The Indonesia Historic Collections Pre Colonial Era(Before 1586)

Pre-Dutch colonial era

Early history

Indian scholars have written about Dwipantara or Dwipa Javanese Hindu kingdom in Java and Sumatra around 200 BC. Initial physical evidence that the date is from the 5th century the two kingdoms patterned Hinduism: Kingdom of West Java Tarumanagara master and the Kingdom of Kutai in coastal Mahakam River, Kalimantan. In 425 Buddhism reached the area.

When Europe entered the Renaissance, the archipelago has had inherited thousands of years old civilizations with the two great kingdoms of Sriwijaya in Sumatra and Majapahit in Java, plus dozens of small kingdoms which often becomes a more powerful neighbor vazal or connected to each other in a kind of bond trading ( such as in Maluku).

Hindu-Buddhist kingdom
History of Nusantara in the era of Hindu-Buddhist kingdom
Inscription of King Purnawarman monuments of Taruma

In the 4th century until the 7th century in the region of West Java, there are Hindu-Buddhist kingdom that is patterned Tarumanagara kingdom, followed by the Sundanese kingdom until the 16th century. During the 7th century until the 14th century, Buddhist kingdom of Srivijaya in Sumatra growing rapidly. Explorers Chinese I Ching visited the capital of Palembang around the year 670. At the height of glory, the Srivijaya controlled as far as West Java and the Malay Peninsula. The 14th century also witnessed the rise of a Hindu kingdom in East Java, Majapahit. Majapahit Patih between the years 1331 to 1364, Gajah Mada managed to obtain power over the territory that is now mostly Indonesia and almost all the Malay Peninsula. The legacy of the Gajah Mada, including codification of law and in Javanese culture, as seen in the epic Rama

400: Indian Immigrants to the Hindu king of the kingdom of Kutai, forming the first Hindu kingdoms in the archipelago. Yupa and Lesong Stone Inscription by King Mulawarman mark era of history.
 525: Tribe Malays who have got the influence of India introduced the system of the kingdom to the Austronesian peoples in the valley of the river Tabalong Maanyan tribes and hill tribes so that the establishment of the Kingdom Tanjungpuri / Nan Sarunai kingdom centered in the Cape.
 600: Some Proto Maanyan Dayak tribes migrated to Madagascar.
 700: Effect of the kingdom of Srivijaya Malay and marked the discovery of the Buddha statue and a stone inscribed alphabet Dipamkara Pallawa “siddha” from the 7th century in the Amas river, South Kalimantan.
 745: Arrival of Islam in the archipelago was first marked in the invention Batu Nisan Sandai Sandai, Ketapang territory of the Kingdom Tanjungpura bertarikh 127 Hijri (745 AD).
 1076: Kingdom of Bulungan Bulungan centered in the region until the year 1156.
 1156: Kingdom Centre Bulungan move to the coast, in the Kayan River area until 1216.
 1222: The establishment of the Kingdom of Singhasari, one is the Kingdom Bakulapura province in southwestern Borneo.
 1292: Queen The Return Nata Pali I ruled the Kingdom of Hedgehog, West Kalimantan.
 1293: The establishment of the Kingdom of Majapahit in the long run influence covers the whole of Borneo.
 1300: Supreme Deity Aji Batara Sakti Kukar I became King until the year 1325. He established his kingdom at the Stone Edge is now called the Kutai Lama.
 1318: Odorico da Pordenone visited an Italian explorer of Borneo.
 1325: Aji Batara Supreme Majesty became King Nira Kukar II until the year 1360.
 1340: Patih Gumantar Mempawah ruled in the kingdom.
 1360: Emperor Sultan Aji Kukar III became King until the year 1420. Even though the king had not embraced Islam, from his title suggests is the emergence of Islamic influence.
 1362: Nan Sarunai Usak Java, repeated attacks by Marajampahit (Majapahit) against the Kingdom of Nan Sarunai / Royal Kuripan led away to the hill tribe hill tribe Maanyan Meratus and withdrew to the area occupied by the tribe Lawangan.
 1365: Nagarakretagama mpu Prapanca composed by mentioning the countries in Nusa Tanjungnagara which is under the protection of Majapahit under the duke of Gajah Mada countries Kapuas, Katingan, Sampit, City of Linga, the City Waringin, Sambas, Lawai, Kadandangan, Landa, Samadang , Tirem, sobbed, Barune, Kalka, Saludung, Solot, Sand, Barito, Sawaku, Tabalong, Cape Kutei and Tanjungpura Malano on the island. [5]
[Edit] Age of Early Islamic Empire
 1383: The title of Awang Alak Betatar Aji became Sultan of Brunei I through the year 1402.
 1385: Dara Juanti, King Sintang to-9 proposed by the duke of Logender from Majapahit.
 1387: Empire State was founded by Ampu Jatmika Dipa from Keling (South India), but according to Veerbek (1889:10) Keling is Majapahit in the southwest province of Kadiri.
 1394: Kingdom of Tidung Pimping centered in the west and the Yellow Land until the year 1557
 1400: Baddit Dipattung, King Berau I with the central government in Lati River, Powder Mountain, Berau.
 1405: King of Puni from western Borneo arrived in China and requested that the area to send tribute to China is no longer to Java. This king died in China. Until the year 1425 Puni relationship with China began to rare. [6]
 1407: Settlement Hanafi Muslim Hui Chinese first established in Sambas. [7]
 1408: Pateh Berbai II became the Sultan of Brunei until the year 1425.
 1420: Aji King Mandarsyah Kukar IV became King until the year 1475. Islam arrived in the Kutai during his reign was brought by Mr. parangan riding.
 1425: Sharif Ali, a son of Sultan of Brunei who came from Mecca III was crowned as the Sultan of Brunei until the year 1432.
 1429: Bhre Tanjungpura held by Manggalawardhani Dyah Suragharini [= hold dear Princess Bubble?] Daughter of Bhre Tumapel II (= brother Suhita) power until the year 1464.
 1431: The city became the center of the Kingdom Tanjungpura Sukadana until the year 1724 since the government Tunjung Coral Prince (1431-1450).
 1432: Duke Agong IV becomes Sultan of Brunei until the year 1485.
 1441: A Muslim’s death with tombstones of andesitic rocks found in the Sacred Seven, District Ketapang Arab writing bertarikh year 1363 Saka or 1441 AD Tombstone shapes derived from the last century Majapahit.
 1472: title of Prince Raden Ismahayana Dipati Old Cape Coral became King of Hedgehogs until 1542.
 1475: The establishment of the Sultanate of Borneo Demak sphere of influence reaches as Tanjungpura, Lawai and Banjarmasin.Aji Tumenggung Bayabaya Prince was crowned King of Paser Kukar V until the year 1545.
 1478: Maharaja titled Raden Breech Sekar Sari Kaburungan became King of Daha State based on the Nagara. Islam came during his reign, because his son married a daughter of Sunan Giri.
 1485: Sultan Bolkiah of Brunei becomes V until the year 1524.
[Edit] Coming of Age of Early Europeans
 1504: Between the years 1504 to 1507, Ludovico He Varthema an Italian explorer visiting Borneo. [8]
 1516: Princess Paser Petung became ruler until 1567. Paser the first ruler of this comes from Kuripan (State Daha).
 1518: Lorenzo de Gomez visited the island of Borneo [9]
 1519: Prince and Duke in Lawai Tanjungpura subject to Pati Unus.
 1520: Magalhaens visiting Borneo. [10] Prince of Indian descent founded the Empire State Daha Sultanate Banjarmasin Banjar and became the first king who holds the Sultan. [11]
 1524: Abdul Kahar VI became Sultan of Brunei until the year 1530.
 1526: On September 24 Suriansyah, I embraced Islam Sultan Banjar is celebrated as the Day Banjarmasin City. The newly established Kingdom of escape from the Empire State for the support of the Sultanate of Demak Daha. [11]
 1530: The relationship of friendship and Brunei Portuguese [12]
 1533: Saiful Rizal became the Sultan of Brunei VII until the year 1581.
 1538: Kingdom of Tanjungpura led by Panembahan Kelang (1538-1550)
 1545: Aji King of Crown Majesty Nature Kukar VI became King until the year 1610, the first ruler who embraced Islam Kutai.
 1546: King Demak III Sultan Trenggana (Ka Tung lo) attacked the eastern island of Java. [13] Effect of dominion to Borneo. He received tributes from Sutan Banjarmasin.
 1550: Sultan Rahmatullah became Banjar II until the year 1570. After the collapse of Demak, New York no longer send a tribute to the government in Java.
 1557: Degree Rasyd Amiril Datoe Radja Laoet Tidung ruled the kingdom until the year 1571 located in the Tarakan Pamusian East region.
 1567: Aji Mas Indra became the ruler Paser regent until 1607.
 1570: Sultan Banjar Hidayatullah I to III to the year 1595. In his administration, Mataram attack Banjarmasin and charming Crown Prince Ratu Bagus in Tuban.
 1571: Amiril Pengiran Tidung Dipati I served the King until the year 1613.
 1581: Shah became Sultan of Brunei Brunei VIII until the year 1582.
 1582: Muhammad Hasan became the Sultan of Brunei IX until year 1598.

