Calicut is of considerable antiquity; and about the 7th century it had its population largely increased by the immigration of the Moplahs, a fanatical race of Mahommedans from Arabia, who entered enthusiastically into commercial life.
In 1782 the troops of Hyder were driven from Calicut by the British; but in 1788 it was taken and destroyed by his son Tippoo, who carried off the inhabitants to Beypur and treated them with great cruelty.
In the latter part of 1790 the country was occupied by the British; and under the treaty concluded in 1792, whereby Tippoo was deprived of half his dominions, Calicut fell to the British.
As the administrative headquarters of the district, Calicut maintains its historical importance.
When European adventurers found the way to India, cotton and silk always formed part of the rich cargoes that they brought home, and the early settlers were always careful to fix their abode amid a weaving population, at Surat, Calicut, Masulipatam or Hugli.