British : The French

Exact Match
  Indus Valley
  Mauryan Era
  Post Mauryan
  Kushana Era
  Golden Age
  Post Gupta

  Arab Invasion
  South India
  Prithviraj Era
  Delhi Sultunate
  Mughal Period
  Maratha Era
  British Period

  Subhash & INA

East India Company | French | Plassey | Anglo-French | Dupleix | Bengal | Buxar | Warren Hastings | South | Permanent Settlement | Tipu | 18th Century | Anarchy | Anglo-Maratha | Revolts | Sanyasi Vidroh | Others Revolts
The only other European traders of importance were the French. Their company was founded by Colbert in 1664 but it was so closely tied to the state that its fortunes rose and fell with the careers of ministers and turns of politics. It was not until after 1720, with Dumas at Pondicherry and Dupleix at Chandernagar, that its fortunes revived rapidly.

The Danes had settlements at Tranquebar, but they were more important for the missionary activities carried on there than for commerce. This was, perhaps, the first perceptible cultural impingement of the Protestant west on India. It gave to the south of India the singularly attractive figure of Frederick Christian Swartz but otherwise made so little impression that few Indians were probably even aware of it.

The French, Dutch, Portuguese or English merchants weren't the only Europeans whom India knew at that time. There was a sprinkling of them throughout the country in various guises. There were the travellers who came on various occasions. Some took service in the country as did the greatest of them, Francois Bernier, with the Mughal 'Omrah' Danishmand Khan. Some practised their professions like the jeweller Travernier who has left us an expert's description of the Peacock throne, or Dr Gemelli-Carreri who has given a classic description of Aurangzeb in later life. Some were craftsmen like Austin of Bordeaux who was responsible for the inlaid work on the throne portico at Delhi, or Geronimo Verroneo who was connected with the Taj.

The Mughals welcomed foreign artists and craftsmen as they welcomed foreign poets, as tending to enhance their glory. Then there were the adventurers pure and simple. The type of these was the Venetian Niccolao Manucci who came to India at the age of sixteen. He began a colourful career as an artilleryman with Dara Shekoh; on his defeat took up doctoring and continued as a quack till he died in the south in the eighteenth century, leaving lengthy memoirs full of amusing and unreliable anecdotes.

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