4th Century

The Tarumanagara inscriptions of the 4th century AD are the earliest evidence of Hindu influence in Java.

The Tarumanagara inscriptions of the 4th century AD are the earliest evidence of Hindu influence in Java

The earliest recorded mention of Jakarta is as a port of origin that can be traced to a Hindu settlement as early as the 4th century.

The Jakarta area was part of the fourth century Indianized kingdom of Tarumanagara


Tarumanagara or Taruma Kingdom or just Taruma is an early Sundanese Indianized kingdom, whose fifth-century ruler, Purnavarman, produced the earliest known inscriptions on Java island…

. In AD 397, King Purnawarman established Sunda Pura as a new capital city for the kingdom, located at the northern coast of Java. Purnawarman left seven memorial stones across the area with inscriptions bearing his name, including the present-day

Kingdom of Tarumanegara – the 5th century AD


Tarumanegara kingdom located in the valley of the river Cisadane, Bogor, West Java. King of the Kingdom’s largest Tarumanegara is Punawarman. Evidence of existence can be known from 7 Tarumanegara inscription written in letters Pallawa and Sanskrit. The inscription is: 1. Monument inscription, found in Cilincing, Jakarta. Contains the excavation of the river Gomati 11 kilometers in length, and finalized within 21 days.2. Kebon Kopi inscriptions, found in Bogor, contains a painting of an elephant foot.3. Ciaruteun inscription, found on the banks of the river Cisadane, Bogor, contains pictures of King Punawarman feet which is considered as the feet of Lord
Dynasty of Tarumanagara.
Tarumanagara Kingdom start in 358. when it first start it was a vassal of Salakanagara. Rajadirajaguru Jayasingawarman is Tarumanagara First king. The earliest known written records of Tarumanagara existence are inscribed monument stones. Inscribed stone is called prasasti in Indonesian language. A prasasti located in a river bed of Caiaruteun river, called Prasasti Ciaruteun, from the fifth century AD, written in Wengi letters (used in the Indian Pallava period) and in Sanskrit language, reports the most famous king of Tarumanagara:

This is the print of the foot soles of the very honorable Purnawarman, the king of Tarumanagara who is very brave and control the world, as those of God Wisnu.

Purnawarman is Tarumanagara most famous kings. Another Prasasti about him is
Prasasti Jambu

The name of the king who is famous of faithfully executing his duties and who is incomparable (peerless) is Sri Purnawarman who reigns Taruma. His armour cannot be penetrated by the arrows of his enemies. The prints of the foot soles belong to him who was always successful to destroy the fortresses of his enemies, and was always charitable and gave honorable receptions to those who are loyal to him and hostile to his enemies.

List of Tarumanagara Kings:

  1. Rajadirajaguru Jayasingawarman
  2. Dharmayawarman
  3. Purnawarman
  4. Wisnuwarman
  5. Indrawarman
  6. Candrawarman
  7. Suryawarman
  8. Kertawarman
  9. Linggawarman
  10. Tarusbawa
The First Indianized KingdomsKnowledge of the early Indonesian Kingdoms of the Classical or Hindu period is very shadowy -gleaned solely from old stone inscriptions and vague references in ancient Chinese, Indian and Classical texts. The island of Java, for example, was mentioned in the Ramayana (as Yawadwipa), and in the Alnagest of Ptolemy (as yabadiou). However the first specific references to Indonesian rulers and kingdom are found in written Chinese sources and Sanskrit stone inscriptions dating from the- early 5th Century.The stone inscriprions written in the south-lndian Pallawa script). were issued by lndonesian rulers in two different areas of the archipelago- Kutei on the eastern coast of Kalimantan and Tarumanegara on the Citarum River in West Java (near Bogor). Both rulers were Hindus whose power seems to have derived from a combination of wet-rice agriculture and maritime trade.Also. in the early 5th Century. there is the interesting figure of Fa Hsien. a Chinese Buddhist monk who journeyed to India to obtain Buddhist scriptures and was then shipwrecked on Java on his way home. In his memoirs (translated into English by James Ledge as, Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms), Fa Hsien note that there were many Brahmans and heretics on Java, but that the Budhist Dharma there was not worth mentioning. His comment highlight a fascinating feature of Indianized Indonesia-that while some early kingdom were mainly Hindu, others were primarily Buddhist. As time went on the distinction became increasingly blurred.Another fact of life for the Hinduized states of lndonesia was that their power depended greatly on control of the maritime trade. It appears that Tarumanegara in West Java first controlled the trade for two centuries orr more, but that at the end of the 7th Century a new Buddhist kingdom based in Palembang took over the vital Malacca and Sunda Straits. The kingdom was Sriwijaya and it ruled these seas throughout the next 600 years.
Footprints of Purnawarman
(From the mid 5th Century, inscription and footprints of Purnawarman -
Hindu ruler of Taruma Negara in West Java)
Sriwijaya and the P’o-ssu TradeThe kingdom of Sriwijaya left behind no magnificent temples or monuments because it was a thalassic (maritime) kingdom that relied for its existence not on agriculture, but on control of the trade. Most of its citizens were therefore sailors who lived on boats, as do many of coastal Malay orang laut (sea people) now. Knowledge of Sriwijaya is consequently very sketchy, and the kingdom was not even identified by scholars until 1918. Four stone inscriptions in Old Malay, several in Sanskrit and a handful of statues and bronze icons are all that remain of one of the most powerful maritime empires in history.Prof O.W. Wolters has speculated that Sriwijaya rose to prominence as a result of a substitution of some Sumatran aromatics for expensive Middle Eastern frankincense and myrrh-the so-colled P’o-ssu (Persian) goods then being shipped to China in great quantities.Be that as it may, Sriwijaya was also located in extremely strategic position and is said to have developed large ships of between 400 and 600 tons. These were by far the largest ships in the world at this time, and they appear to have achieved regular direct sailings to India and China by at least the late 8th Century.It is significant that the P’o-ssu trade consisted mainly of incense and other rare substances used by Buddhist in China. Sriwijaya’s rulers were also Buddhist,and a passing Chinese monk by the name of I-Ching stopped here for several months to study and copy Buddhist texts. There he found a thousand Buddhist monks and noted that it was a meeting place for traders from all over the world.Through Sriwijaya, controlled all coastal ports on either side of the Malacca and Sunda straits (eastern Sumatra, western Java and the Malay peninsula), none of these areas was suitable for wet-rice agriculture. The nearest such area was in central Java, and from the early 8th Century onward, great Indianized kingdoms established them-selved here. They first supplied Sriwijaya with rice and later began to compete with her for a share of the maritime trade.Borobudur Relief
(Temple relief from Borobudur)


Wayang Kulit
(The so-called wayang-kulit style of temple sculpture of Candi Jago)
7th century

7th century


Srivijaya, also written Sri Vijaya or Sriwijaya, was a powerful ancient Malay empire based on the island of Sumatra, modern day Indonesia, which influenced much of Southeast Asia. The earliest solid proof of its existence dates from the 7th century; a Chinese monk, I-Tsing, wrote that he visited…

 ruled Sumatra, the Malay peninsula, and western Java (Sunda

7th century


  sīlĕnˈdrä, name of a dynasty in Indonesia and SE Asia. The dynasty appeared in central Java in the 7th cent. and had consolidated its position by the mid-8th cent. The Sailendras, who adopted Buddhism, extended their power over the Sumatran domains of Sri Vijaya and the Malay Peninsula and exerted influence in Siam and Indochina. After their eclipse in Java (late 9th cent.), they retained control of Sri Vijaya, with important centers at Palembang (their capital) and in Kedah and Patani on the Malayan Peninsula. The Sailendra power was badly shaken by the Chola war of the 11th cent., but endured in some form until the Javanese invasion of Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula in the 13th cent.


