Monday, December 27, 2010

French East India Company

French India is a general name for the French possession in India . These included Pondichery  (now Ponduchery), Karikal and Yanaon (now Yanam) on the Coromandel Coast, Mahe on the malabar Coast, and Chandannagar in Bengal . In addition there were lodges located at Machilipatnam, Kozhikode and Surat, but they were merely nominal remanants of French factories. 
The total area amounted to 526 km sq. ( 203 sq. miles),of which 113 sq. miles belonged to the territory of Pondichery. In 1948 the total population amounted to 362,000.     
The first French expedition to India is believed to have taken place in the reign of Francois I , when two ships were fitted out by some merchants of Rouen to trade to trade in Eastern seas, they sailed from Le Havre and were never afterwards heard of. In 1604, a company was granted letters parent by Henry IV, but the project failed. Fresh letters patent r