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Sources from the British Library, London

Part 4: Fort St George (Madras), 1669-1758

Here we focus on further early material covering the activities of the factory at Fort St George (Madras), which dominated the Coromandel coast and the trade with China, Formosa and Siam. Whilst the Siamese trade was lost by 1688, the foundations for the success of the Madras entrepôt were laid by Thomas Pitt, President at Madras from 1698 to 1709. It had replaced Bantam in 1682 as the headquarters of the eastern trade and over the next century it grew into an important colonial city and major international port. The three principal commodities for the Company were tea, silk textiles and inexpensive porcelain. Luxury items were left to the private trade of officials, Company servants and ships’ officers.

In the mid-eighteenth century colonial rivalries with the French became a major consideration for the East India Company in this region.  Fort St George was briefly lost to the French in 1746, but restored to Britain by the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1749.

We include:

  • Letters received and outgoing correspondence on all matters of Company business, c1669-1758.
  • Correspondence with the Nawab of Golconda, 1669-1674, and with Native Princes and their officials, 1703-1705.
  • Diary and Letter Book of Richard Mohun, 1676-1677.
  • Proceedings in the Court of Judicature, 1678, 1693-1694.
Fort St. George (Madras)

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