Sunda Kingdom
The Sunda Kingdom was a Hindu kingdom located on the western part of Java from 669 ,Sunda KingdomSunda kingdom was founded by Tarusbawa in Sundanese Caka 591 (669 M).
Before standing as an independent kingdom, Sunda was Tarumanagara vassal. Tarumanagara the last king, Sri Maharaja Linggawarman Atmahariwangsa Panunggalan Tirthabumi (reigned only for three years, 666-669 AD), was married to Dewi Ganggasari from Indraprahasta. From Ganggasari, he has two children, both girls. Dewi Manasih, her eldest daughter, married to Tarusbawa of Sunda, while the second, Sobakancana, married with Dapuntahyang Sri Janayasa, who later founded the kingdom of Srivijaya. After Linggawarman died, power transfered to Tarusbawa. This led Galuh ruler, Wretikandayun (612-702) rebel, separated from Tarumanagara, and establish an independent kingdom Galuh. Also wanted to continue Tarusbawa Tarumanagara kingdom, and then transferred power to Sunda, Cipakancilan upstream in the area where the river Ciliwung and Cisadane rivers and adjacent rows, near Bogor today. While Tarumanagara changed to subordinates. He was crowned as the king of Sunda on Radite Pon, 9 Suklapaksa, Yista month, year 519 Saka (approximately 669 AD May 18). Sunda and Galuh borders, with a limit of Citarum river (Sunda in the west, east Galuh).

  1. Tarusbawa (669 – 723)
  2. Harisdarma, atawa Sanjaya (723 – 732)
  3. Tamperan Barmawijaya (732 – 739)
  4. Rakeyan Banga (739 – 766)
  5. Rakeyan Medang Prabu Hulukujang (766 – 783)
  6. Prabu Gilingwesi (783 – 795)
  7. Pucukbumi Darmeswara (795 – 819)
  8. Rakeyan Wuwus Prabu Gajah Kulon (819 – 891)
  9. Prabu Darmaraksa (891 – 895)
  10. Windusakti Prabu Déwageng (895 – 913)
  11. Rakeyan Kamuning Gading Prabu Pucukwesi (913 – 916)
  12. Rakeyan Jayagiri (916 – 942)
  13. Atmayadarma Hariwangsa (942 – 954)
  14. Limbur Kancana (954 – 964)
  15. Munding Ganawirya (964 – 973)
  16. Rakeyan Wulung Gadung (973 – 989)
  17. Brajawisésa (989 – 1012)
  18. Déwa Sanghyang (1012 – 1019)
  19. Sanghyang Ageng (1019 – 1030)
  20. Sri Jayabupati (Detya Maharaja, 1030 – 1042)
  21. Darmaraja (Sang Mokténg Winduraja, 1042 – 1065)
  22. Langlangbumi (Sang Mokténg Kerta, 1065 – 1155)
  23. Rakeyan Jayagiri Prabu Ménakluhur (1155 – 1157)
  24. Darmakusuma (Sang Mokténg Winduraja, 1157 – 1175)
  25. Darmasiksa Prabu Sanghyang Wisnu (1175 – 1297)
  26. Ragasuci (Sang Mokténg Taman, 1297 – 1303)
  27. Citraganda (Sang Mokténg Tanjung, 1303 – 1311)
  28. Prabu Linggadéwata (1311-1333)
  29. Prabu Ajiguna Linggawisésa (1333-1340)
  30. Prabu Ragamulya Luhurprabawa (1340-1350)
  31. Prabu Maharaja Linggabuanawisésa ( called Sri Baduga Maharaja in carita Babad, that fallen in Bubat Incident. 1350-1357)
  32. Prabu Bunisora (1357-1371)
  33. Prabu Niskalawastukancana (1371-1475)
  34. Prabu Susuktunggal (1475-1482)
  35. Jayadéwata (Sri Baduga Maharaja or Prabu Siliwangi, Sunda-Galuh unifier. 1482-1521)
  36. Prabu Surawisésa (1521-1535)
  37. Prabu Déwatabuanawisésa (1535-1543)
  38. Prabu Sakti (1543-1551)
  39. Prabu Nilakéndra (1551-1567)
  40. Prabu Ragamulya atau Prabu Suryakancana (1567-1579)

 In about 650,

Tarumanagara kingdom was attacked and defeated by Srivijaya (a kingdom established in Sumatra island in 500). Then, Tarumanegara’s influence on its small kingdoms began to decline.
In 669, Tarusbawa inherited Tarumanagara crown. Tarusbawa was the last king of Tarumanagara. This is in line with Chinese chronicles mentioning that a messenger of Tarumanagara last visited China in 669. Tarusbawa indeed sent his messenger advising his enthronement to Chinese king in 669. Because the influence of Tarumanagara in Tarusbawa era declined as a result of severance by its vassal states as well as due to the attacks by Srivijaya, he wished to return the greatness of the kingdom as was in the era of Purnawarman controlling the kingdoms from Sunda Pura. Hence, in 670, he changed name Tarumanagara to be Sunda.
This event was made as a reason by king Wretikandayun (Monarchic founder of Galuh) to dissociate the small kingdom from the power of Tarumanagara and asked King Tarusbawa to divide Tarumanagara territory into two parts. Galuh got a support from Kalingga kingdom (the first kingdom in Java island) to separate from Tarumanagara because Galuh and Kalingga had made an alliance through dynastic marriage; a son of King Wretikandayun married Parwati (a daughter of Queen Sima) from Kalingga and Sana alias Bratasenawa alias Sena (a grandson of King Wretikandayun) married Sanaha (a granddaughter of Queen Sima). In a weak position and wishing to avoid civil war, the young King Tarusbawa accepted the request of old King Wretikandayun. In 670, Tarumanagara was divided into two kingdoms: Sunda Kingdom and Galuh Kingdom with the Citarum river as the boundary. Then Galuh Kingdom comprised many vassal kingdoms which covered areas of present-day West and present-day Central Java Provinces.
King Tarusbawa then established a new capital of his kingdom near the Cipakancilan river upstream which centuries later became the city of Pakuan Pajajaran (or shortly called Pakuan or Pajajaran). King Tarusbawa becomes the ancestor of Sunda kings.

8th century

 The earliest dated inscription in Indonesia in which the dynastic name Sailendra appears is the Kalasan inscription of central Java, dated 778 AD, which commemorates the establishment of a Buddhist shrine for the Buddhist goddess Tara.[2]

The name also appears in several other inscriptions like the Kelurak inscription (782) and the Karangtengah (824). Outside Indonesia, the name Sailendra is to be found in the Ligor inscription (775) on the Malay peninsula and the mid-9th century Nalanda inscription.[2]


8th century

Plaosan temple


The statue of Durga Mahisasuramardini in northern cella of Shiva temple, Prambanan temple complex in Central Java. Also called Durga Loro Jonggrang
Candi (pronounced /ˈtʃandiː/) are commonly refer to Hindu and Buddhist temples
or sanctuaries in Indonesia, most of which were built from the 8th to the 15th centuries.
 However, ancient non-religious structures such as gates, habitation remnants, or pool and bathplaces are often also called as “candi”…The term “candi” itself derived from Candika one of the manifestation of the goddess Durga as the goddess of death.[Soekmono, Dr R. (1973). Pengantar Sejarah Kebudayaan Indonesia 2. Yogyakarta, Indonesia: Penerbit Kanisius. pp. 81.] This suggested in ancient Indonesia the “candi” has mortuary function as well as attributed with the afterlife. The association of the name “candi”, candika or durga with Hindu-Buddhist temples is unknown in India and other Indonesia’s Southeast Asian neighbours such as Cambodia, Thailand, or Burma.
 The historians suggested that temples of ancient Java also used to store the ashes of cremated deceased kings or royalties. This is also in-line with buddhist concept of stupa as the structure to store buddhist relicts including the ashes and remnants of holy buddhist priest or the buddhist king, the patron of buddhism. The statue of god stored inside the garbhagriha (main chamber) of the temple often modelled after the deceased king and considered as deified self of the king portrayed as Vishnu or Shiva.The Prambanan compound also known as Loro Jonggrang complex, named after the popular legend of Loro Jonggrang. There are 237 temples in this Shivaite temple complex, either big or small…The middle zone consists of four rows of 224 individual small shrines. There are great numbers of these temples, but most of them are still in ruins and only some have been reconstructed. These concentric rows of temples were made in identical design. Each row towards the center is slightly elevated. These shrines are called “Candi Perwara” guardian or complementary temples, the additional buildings of the main temple. Some believed it was offered to the king as a sign of submission. The Perwara are arranged in four rows around the central temples, some believed it has something to do with four castes, made according to the rank of the people allowed to enter them; the row nearest to the central compound was accessible to the priests only, the other three were reserved for the nobles, the knights, and the simple people respectively. While another believed that the four rows of Perwara has nothing to do with four castes, it just simply made as meditation place for priests and as worship place for devotees.


