Art and Politics: British Patronage in Delhi (1803–1857)
The British established their foothold in India after Sir Thomas Roe, the English diplomat, obtained permission to trade for the English East India Company from the Mughal emperor Jehangir (1605–1627). By end of the seventeenth century, the company had expanded its trading operations in the major coastal cities of India. The gradual weakening of the Mughal Empire in the eighteenth century gave the East India Company a further opportunity to expand its power and maintain its own private army. In 1765, the Mughal emperor Shah Alam II (1759–1806) was forced to give the Grant of the Dīwānī of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa to the East India Company. However, it was in 1803 that the company became a formidable power when Shah Alam II accepted the Company’s authority in exchange for protection and maintenance. The British Residency at Delhi was established.
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