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Kolkata's recorded history began in 1690 with the arrival of the English East India Company, which was consolidating its trade business in Bengal.Job Charnock, an administrator who worked for the company, was formerly credited as the founder of the city; The area occupied by the present-day city encompassed three villages: Kalikata, Gobindapur, and Sutanuti.Under the company rule, and later under the British Raj, Calcutta served as the capital of British-held territories in India until 1911, when its perceived geographical disadvantages, combined with growing nationalism in Bengal, led to a shift of the capital to New Delhi.

Richard Wellesley, Governor-General of the Presidency of Fort William between 17, was largely responsible for the development of the city and its public architecture.Kalikata was a fishing village; Sutanuti was a riverside weavers' village.They were part of an estate belonging to the Mughal emperor; the jagirdari (a land grant bestowed by a king on his noblemen) taxation rights to the villages were held by the Sabarna Roy Choudhury family of landowners, or zamindars.Calcutta continued to be a centre for revolutionary organisations associated with the Indian independence movement.The city and its port were bombed several times by the Japanese between 19, during World War II.

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