9th century

The Sailendras and the Sanjayas

From the beginning, a tension developed in central Java between competing Buddhist and Hindu ruling families. The first central-Javanese temples and inscriptions, dating from 732 A.D., were the work of a Hindu ruler by the name of Sanjaya.Very soon thereafter, however, a Budhist line of kings known as the Sailendras (Lords of the Mountain) seem to have comefrom the north coast of Java to impose their rule over Sanjaya and his descendants.

The Sailendras maintained close relations with Sriwijaya (both rulers were Buddhist) and ruled Java for about 100 years. During this relatively short period they constructed the magnificent Buddhist monuments of Borobudur, Mendut, Kalasan, Sewu and many others in the shadow of majestic Mt. Merapi. Still now this area is blessed with unusually fertile soils, and already in ancient times it must have supported a vast population, who all participated in the erection of these state monuments.

The decline of the Sailendras begand around 830 A.D. culminating with their ouster, in 856 A.D., by a descendant of Sanjaya. Apparently the Sanjayan line of kings ruled continuously over outlying areas of the realm as vassals of the Sailendras, and during this time they built many Hindus temples in remote areas of Java such as the Dieng Plateau and Mt. Ungaran (south of Semarang). Around 850 A.D., a prince of Sanjaya dynasty, Rakai Pikatan, married a Sailendran princess and seized control of central Java. The Sailendras fled to Sriwijaya, where they prospered and successfully blocked all Javanese shipping in the South China Sea for more than a century.

Sailendras in Sumatra

After 824, there are no more references to the Sailendra house in the Javanese ephigraphic record. Around 860 the name re-appears in the Nalanda inscription in India. According to the text, the local king had granted ‘Balaputra, the king of Suvarna-dvipa’ (Sumatra) the revenues of 5 villages to a Buddhist monastery near Bodh Gaya. Balaputra was styled a descendant from the Sailendra dynasty and grandson of the king of Java.[14]

From Sumatra, the Sailendras also maintained overseas relations with the Chola kingdom in India, as shown by several south Indian inscriptions. 


Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula

During the 8th century,

an important distinction began to develop between two geo-political zones in the western archipelago. On the one hand, the Strait of Melaka (Malacca) began to develop as a key control point on the India–China trade route and a state called Srivijaya, based on the southern Sumatra city of Palembang, emerged as the first great power in the region. On the other hand, the island of Java, with its fertile soils and growing population, became a key centre of military power and cultural influence in the region.

Srivijaya’s location, well south of the mouth of the Melaka Strait, does not appear to be the most suitable site for controlling trade, but this disadvantage was offset by the kingdom’s access via the Musi River to a large hinterland in southern Sumatra, which supplied food, forest products and gold. Because of the rhythm of the monsoons in maritime Southeast Asia, traders moving between India and China generally needed to spend a season in port somewhere near the strait to wait for winds favourable for the onward journey.

Likely extent of Srivijaya’s maritime empire

The power of the ruler of Srivijaya rested on three distinct bases: the courtiers of the capital, who managed the port facilities which made Srivijaya an attractive destination, the chiefs of the interior communities, who supplied produce, trade goods and probably labour to the city, and the orang laut, or people of the sea, semi-piratical people whose homes were aboard small, fast vessels which sheltered amongst the numerous islands and inlets of the Sumatra coast. These seafarers played a crucial role in forcing ships to call at Srivijaya whether they wished to or not, and they were also the means by which the ruler of Srivijaya kept at least a broad suzerainty over potential rivals along the coast. Successive rulers of Srivijaya also appear to have cultivated a relationship with China by sending regular tribute missions and making other gestures of respect for Chinese emperors. This relationship may have assisted the activities of Srivijaya traders in the ports of China. Wealth from trade was used to support a sophisticated civilization, one in which Chinese monks came to study Buddhism and whose scholars were known for their mathematical expertise.

In the 11th century, Srivijaya went into abrupt decline, particularly as a result of destructive raids from Java in 992 and from the Chola rulers of southern India in 1025. Shortly thereafter the empire’s capital appears to have moved from Palembang to Jambi (Melayu), though the reasons for this move are not clear. From about this time, however, Srivijaya appears to have ceased to be the dominant power in the region.

Although Jambi inherited some of the authority of Srivijaya, the balance of power in Sumatra and the peninsula shifted dramatically in the 12th and 13th centuries. On the northern coast of Sumatra, several small trading states, Aru, Tamiang, Perlak, Pasai, Samudra and Lamuri now came to prominence. These states were the first in Indonesia to convert to Islam, Perlak probably being the earliest in about 1290. In central Sumatra, the Buddhist kingdom of the Minangkabau, sometimes called Pagarruyung after its capital, emerged in about 1250 and extended its hegemony down into the coastal regions facing the strait. Palembang and Jambi, however, declined in importance, though they remained significant regional ports. Late in the 13th century, both became the target of Javanese expansionism, when king Kertanegara of Singhasari launched what was called the pamalayu expedition.

Sumatra and the Malay peninsula, 13th century

Kertanegara appears to have attacked Jambi in 1275, and his quarrel with Kublai Khan a few years later was partly over who was to receive tribute from Palembang.

On the Malay Peninsula, too, numerous small states emerged, notably Kedah, which had had a long history as one of Srivijaya’s less tractable vassals. The most northerly of the peninsular states, Tambralinga and Langkasuka, however, found themselves under increasing pressure in this era from the Thai state of Sukhotai and its successor Ayutthaya. There is even some evidence of a seaborne raid on Jambi by forces from Ayutthaya at the end of the 13th century.

The civil war in Java which ended Kertanegara’s rule, and the Mongol invasion which followed, ended Javanese intervention in Sumatra for some decades. By the middle of the 14th century, however, the Javanese empire of Majapahit claimed suzerainty over the whole of Sumatra and over the peninsula as far north as Langkasuka. It is unlikely that this suzerainty translated anywhere into direct rule from Java, but local Sumatran courts, especially in the southern half of the island, certainly paid homage to Majapahit and modelled the ceremony and culture in their own courts on the greater splendour of the Javanese capital.

Majapahit’s most important rival for influence in Sumatra may have been the Minangkabau kingdom, which evidently included Jambi and other east-coast ports in its sphere of influence in the middle of the century. Minangkabau itself, however, was claimed by Majapahit as a vassal and its greatest ruler, Adityavarman, may have been part-Javanese.

In about 1377, the ruler of Jambi apparently asserted his independence from Java and sought formal investiture by the Chinese emperor. Majapahit reacted brutally: the envoys sent from China to conduct the ceremony were waylaid and killed, and Javanese forces attacked and sacked Jambi itself. Palembang suffered a similar fate about a decade later. Believing that the death of the Majapahit king Hayam Wuruk gave an opportunity for greater independence, the ruler of Palembang repudiated Javanese domination in 1389. In retaliation his city was destroyed, and the administration of what remained came into the hands of local Chinese merchants.

