Arrival of John Mildenhall in India

British East India Company

In 1498, the Portuguese Vasco Da Gama arrived to the Coast of Malabar via the sea route. A century later, in 1599, the first British John Mildenhall came to India via land route and styled himself as the ambassador of the East India Company. But he was actually sent by the company to sell its goods in the eastern Mediterranean. He deceived his hirers and fled to Persia; and from there he came to India where he was later arrested with the help of the Ajmer Governors, handed over to company people but later released. He again came to India later and reached the court of Mughal Emperor Akbar and had discussions with him.

But since, John Mildenhall was not sponsored by the east India Company, his achievement is considered low profile. It was William Hawkins who later came in the court of Jahangir and declared all his dealings null and void.

  • John Mildenhall is the first Englishman whose burial is recorded in India at Agra.
  • John Mildenhall was able to interview with the Mughal emperor Akbar.

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