East India Company Factories

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17th century Factories

Listed below are some of the early trading posts set up by the East India Company. The Company initially concentrated on the East Indies spice trade but was vigorously opposed by the Dutch. The Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 saw the cessation of all Dutch activities in the Indian subcontinent and all English activities in the East Indies. See HEIC Early Voyages for details of the expeditions to these trading posts.


The first trading post set up in 1603 at Banten, Java by James Lancaster. Initially the factories on the Coromandel Coast reported to Bantam. The factory was attacked by the Dutch in 1682 and closed in 1683.


Pulau Tidore in the Moluccas. Founded 1604.


Machilipatnam on the Coromandel Coast. The first trading post on the subcontinent was founded in 1611.


Surat in Gujerat. Sir Thomas Roe obtained permission from Emperor Jahangir to found a factory in 1612.


Sambas on the northwest Borneo coast founded in 1614.


Tiku West Sumatra founded in 1615.


Burhanpore in Bengal founded in 1616.


Pulau Run, Banda Islands, Indonesia. Founded 1616.


Calicut on the Malabar Coast. Founded in 1616.


After an unsuccessful mission by William Hawkins, Sir Thomas Roe obtained permission to trade from Agra in 1618.


Patna in Bihar. A factory was established in 1620 to procure silk and cotton textiles. It later became a source of saltpetre.


Armegon (Blackwood Harbour) on the Coromandel Coast. Factory founded in 1626. Modern town is Durgarajupatnam.


Pipili, Orissa. Permission granted in 1634 to found a factory.


Francis Day, the Chief of the Armegon factory, obtained a grant from the local ruler to control a strip of coast at the village of Madraspatnam in 1639. The construction of Fort St George began in 1640.


Balasore, Orissa. In 1642 Gabriel Boughton, a surgeon, cured the daughter of Emperor Shah Jehan. As a reward he was given permission to trade at Balasore and Hooghly. The latter was resisted by the Portuguese and did become a factory until 1676.


Cossimbazar in West Bengal. Factory founded in 1658.


Aceh in North Sumatra. After trading there since 1602, a trading post was founded in 1659.


Dacca in East Bengal now Bangladesh. Trading post established 1666.


Bombay passed to the British with the dowry of Catherine of Braganza in 1661. The East India Company leased the territory for £10 per annum in 1668.


Hooghly, West Bengal. Originally founded by the Portuguese, the English factory was started in 1676.


Bencoolen now Bengkulu on the west coast of Sumatra. The British established a factory in 1685 after losing Bantam to the Dutch.


Job Charnock favoured the village of Sutanuti as a trading post. After the difficulties with the Nawab of Bengal had been resolved, an imperial grant was made in 1690 for the British to establish a factory at the location which became Calcutta.

External links


Historical books online

  • Letters Received by the East India Company from Its Servants in the East: transcribed from India Office Records Archive.org
Volume 1 1602-1613 1896 Volume 2 1613-1615 1897 Volume 3 1615 1899 Volume 4 1616 1900 Volume 5 1617 January to June 1901 Volume 6, 1617 July-December 1902
  • The Embassy of Sir Thomas Roe to the Court of the Great Mogul, 1615-1619, as narrated in his journal and correspondence. Edited by William Foster 1899 Volume I, Volume II Archive.org
  • The English Factories in India: A Calendar of Documents in the India Office, British Museum and Public Records Office by William Foster Archive.org
1618-1621 1906 1622-1623 1908 1624-1629 1909 1630-1633 1910 1634-1636 1911 1637-41 1912 1642-45 1913 1646-1650 1914 1651-1654 1915 1655-1660 1921 1661-1664 1923. Volume 12 1665-1667, Archive.org mirror version DLI 1925 and Volume 13 1668-1669, Archive.org version DLI although the author is incorrectly catalogued.
The English Factories in India ... New series by Sir Charles Fawcett. vol. 1. The Western Presidency, 1670-1677. 1936. vol. 2. The Eastern Coast and Bengal, 1670-1677. 1952. vol. 3. Bombay, Surat and Malabar Coast 1678-1684. 1954. vol. 4. The Eastern Coast and Bay of Bengal 1678-1684. 1955. Vol I Archive.org version, DLI; Vol III Archive.org version, DLI; Vol IV Archive.org version, DLI.