Airlangga’s kingdom, 11th century

Out of this defeat, however, emerged the reign of Airlangga, founder of Java’s first empire. Reputedly the son of a Balinese king and a Javanese princess, he was able to bring east and central Java, as well as Bali, under a relatively united regime, though this probably meant that he was able to keep up a sustained intimidation of regional lords, rather than that he ruled closely. His capital was at Kahuripan in the lower reaches of the Brantas and his seaport, Hujung Galah, was probably close to the site of modern Surabaya. On his deathbed in 1049, Airlangga divided his kingdom between his two sons, one taking the lower reaches of the Brantas as ruler of a kingdom known as Janggala, the other establishing a new capital in Panjalu (later Kediri) and ruling a kingdom called Daha. Hardly any information on either kingdom has survived, but two hundred years later, when records are once more available, the division was still politically significant.

By the early 13th century, Kediri had conquered Janggala, but in 1222, Kediri itself was overthrown by a usurper, Ken Angrok, who established his capital at Singhasari. Singhasari’s greatest ruler was Kertanegara, who presided over a time of rapid development in Javanese culture.


Majapahit’s empire on Java

Kertanegara’s assertiveness brought him into conflict with the new Mongol rulers of China, who objected to his attempts to establish hegemony over the southern approaches to the Melaka Strait. The Mongol emperor Kublai Khan then sent envoys to Java to demand Kertanegara’s formal submission; he responded by mutilating and sending them back. The angry Khan then sent a military expedition to punish the Javanese, but by the time it arrived Kertanegara had been killed in a rebellion. In a piece of deft diplomacy, Kertanegara’s son-in-law, Kertarajasa, enlisted the help of the Mongol troops to overthrow the usurper before turning on the Mongols and driving them out in 1293. The empire which he founded, Majapahit, became the most powerful of all the early Javanese kingdoms. The 14th century chronicle, Nagarakertagama (now known as the Desawarnyana), gives a detailed insight into life in Majapahit.

Majapahit reached the pinnacle of its power under the rule of Rajasanagara (r. 1350–89), better known as Hayam Wuruk, and his prime minister, Gajah Mada, who held office from about 1331 until his death in 1364. Under their joint rule, Majapahit seems to have been particularly successful in establishing closer royal rule in the Brantas valley, by means of royal charters on land and other productive resources such as ferries. These charters diverted taxation income from local elites to the royal treasury and enabled the king to pay for a network of roads which made communication within the region easier. The capital city itself reflected the ruler’s wealth, with high, thick walls of brick, spacious pavilions and abundant flowers.

Majapahit’s overseas empire

After the death of Hayam Wuruk in 1389, Majapahit went into decline. Its influence abroad contracted and it was wracked by civil war and succession disputes at home. Little is known of Javanese history in the 15th century. Majapahit is traditionally said to have fallen in 1478, but the state seems to have survived in attenuated form until about the 1530s. Hindu-Buddhist states such as Pengging, Kediri and Balambangan emerged within the former territory of Majapahit, but none was able to recreate its dominion, even in eastern Java.

Instead power shifted to trading city-states of the north coast, notably Demak, which had converted to Islam in the late 15th century. The struggle of Muslim Demak and its coastal allies with the Hindu-Buddhist states of the interior possibly had some elements of religious war, but at stake was also the question of whether Java’s growing role in international trade could pull the centre of Javanese power away from the interior and to the coast.

Sumatra and the Malay peninsula, 14th century

The port city of Melaka, founded by Parameswara or his descendants, quickly rose to be the most powerful state in the region. Abundant fresh water, a deep harbour and control of the narrowest part of the strait gave it an immediate advantage in attracting traders. So too did its ruler’s careful strategy of providing excellent facilities for merchants. Specially appointed shahbandar, or harbour-lords, maintained the warehouses, policed transactions and settled disputes between the dozens of trading communities in the city. Melaka’s main trading rival, the northern Sumatra state of Samudra-Pasai, was never able to match these advantages. Melaka’s ruler also inherited from his Palembang forebears a close relationship with the orang laut, the semi-piratical sea people who had been the basis of Srivijaya’s navy.

Melaka also benefited from the decline of Majapahit, from a lull in the southward expansion of the Thai, and from a close relationship with the Chinese empire. Under the Yung-lo emperor, China briefly abandoned its hostility to trade and sought out reliable allies as trading partners in South and Southeast Asia. Melaka was the most favoured of these allies.

At the height of its power, Melaka was one of the great cities of the world and the largest city in Southeast Asia. Melaka’s empire was never extensive – with its control of the strait it had no need for a far-flung empire – but its influence as a glittering centre of culture stretched far beyond its immediate environment. This reputation was its downfall, for it was a major target of the European interlopers into Southeast Asia in the early 16th century, and it fell to an attack by the Portuguese admiral Alfonso d’Albuquerque in 1511.

Sumatra and the Malay peninsula, 15th century

Melaka under the Portuguese never recovered the prosperity it had enjoyed under its sultans. Many Muslim traders now consciously avoided it, and the Portuguese themselves were less interested than their predecessors in the needs of foreign traders. As a result, Melaka lost its pre-eminence as an entrepot in the region.

One of the greatest beneficiaries of Melaka’s fall was the small kingdom of Aceh, at the far northern tip of Sumatra. Many traders and scholars who fled from Melaka after the fall settled in Aceh, which now began to displace Samudra-Pasai as the principal power on the north Sumatra coast. Seeking to take over the mantle of Melaka, Aceh’s first sultan, Ali Mughayat Syah, began a series of campaigns which took the influence of Aceh down the Sumatra coasts as far as Gasip (Siak) in the east and Tiku and Pariaman in the west.

Across the strait, meanwhile, the sultan of Melaka had fled into the interior of the peninsula immediately after the Portuguese conquest, but he eventually settled on the island of Bintan in the Riau archipelago. There, close to some of the largest communities of seafaring nomads, he hoped to marshal his forces to recover the city. The Portuguese, however, pursued him, destroying his new capital in 1526 and driving him to seek refuge in Kampar in Sumatra. His son eventually re-established a kingdom in Johor in about 1530.

For the remainder of the 16th century, Aceh, Johor and the Portuguese fought a three-way contest for dominance in the strait. The Portuguese never extended their territorial control beyond Melaka, but their fleets were a potent force along the coasts. Johor exercised a broad hegemony over the peninsula and over the opposite shore of Sumatra, but raids from Aceh made its tenure uncertain.

Sumatra and the Malay peninsula, 16th century

The contest between Aceh and Johor revived during the first half of the 17th century, when Acehnese power grew once again under Sultan Iskandar Muda. Aceh dominated the western coast of Sumatra and challenged Johor on the peninsula and in the strait. After Iskandar’s death in 1636, Acehnese influence began to contract, partly because Johor had found a new ally in the Dutch East Indies Company (VOC). The two joined forces in 1641 to drive the Portuguese from Melaka, and the Dutch then brokered a peace between Johor and Aceh which allowed Johor to recover its influence in Pahang.

In southern Sumatra, the arrival of Portuguese and later other European traders stimulated a massive expansion in the production of pepper. The most southerly pepper-producing region of Lampung was conquered by the western Java state of Banten in the second half of the 16th century and Banten’s influence also stretched up the west coast as far as Bengkulu. Further north on the east coast, pepper became the basis for a revival of the Palembang and Jambi regions, which had been the heart of Srivijaya. This prosperity, however, attracted the attention of the expansionist Javanese state of Mataram, which laid a general claim to Palembang in 1625 and sent a fleet in 1641–42 to force both Palembang and Jambi to become vassals of Java.


10th Century 


Although the rise of the Sailendra’s occurred in Kedu Plain in the Javanese heartland, their origin has been the subject of discussion.[3] Apart from Java itself; an earlier homeland in Sumatra, India or Cambodia has been suggested.


According to Majumdar; an Indian scholar, Sailendra dynasty that established themself in Indonesian archipleago, either the one that ruled Srivijaya or the ruler of Medang (Java) was originated from Kalinga (Southern India) [4]. This opinion also shared by Nilakanta Sastri and Moens. Moens further describes; Sailendra was originated in India and established themself in Palembang before the arrival of Dapunta Hiyang. In 683, Sailendra family moved to Java because being pushed by Dapunta Hiyang and his troops.[5]


In 1934, the French scholar Coedes proposed a relation with the Funan kingdom in Cambodia. Coedes believed that the Funanese rulers used similar sounding ‘mountainlord’ titles, but several Cambodia specialists have discounted this. They hold there is no historical evidence for such titles in the Funan period.[6]


Other scholars hold that the Buddhist kingdom of Srivijaya was involved in the rise of the dynasty in Java.[7] Supporters of this connection emphasize the shared Mahayana patronage; the intermarriages and the Ligor inscription. Also the fact that some of Sailendra’s inscriptions were written in old Malay, which suggested Srivijaya or Sumatran connections.


