Danish East India Company

The British, French, Dutch and the Portuguese had huge impact on India, not only for a trade point of view but also through military expeditions and conquest. In comparison, The Danish in India did not have the same effect or influence as its European counterparts though the Danish did rule certain parts for over 225 years. Their main centres were in Tranquebar in present day Tamil Nadu, Serampore in West Bengal and the Nicobar Islands which is now a part of India’s union territories. Due to the growing influence of the East India Company and The VOC of its trade with the east and specially with India, the Danish Monarch King Christian IV showed interest in having trade relations with the East.

In 1615, two Dutch merchants, Jan de Willem of Amsterdam and Herman Rosenkrantz of Rotterdam, brought before King Christian IV a proposal for the foundation of a Danish trading company that might compete with the EIC and VOC, and in the process enrich both king and shareholders. The king was very receptive to the proposal to mark the role of Denmark-Norway as a major player in contemporary European trade and politics.

On March 17. 1616 King Christian IV issued a charter giving monopoly right to the Danish East India company to carry out trade in the east for a period of 12 years. The Danish East India Company is also director, Robert Crappe had already left in a scouting vessel named Oresund where he encountered the Portuguese off the Karaikkal coast where the Portuguese sunk the ship and most of the crew were taken prisoners. But Crappe and 13 of his crew members escaped and when they came ashore were captured by Indians. They were taken to the Nayaks of Tanjore who became interested in the trade propositions laid down by Crappe . Crappe negotiated with the Nayaks of Tanjore and the resulting treaty ensured them the village of Tranquebar and the right to construct the future fort of Dansborg.

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