1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Child, Sir John

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CHILD, SIR JOHN (d. 1690), governor of Bombay, and in fact if not in name the first governor-general of the British settlements in India, was born in London. He was sent as a little boy to his uncle, the chief of the factory at Rajapur; and in 1682 was appointed chief of the East India Company’s affairs at Surat and Bombay, while at the same time his brother, Sir Josiah Child (q.v.), was governor of the company at home. The two brothers showed themselves strong men and guided the affairs of the company through the period of struggle between the Moguls and Mahrattas. They have been credited by history with the change from unarmed to armed trade on the part of the company; but as a matter of fact both of them were loth to quarrel with the Mogul. War broke out with Aurangzeb in 1689, but in the following year Child had to sue for peace, one of the conditions being that he should be expelled from India. He escaped this expulsion by his death in 1690.