Another theory suggested that Sailendra was a native Javanese dynasty, and there was no such things as Sanjaya dynasty since Sri Sanjaya and his offsprings belongs to Sailendra family that initially the Shivaist ruler of Mataram Kingdom.[8] The association of Sailendra with Mahayana Buddhism began after the conversion Panaraban or Panangkaran to Buddhism. This theory based on Carita Parahyangan that mention about the ailing King Sanjaya ordered his son, Rakai Panaraban or Panangkaran, to convert to buddhism, because their Shivaistic faith was feared by the people, and in favour to the more pacifist buddhist faith.

Sailendras in Java



Borobudur, the largest Buddhist structure in the world.

The Sailendra rulers maintained cordial relations, including marriage alliances with the Srivijaya kingdom in Sumatra. For instance, Samaratungga married Dewi Tara, a daughter of Srivijayan maharaja Dharmasetu. The mutual alliance between the two kingdoms ensured that Srivijaya had no need to fear the emergence of a Javanese rival and that the Sailendra had access to the international market.

Karangtengah inscription dated 824 mentioned about the sima (tax free) lands awarded by Çrī Kahulunan (Pramodhawardhani, daughter of Samaratungga) to ensure the funding and maintenance of a Kamūlān called Bhūmisambhāra.[9] Kamūlān itself from the word mula which means ‘the place of origin’, a sacred building to honor the ancestors. This findings suggested that either the ancestors of the Sailendras were originated from Central Java, or as the sign that Sailendra have established their holds on Java. Casparis suggested that Bhūmi Sambhāra Bhudhāra which in Sanskrit means “The mountain of combined virtues of the ten stages of Boddhisattvahood“, was the original name of Borobudur.[10]

The received version holds that the Sailendra dynasty existed next to the Sanjaya dynasty in Java. Much of the period was characterized by peaceful co-existence and cooperation but towards the middle of the 9th century relations had deteriorated. Around 852 the Sanjaya ruler Pikatan had defeated Balaputra, the offspring of the Sailendra monarch Samaratunga and princess Tara. This ended the Sailendra presence in Java and Balaputra retreated to the Srivijaya kingdom in Sumatra, where he became the paramount ruler.[11]

Sailendras in Bali

Sri Kesari Warmadewa was said to be a Buddhist king of the Sailendra Dynasty, leading a military expedition,[12] to establishing a Mahayana Buddhist government in Bali.[13] In 914, he left a record of his endeavour in the Belanjong pillar in Sanur in Bali.

10th century
They Mysterious Move to East JavaRakai Pikatan commemorated his victory by erecting the splendid temple complex at Prambanan, which can be considered a Hindu counterpart of Buddhist Borobudur. Both are terraced an ancestor sanctuaries, highly elaborate versions of those constructed by Indonesian rulers in prehistoric times.

A succession of Hindu kings ruled in central Java, then suddenly the capital was transferred to east java around 930 A.D. No satisfactory explanation has been given for this move, though a number of factors might account for it.

As mentioned before, the Sailendran kings, once installed at Sriwijaya, were successful in shutting off the vital overseas trade from Java’s north coast, and may even have been threatening to re-invade central Java. An eruption of Mt. Merapi at about this time may also have closed the roads to the north coastal ports and covered much of central Java in volcanic ash. A partially completed temple has been unearthed at Sambisar, near Prambanan, from under five metres of volcanic debris. Then, too there is the possibility of epidemics and of mass migrations to the more fertile lands of East Java.

Whatever the reason for the move, and eastern javanese empire prospered in the 10th Century and actually attacked and occupied Sriwijaya for two years 990-1 A.D. Sriwijaya retaliated a quarter of a century later with a huge seaborne force that destroyed the Javanese capital, killed the ruler King Dharmawangsa, and splintered the realm into numerous petty fiefdoms. It took nearly 20 years for the next great king, Airlangga, to fully restore the empire.

Airlangga was King Dharmawangsa’s nephew and he succeded to the throne in 1019 after the Sriwijayan forces had departed. With the help of loyal followers and advisors he reconquered the realm and restored its prosperity. He is best known, though, as a patron of the arts and as an ascete. Under his rule the Indian classics were translated from Sanskrit into Javanese, thus marking the flowering of indigenous Javanese arts.

Shrotly before his death in 1049, Airlangga changed his name and became an ascetic without, however, abdicating. To appease the ambitions of his two sons he then divided his empire into two equal halves, Kediri and Janggala(or Daha and Koripan). Kediri became the more powerful of the two, and it is remembered now as the source of numerous works of Old Javanese literature-mainly adaptations of the Indian epics in a Javanese poetic form known as the kekawin.

Sculpture of Ken Dedes
(A sculpture of Ken Dedes, the wife of Ken Arok, representing her as a goddess)
Singhasari and MajapahitIn subsequent centuries Java prospered as never before. The rulers of successive east Javan empires were able to combine the benefits of a strong agricultural economy with income from a lucrative overseas trade. In the process, the Javanesse became the master shipbuilders and mariners of Southeast Asia.
11th century
An 11th century inscription mentioned the grant of revenues to a local Buddhist sanctuary, built in 1005 by the king of the Srivijaya. In spite the relations were initially fairly cordial, hostilities had broken out in 1025.[15] Nevertheless, amity was re-established between the two states, before the end of the 11th century. In 1090 a new charter was granted to the old Buddhist sanctuary (it is the last known inscription with a reference to the Sailendras).
13th Century  
The first, the Pararaton (Book of Kings), tells of the founding of the Singhasari dynasty by Ken Arok in 1222.Ken Arok was an adventurer who managed to marry the beautiful Ken Dedes (heir to the throne of Janggala) after murdering her husband. As ruler of Janggala he next revolted against his sovereign, the ruler of Kediri with the full support of clergy, and set up his new capital at Singhasari, near present-day Malang.
13th Century
The Pararaton goes on to tell of Ken Arok’s successors, particularly of the last king of the Singhasari line, Kertanegara. . Kertanegara was an extraordinary figure, a scholar as well as a statesman, who belonged to the Tantric Bhairawa sect of Buddhism.
In 1275 and again in 1291
Kertanegara  sent successful naval expeditions against Sriwijaya thus wresting control of the increasingly important maritime trade.
Kertanegara  was eventually murdered in 1292 by the king of Kediri
So powerful did become, in fact, that Kublai Khan, the Mongol emperor of China sent ambassador, a gesture which so enraged the great Khan that in 1293 he sent a powerful fleet to Java to avenge the insult.
The fleet landed only to discover that Kartanegara had already died at the hands of Jayakatwang, one of his vassals.The Chinese remained on Javanese soil for about a year just long enough to defeat the muderous Jayakatwang. Battles raged back and forth across the Brantas valley for many months, eventually producing victory for Kertanegara’s son-in-low, Wijaya, and his Chinese allies. In the end Wijaya entrapped the Mongol generals and chased the foreign troops back to their ships. The Chinese fleet returned to China, and its commanders were severely punished by the great Khan for their failure to subdue Java.Wijaya married four of Kertanegara’s daughters and established a new capital in 1294 on the bank of the Brantas River between Kediri and the sea (near present-day Trowulan). This was an area known for its pahit (bitter) maja fruits, and the new kingdom became known as Majapahit. The capital citu was constructed entirely of red bricks, only the foundations of which now remain. Aerial photographs reveal that the city had an extensive system of canals and barges were probably used to transport rice and other trade goods down the river from Majapahit to the seaport as the mouth of the Brantas.

After the power of Tarumanagara declined, its territories, including Sunda Pura, became part of the Kingdom of Sunda. According to the Chinese source, Chu-fan-chi, written circa 1200, Chou Ju-kua in the early 13th Century,

14th Century
During the 14th Century, at the height of the Majapahit Empire,
they controlled the sea lanes throughout the Indonesian archipelago as well as to faraway India and China.

