Formation of East India Company

The oldest among all the similarly formed European East India Companies, the East India Company was granted an English Royal Charter, under the name “Governor and Company of Merchants of London Trading into the East Indies” by Queen Elizabeth-I on 31 December 1600. It was a joint stock company and was also known as John Company. The name “Company Bahadur” in India echoed its authority.

When the company was founded the cradle of commercial activities had already been removed from Mediterranean to Atlantics by Vasco Da Gama et al. 1603, Elizabeth I died and James I succeeded this last Tudor monarch of England and Ireland. During his time, William Hawkins was sent to the Court of Great Mughal Jahangir.

  • William Hawkins was the first Englishman ever received by the Emperor of India as the official representative of the King of England.
  • William Hawkins obtained first distinct acknowledgement of the rights of British Commerce in India.
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