Britian in South East Asia


First British pilot to sail via the Cape of Good Hope


British merchants are granted a Royal charter by Queen Elizabeth


The East Indian Trading Company was established with 125 shareholders and £72,000 of capital.

Five vessels, led by James Lancaster, left Woolwich for the Spice Islands


with the intention to trade iron, lead, and British broadcloth for spices. The British East India Company made little impression as the Dutch controlled most of the trade.

Bristol floods


2,000 people drowned around the Severn Estuary, with 200 square miles of farmland inundated. Long blamed on a storm surge, it is now suspected that the devastation was caused by a tsunami.

Ships that belonged to the company arrived at Surat, India, and the British set up the first “Factory”


or trading post, in the city of Machilipatnam

The East India Company acquires its first territory in India, Bombay.


First treaty with Mughal Emperor


Sir Thomas Roe was instructed by James 1 to arrange a commercial treaty with Emperor Nurudin Salim Jahangir. This gave The Company exclusive rights to reside and build factories around Surat in exchange for rare commodities from Europe. This provided a secure base for operations to wage trade wars with Portuguese and Dutch governments and merchants.

On the clove island of Amboina, the Dutch torture and execute English and Japanese traders.


Dutch stole India


The Dutch saw weakness in the Indian territories, and took their opportunity to seize control.

The Company builds a trading centre at Madras


The Royal Merchant sinks


London weavers attack East India House


English weavers, in fear of losing business, attack the East India House in London, England.

Trade with China


The Company receives Chinese permission to trade from Guangzhou (Canton) importing silk, tea and porcelain.

The company had established many trading posts


in Goa, Chittagong, Bombay, Madras, and three small villages in the east of India called Sutanuti, Gobindapur and Kalikata which were renamed Calcutta. Major trading posts became walled forts. Fort Williams in Calcutta remained the headquarters of the Eastern Command of the Indian Army.

The Company builds trading centres in Calcutta


The Great Storm of 1703


The Great Storm of 1703 was described as the worst natural disaster ever to hit southern Britain. Between 8,000 and 15,000 lives were lost and the lead roofing was blown off Westminster Abbey.