Despite this, our knowledge of the two great empires of the 13th and 14th centuries, Singasari and Majapahit, would be very sparse were it not for two Old Javanese texts dating from the 14th Century.

 the majapahit empire:The Majapahit Empire was an Indianized kingdom based in eastern Java from 1293 to around 1500. Its greatest ruler was Hayam Wuruk, whose reign from 1350 to 1389 marked the empire’s peak when it dominated other kingdoms in southern Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Sumatra, Bali, and the Philippines.The Majapahit was the last of the great Hindu empires of the Malay archipelago. It was preceded by the Srivijayan kingdom, based in Palembang on the island of Sumatra.The founder of the Majapahit Empire, Kertarajasa or Prince (Raden) Wijaya, was the son-in-law of Kertanegara, the last ruler of the Singhasari kingdom, also based in Java.
After Singhasari drove Srivijaya out of Java altogether in 1290, the rising power of Singhasari came to the attention of Kublai Khan in China and he sent emissaries demanding tribute. Kertanegara, last ruler of the Singhasari kingdom, refused to pay tribute and the Khan sent a massive 1000 ship expedition which arrived off the coast of Java in 1293.By that time, a rebel from Kediri, Jayakatwang had usurped and killed Kertanagara.
The Majapahit founder,
after a brief exile in the favor of the Regent (Bupati) Arya Wiraraja of Madura, allied himself with the Mongols against Jayakatwang and, once Jayakatwang was destroyed, turned and forced his Mongol allies to withdraw from the isle after he launched a surprise attack. The huge Mongol Army in confusion had to withdraw as they were in hostile land and it was the last time for the monsoon sea-wind to depart for home, otherwise, they would have had to wait for another six months on a totally hostile island.
 Then, Wijaya ascended the throne as the first king of Majapahit on 1293 AD.
In the Lands of Tarik he built a strong hold, and the capital was named Majapahit also, after the bitter (pahit) maja fruit, a sort of tree which grew in abundance in that area. His formal name was Kertarajasa Jayawarddhana. But the newborn empire was not without challenge. Some of his most trusted men, including Ranggalawe, Sora, and Nambi set several rebellion against the king, but they all died in misery. It was suspected that mahapati Halayudha set the conspiracy to overthrow all of his opponents in order to gain the highest position in the government. But following the death of the last rebel Kuti, mahapati was captured and jailed for his tricks, and was sentenced to death. Wijaya himself died in 1309 AD.He was succeeded by his son, Jayanegara, whose mother was a Malayu princess. Jayanegara was not a good king since he had shown some immoral behaviors such as willing to take his own step-sisters as his wives. He was entitled Kala Gemet, or “weak villain”. Jayanegara was murdered by his surgeon on 1328 AD. He should have been succeeded by his stepmother, Rajapatni who retired from court to be come a nun in Buddhist monastery, Therefore she appointed her daughther, Tribhuwana as a queen of Majapahit to rule under her auspices.During Tribhuwana’s rule Majapahit grew to be a great kingdom and famous on all the seas of the Archipelago and a broad. Tribhuwana ruled until the death of her mother in 1350 AD. Then her son Hayam Wuruk ascended the throne. (1)Gajah Mada, an ambitious Majapahit prime minister and regent from 1331 to 1364, extended the empire’s rule to include most of present day Indonesia.
 A few years after Gajah Madah’s death,
the Majapahit navy captured Palembang, putting an end to the Srivijayan kingdom. Gajah Mada’s other renown general was Adityawarman, known for his conquest in Minangkabau. By the fourteenth century, Sunda Kelapa became a major trading port for the kingdom.
Prambanan Temple in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Prambanan Temple in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Until the end of the 15th century, Hinduism was the predominant religion in the islands of Java and Sumatra. Hinduism is said to have spread to these islands as early as the first century AD.

. Hinduism flourished in these Indonesian islands until the arrival of Islam in the 14th century. Indonesia is today the most populous Muslim-majority nation, with 86.1% Muslims (2000 census) and 3% Hindus. However, there is a self-conscious Hindu revival movement emerging from the Javanese society with constant reference to the famous Javanese prophecies of Sabdapalon and Jayabhaya.

It is interesting to note that the ancient Indian Sanskrit epic, Ramayana, makes a mention of these islands. After the abduction of Sita from the Panchavati forest, Rama and Lakshmana go in search of her. They meet

The fight between Vali and Sugreeva
The fight between Vali and Sugreeva

Hanuman and Sugreeva near the vicinity of the mountain Rishyamukha. Rama helps Sugreeva by killing his elder brother Vali and making him the king of Kishkinda. In return of Rama’s help, Sugreeva and the Vanaras agree to find Sita. Sugreeva orders Niila, his commander to assemble the troops. He orders Vinata, a mighty vanara warrior to search the Eastern side for Sita. While doing so he describes the islands of South East Asia.

In Kishkindha Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, chapter 40 verses 30, 31 and 32, the islands of Java and Sumatra are said to have been described by Sugreeva:

yatnavanto yava dviipam sapta raajya upashobhitam |
suvarNa ruupyakam dviipam suvarNa aakara maNDitam
|| 4-40-30

yava dviipam atikramya shishiro naama parvataH |
divam spR^ishati shR^ingeNa deva daanava sevitaH
|| 4-40-31
eteSaam giri durgeSu prapaateSu vaneSu ca
maargadhvam sahitaaH sarve raama patniim yashasviniim
|| 4-40-32

“You strive hard in the island of Yava, which will be splendorous with seven kingdoms, like that even in Golden and Silver islands that are enwreathed with gold-mines, in and around Yava islands. On crossing over Yava Island, there is a mountain named Shishira, which touches heaven with its peak, and which gods and demons adore. You shall collectively rake through all the impassable mountains, waterfalls, and forests in these islands for the glorious wife of Rama.”

The islands of Yava mentioned in the above verses are said to be the modern day Java islands. The Golden and Silver islands refer to Sumatra which was earlier known as Swarnadwīpa (Island of Gold). The seven kingdoms may refer to the Indonesian archipelago. This clearly indicates the knowledge of geography of regions beyond the Bharata khand by the ancient Hindus. This also suggests that people of ancient Bharat have travelled to these lands and back.

The Indonesian archipelagoThe Indonesian archipelago

Before the arrival of Hinduism in the early first century AD, the native people of Indonesian Archipelago are said to have been practicing an indigenous belief system common to Austronesian people. The indigenous spiritual concepts were fused with Hinduism which evolved into Javanese Hinduism. Many of the ancient Indonesian kingdoms followed Hinduism. The most famous are the Mataram, Kediri and Singhasari kingdoms. The archipelagic empire of Majapahit which ruled between 1293 and 1500 was the most powerful last major empire in Indonesian history.

King Brawijaya V of the Majapahit Empire is said to have converted to Islam in 1478 thus ending the Hindu empire. He is said to have been cursed by his priest Sabdapalon for converting to Islam. Sabdapalon promised to come back after 500 years, at the time of political corruption and natural disaster to bring back the Javanese Hinduism. The first modern Hindu temples are said to have been completed on these islands during 1978 (Pura Agung Blambangan temple). Mass conversions, back to Hinduism, have also said to have occurred in the region during this time and the eruption of Mt. Semeru, around this time, are taken as signs of the prophecy of Sabdapalon being completed.

Another prophecy, well-known throughout Java and Indonesia, is the Ramalan (or Jangka) Jayabaya. Ratu Joyaboyo (Jayabhaya) was the king of Widarba (a thousand cities) who is noted for the prophecy where he said “The Javanese would be ruled by whites for 3 centuries and by yellow dwarfs for the life span of a maize plant prior to the return of the Ratu Adil: whose name must contain at least one syllable of the Javanese Noto Negoro.” When Japan occupied Java and the surrounding islands during the Second World War in 1942, the Indonesians are said to have come out in the streets dancing, welcoming the Japanese as a sign of the Jayabhaya prophecy. Later, when Japan granted independence to Indonesia in 1945, most of the Javanese believed the Jayabhaya prophecy had been realized.

