Britishers came to India as traders in 1600. They were attracted by stories of India. India was considered as “sone ki chidiya”. It depicts the wealth of India. So, the East India Company under the Charter from Queen Elizabeth in December 1600 established its trading centres in India. They vested the power to manage the company in the hands of the Governor along with 24 members. Initially, 15 years were granted and given authority to keep a naval force for its security.
The first settlement of the East India Company was at Surat as Emperor Jehanger granted land for its establishment. Thereafter, they established at Masulipatnam, Madras in 1639 and at Hariharpur in Mahanadi Delta in 1690. With the passage of time, Factories at Bombay, Madras and Calcutta became the Chief Settlements of the Company.
During that time, Indian rulers were in power and Britishers were supposed to follow the law of the place. But they get the permission of local kings to retain their own laws.
After the Charter of 1726, Mayor’s Courts were established at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras and they also introduced English law into these presidencies.
When Emperor Aurangzeb died, India became a battlefield of rivals. The East India Company took advantage of this situation. Their victory in the battle of Plassey in 1757 against the Nawab of Bengal – Sirajuddaula laid the foundation of the British Empire in India.