New traders and towns emerged mainly in the 16th and the 17 century when the British, Dutch and French companies began to expand trade in the East. The British captured sea trade, commerce and political power and Indians became their agents. Bombay, Calcutta and Madras became the prime centres of trade. The craft production in cities like Calcutta was organized by European companies where the crafts persons were not free to sell their own crafts and textiles. Whereas in Thanjavur, the craftspersons were independent and were free to sell their own products. Towns grew around temples because the temple towns represented a significant pattern of urbanization.