying hard to find a spot.

For several years in the late 1500s, British carry out multiple tours to India so that they can find a breakthrough via any means, unfortunately this doesn’t happen until the early 1600s when after several trips they seem to find a place they can call home.

In 1612, under the command of Thomas Beast, British were able to win over Portuguese in the Battle of Suvali, a small beach located near Surat, Gujarat on the shores of the Gulf of Khambhat. Red Dragon was the ship used by British. Details of the war don’t seem to be available in concrete details, however it has been established that once the British were able to successfully win the battle, they gained good rapport in the court of Mughal Empire.

Emperor Jahangir who was then ruling in the centre, gave British the permission to set up a trading company, which later came to be known as British East India Company. They slowly rose in trading and commerce in Surat in the next couple years. They happen to have a spot in the Surat Fort for running their court hearings. Eventually The company established trading posts in Surat (1619), Madras (1639), Bombay (1668), and Calcutta (1690).

With the rise of Bombay (present day Mumbai) and favorable conditions for large ships, British make Mumbai as their base in the years to come.

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