170 EARLY EUROPEAN SETTLEMENTS. and the ' London ' and the ' English ' Companies were finally amalgamated in 1 709, under the style of ' The United Company of Merchants of England trading to the East Indies.' The First Voyages of the London Company. — The Indian Archipelago was the destination of the first English ships that penetrated into Eastern seas. Captain Lancaster, in the pioneer voyage of the Company (1602), established commercial relations with the King of Achin, and founded a factory, or ' house of trade,' at Bantam. In the following years, cargoes of pepper and rich spices were brought back from Sumatra and the Moluccas, Banda, Amboyna, and Bantam. The jealous Portuguese were still supreme along the western coast of India, and resisted English intrusion by force of arms. In 161 1, Sir Henry Middleton resolutely took on board a cargo of Indun goods at Cambay in the teeth of Portuguese opposition. In 1615 occurred the famous sea-fight of Swally, near the mouth of the Tapti river off the Bombay coast, in which Captain Best four times beat back an overwhelming force of Portuguese ships, and for ever inspired the minds of the natives with respect for English bravery. In the same year, Sir Thomas Roe, sent out by King James I. as ambassador to the court of the Great Mughal (the Emperor Jahangfr), succeeded in obtaining favour- able concessions for English trade. The Massacre of Amboyna, 1623. — The Dutch in the Spice Islands proved more dangerous rivals to the English than the Portuguese in India had done. The massacre of Amboyna, which made so deep an impression on the English mind, marked the climax of the Dutch hatred to us in the Eastern seas. After long and bitter recriminations, the Dutch seized our Captain Towerson at Arnboyna, with 9 Englishmen, 9 Japanese, and 1 Portuguese sailor, in February 1623. They tortured the prisoners at their trial, and found them guilty of a conspiracy to surprise the garrison. The victims were executed in the heat of passion, and their torture and judicial murder led to an outburst of indignation in England. Ultimately, commis- sioners were appointed to adjust the claims of the Dutch and English nations; and the Dutch had to pay a sum of £3615 as satisfaction to the heirs of the servants of the English Company
Page:A Brief History of the Indian Peoples.djvu/174
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