The British presence in India dates back to the early part of the seventeenth century . On 31 Dec 1600, Elizabeth , the then monarch of the United Kingdom, acceded to the demand of a large body of merchants that a Royal charter be given to a new trading company. " The Governor and Company of Merchants of London. Trading into the East Indies". Between 1601-13, merchants of the East India Company took twelve voyages to India , and in 1609 William Hawkins arrived at the court of Jahangir to seek permission to establish a British presence in India,Hawkins was rebuffed by Jahangir, But Sir Thomas Roe, presented himself before the Mughal Emperor in 1617, was rather more successful. Two tears later, Roe gained Jahangir's prmission to build a British factory in Surat, and in 1639, this was followed by the founding of Fort St. George (Madras). Despite some set backs, such as the company's utter humilitarian at the hands of the Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb with whom the Company went to war between 1688-91, the company never really looked back.