The Goan community of London
|The priest and the company|
First Englishman in Goa
Following Spain's invasion of Portugal in 1580, relations with England worsened. In 1584, Spain and England were at war. The Spanish king, Phillip II, attempted to invade England in 1588, but his great armada was defeated.
Thomas Stephens produced the first Konkani grammar book in Latin. Through his influence one of the first printing presses in South Asia was built at Goa. His letters to his family in England were one of the inspirations for the formation of the English East India Company in 1600.
Portugal's independence from Spain after 1640 led to the re-establishment of Anglo-Portuguese relations.
The 1642 Convention of Goa and the Anglo-Portuguese Treaty let the English trade at all Portuguese bases around the world except for Macao.
Between 1700 and 1784 about 60 East India Company ships are known to have called at Goa. Ships' journals show that many East India Company captains spent Christmas in Goa.
As well as picking up fresh water from Fort Aguada, Goa also provided Arrack/Urrak alcohol, firewood and meat, in the form of live 'hogs and bullocks'. The last two meats were rare in Moslem and Hindu areas under British influence.
Sometimes the East India Company ships would take on Goan and other Asian seaman known as Lascars for the return voyages.
Lascar is a Persian word, and entered English from the Portuguese word Lascarim, meaning a non-European seaman.
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