Early travels in India, 1583-1619
Mirza Firuz Shah
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William Foster (1863-1951)
Publisher and Place:
Humphrey Milford, London
Royal Mughal Ref:
Early Travels In India (1583-1619)
William Finch's visit to Ayodhya in 1608 has been described on page 176 of this book.
William Finch (died 1613) was an English merchant in the service of the East India Company (EIC).
A native of London, Finch was agent to an expedition sent by the EIC, under Captains Hawkins and Keeling, in 1607 to treat with the Great Mogul. Hawkins and Finch landed at Surat on 24 August 1608. They were violently opposed by the Portuguese. Finch, however, obtained permission from the governor of Cambay to dispose of the goods in their vessels. Incited by the Portuguese, who seized two of the English ships, the natives refused to have dealings with the company's representatives.
During these squabbles, Finch fell ill, and Hawkins, proceeding to Agra alone, obtained favourable notice from the Emperor Jehangir. Finch recovered, and joined Hawkins at Agra on 14 April 1610. The two remained at the Mughal court for about a year and a half, Finch refusing tempting offers to attach himself permanently to the service of Jehangir. Hawkins returned to England, but Finch delayed his departure in order to make further explorations, visiting Byana and Lahore among other places.
In 1612, the Mughal emperor confirmed and extended the privileges he had promised to Finch and Hawkins, and the East India Company in that year set up their first little factory at Surat. He wrote many things about Burhanpur, a town in Madhya Pradesh.
Since each of the narratives has its own introduction, little need he said here by way of preliminary. It may perhaps be pointed out that at the time (1584) when the earliest of our travellers reached the court of Akbar, the Mughal Empire in India had not yet reached its si:.n:tiet.h anniversary. It was in 1525 that Babur, then King of Kabul, crushed at Panipat the Afghan dynasty which had ruled at New Delhi during the preceding three-quarters of a century.
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