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From Cassell's Illustrated History of India, Volume I

East India Company ships leaving Woolwich
The First Fleet of the East India Company leaving Woolwich in 1601.

View of Benares
18th-century Madras from the sea

View in CalcuttaIMAGE 1: View of Benares.

IMAGE 2: Woman is rowed
ashore at Madras.

IMAGE 3: View in Calcutta.

The book records that "It was not until the great Sir Francis Drake captured five large Portuguese caravels, laden with the rich products of India . . . that any anxiety was manifested by the English to participate in the riches of the East; and on the departure of the first Dutch expedition in 1595, under Cornelius Hootman, their national pride and rivalry were thoroughly roused. In one of those five caravels taken at the Azores, named the St. Philip, there were found many papers and documents, from which the English fully learned the vast value of Indian merchandise, and also the method of trading in the Eastern world. Accordingly a company was suggested for that purpose in September 1599 . . . "

BELOW: Chandni Chowk, Delhi.

Chandni Chowk, Delhi

Indian weaponsSikh soldier
Indian weapons of the late 18th century and a Sikh soldier with his firearm.