1st – Honourable East India Company’s Marine STAR – 1625

Flag_of_the_British_East_India_Company_(1707).svg

Flag of the Honourable East India Company (striking similar to that of the United States).

Little is known about the first STAR in our list, a vessel of the Honourable East India Company’s Marine.  Portugese control over trade in the East Indies, established by Vasco da Gama in the 16th century, was challenged by the British and Dutch early in the 17th century.  The Honourable East India Company, established in 1600, formed its own navy in 1612, called The Bombay Marine after 1686, from which the present Indian Navy claims descent.

The Dutch-Portugese War of 1602-1663 was a commercial conflict between the Portugese and the Dutch with English cooperation for control of the East Indian trade.  Four Dutch & four British company vessels, including STAR, engaged eight Portugese galleons and forty galleys in the Persian Gulf between 1 & 14 February, 1625.  The action was a strategic victory for the Portugese since they regained control of the Persian Gulf but a tactical victory for the allies since they inflicted far more casualties than they suffered.  STAR had four killed in the action.