Balasore, situated on the mouth of the Hougli River in the Bay of Bengal, was a well-known port. It had played host to the first European trading posts. The British established a base there in 1633, the French in 1674 and the Danes in 1676. The British fort was later renamed Fort William in honour of King William III. The VOC also had a trading post and a fort in Balasore. The Dutch established a presence here in 1676 on leaving Pipely. Balasore fell under the aegis of the Directorate of Bengal and functioned as a key link between the VOC trading posts in Bengal and those in Coromandel. Between 1700 and 1789 the settlement played host annually to a surgeon, and sometimes to a bookkeeper.