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INTRODUCTION:
Vasco-da-Gama was the first European sailor to reach India in May 1498. The discovery of India was in quest of wonderful spices and tea that the Europeans had fallen in love with. With India being discovered, the Portuguese were the first European nation to gain concessions in India. They were followed by the British and the French. Until their rivals arrived, the Portuguese held monopoly of trade between Europe and India. Goa, Div, Daman, Salsette and Bombay were the main colonies of the Portuguese. The Dutch and the English trading companies arrived in India in the earlier part of 17th century. Jalal-ud-Din Akbar was the Mogul Emperor at that time. Initial difficulties faced by earlier settlers included local Emperors, businessmen and wholesale traders, who had monopoly over the entire spice trade market. Once the settlers were granted permissions by few local Nawabs, the English East India Company (EIC) took firm root and started expanding gradually all over India. They forged alliances with local authorities, wholesale merchants and eventually established and became the rulers of the country. The initial settlements of the EIC were made at Masulipatam, Golkonda in southern India in 1611, followed by a factory at Surat in 1612 and rapid succession at Agra, Ahmadabad and Broach. By 1641, Masulipatam was superseded by Fort St George, which became the Company headquarters on the Cormandel coast, later to be called Madras Presidency. The chief factor in charge of each Company headquarters was called the President, hence the Presidencies. The EIC eventually established three Presidencies viz. Madras, Bombay and Bengal.

Madras, also known as Fort St George, was founded in 1640. It was the first territorial acquired by East India Company and it was the oldest among all the three presidencies (Madras, Bombay and Bengal). Madras Presidency was also known as Madraspatan or Chinapatan. The company obtained a small piece of land just outside the walls of Fort St George and started building a mint on March 1, 1640.


                
 
 
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