Wooden Garuda sculpture from Indonesia

Many Javanese appear to have retained aspects of their indigenous and Hindu traditions through the centuries of Islamic influence, under the banner of ‘Javanist religion’ or a non-orthodox ‘Javanese Islam’. The emergence of a self-conscious Hindu revival movement these days within Javanese community is a sign of significant development. Hindu symbols are still in use in Indonesia. The state intelligence agency of Republic of Indonesia has a Garuda as their symbol and the official airline of Indonesia is called Garuda Indonesia


14th century

The Glory of MajapahitMajapahit was the first empire to truly embrace the entire Indonesian archipelago. Later Javanese rulers, ancient and modern, have always looked upon this kingdom as their spiritual and political forerunner. Majapahit reached its zenith in the middle of the 14th Century under the rule of Wijaya’s grandson Hayam Wuruk and his brillian prime minister Patih Gajah Mada.Knowledge of Majapahit comes partly from stone inscriptions found among hundreds of temple ruins discovered in the vicinity of the capital, but mainly from a panegyric poepwritten by the court poet Prapanca following the death of Gajahmada in 1365.This next, known as the Negarakertagama, records all kinds of interesting details about the court and the royal family.One of the most important passages concerns an oath taken by Gajah Mada (the so-called sumpah palapa) to bring all the major islands of the archipelago (the Nusantara or ‘other islands’), under Majapahit’s control. This is said to have been accomplished by Gajah Mada, but historians feel that the subjugation of Nusantara actually involved a kind of trading federation with Majapahit as the dominant partner.Nevertheless, the trading ports of Sumatra as well as the Malay peninsula, Borneo, Sulawesi, Maluku and Bali all seem to have acknowledged Majapahit’s sovereignty. Not until the end of the 19th Century was a comparable attempt made to unify these disprate areas under a single banner.Majapahit’s decline set in almost immediately after Hayam Wuruk’s death in 1389. In a vain attempt to forestall the inevitable sibling conflict, Hayam Wuruk had divided his kingdom between his son and his daughter. However, a smouldering struggle for supremacy erupted in 1429, Majapahit had by this time lost control of thewestern Java Sea and the straits to a new Islamic power located at Malacca. Toward the endof the 15th Century, Majapahit and Kediri were conquered by the new Islamicstate of Demak on Java’s north coast, and it is said that the entire Hindu-Javanese aristocracy then fled to Bali.

16th century

According to primary historical sources from the 16th century, this kingdom is a kingdom covering an area which is now the province of Banten, Jakarta, West Java Province, and the western part of Central Java Province.
Based on the primary codex Bujangga Manik (narrating the journey Bujangga Manik, a Hindu priest who visited the Sunda sacred places of Hinduism in Java and Bali in the early 16th century), which is currently stored at Boedlian Library, Oxford University, England since 1627), limits the Kingdom of Sunda on the east is Ci pamali ( “pamali River”, now known as Kali Brebes) and Ci Serayu (which is now called Kali Serayu) in Central Java province. 

The first Europe


Europe is, by convention, one of the world’s seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally ‘divided’ from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting…

an fleet, four Portuguese


Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic , is a country located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south and by Spain to the north and east…

 ships from Malacca

Malacca is the third smallest Malaysian state, after Perlis and Penang. It is located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, on the Straits of Malacca. It borders Negeri Sembilan to the north and the state of Johor to the south…

, arrived in 1513 when the Portuguese were looking for a route for spices, especially black pepper

Black pepper

Black pepper is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. The fruit, known as a peppercorn when dried, is approximately in diameter, dark red when fully mature, and, like all drupes, contains a single seed…

. The Kingdom of Sunda made a peace agreement

Luso Sundanese padrão
The Luso Sundanese padrão is a stone pillar commemorating the Sunda–Portuguese treaty, better known as the Luso-Sundanese Treaty of Sunda Kalapa.-History:…

 with Portugal by allowing the Portuguese to build a port in 1522 in order to defend against the rising power of the Sultanate of Demak

Sultanate of Demak

The Sultanate of Demak was Javanese Muslim state located on Java’s north coast in Indonesia, at the site of the present day city of Demak. A port fief to the Majapahit kingdom thought to have been founded in the last quarter of the 15th century, it was influenced by Islam brought by Arab and…



The Moluccas, from the “Livro das Plantas das Fortalezas, Cidades e Povoaçoes do Estado da India Oriental 1600s.

Because of the continuous trade contacts between the Moluccas and the coming merchants of Muslim faith from Arabia and other Asia zones, starting from the 1430-1460 years Maomettan faith   made its entry in the islands, in those years various kings were converted to Islam and at the arrival of the Portuguese, Islam represented an important and elitarian element, although  the majority of the population still remained BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Ramerini, Marco  “The Spanish presence in the Moluccas, 1606-1663/1671-1677″ unpublished research.

Ramerini, Marco  “The Spanish forts in Tidore, a preliminar survey” unpublished article.


 A 1764 map of the Moluccas

Sultanate of Demak

Sultanate of Demak
Kasultanan Demak

The Grand Mosque of Demak, build on traditional Javanese architecture.

Capital Demak
Language(s) Javanese
Religion Islam
Government Sultanate
 – 1475-1518 ¹ Raden Patah
 – 1518-1521 Pati Unus
 – 1521-1548 Sultan Trenggana
 – foundation of Demak port town 1475
 – death of Sultan Trenggana 1548
¹ (
Spread of Islam (1200–1600)
Sultanate of Ternate (1257–present)
Malacca Sultanate (1400–1511)
Sultanate of Demak (1475–1548)
Aceh Sultanate (1496–1903)
Sultanate of Banten (1526–1813)
Mataram Sultanate (1500s–1700s)

The Sultanate of Demak was Javanese Muslim state located on Java‘s north coast in Indonesia, at the site of the present day city of Demak. A port fief to the Majapahit kingdom thought to have been founded in the last quarter of the 15th century, it was influenced by Islam brought by Arab and Gujarat traders. The sultanate was the first Muslim state in Java.

Despite its short period, the sultanate played an important role in the establishment of Islam in Indonesia, especially on Java and neighbouring area.




Demak’s origins are uncertain although it was apparently founded in the last quarter of the fifteenth century by a Muslim, known as Raden Patah (from Arabic name: “Fatah”, also called “Pate Rodin” in Portuguese records, or “Jin Bun” in Chinese record). There is evidence that he had Chinese ancestry and perhaps was named Cek Ko-po.[1]

Raden Patah’s son, or possibly his brother, led Demak’s brief domination in Java. He was known as Trenggana, and later Javanese traditions say he gave himself the title Sultan. It appears that Trenggana had two reigns—c 1505–1518 and c 1521–1546—between which his brother in law, Yunus of Jepara occupied the throne.[1]

Before emergence of Demak, northern coast of Java was seat of many Muslim communities, both foreign merchants and Javanese. The islamisation process gained momentum from decline of Majapahit authority. Following fall of Majapahit capital to usurper from Kediri, Raden Patah declared Demak indepence from Majapahit overlordship so did nearly all northern Javanese ports.[2]

Demak and nearby ports. With approximate coastline when Muria and Java still separated.

Demak was a busy harbor with trade connection to Malacca and the Spices islands. It was located at the end of a channel that separated Java and Muria Island (the channel is now filled and Muria joined with Java). In 15th century until 18th century, the channel was wide enough and important waterway for ships traveling along northern Javanese coast to the Spices islands. In the channel ia also located Serang river, which enabled access to rice producing interior of Java. This strategic location enabled Demak to rise as a leading trading centre in Java.[3]

According to Tome Pires, Demak had more inhabitants than any port in Sunda or Java. Demak was the main exporter of rice to Malacca. And with the rise of Malacca, so did Demak rise into prominence. Its supremacy also enhanced with claim of direct decent of Raden Patah to Majapahit royalty and his marriages ties with neighboring city-states.[3]

[Rulers of Demak

[ Raden Patah

Foundation of Demak traditionally attributed to Raden Patah (1475–1518), a Javanese nobility related to Majapahit royalty. At least one account stated that he was son of Kertabhumi, who reigned as king Brawijaya V of Majapahit (1468–1478). Demak manage consolidate its power to defeat Daha in 1527 because it is more accepted as legitimate successor of Majapahit. The reason of this acceptance is because Raden Patah was direct descendant of Kertabhumi who survived the Girindrawardana invasion of Trowulan in 1478.

Chinese chronicle in temple of Semarang states that Raden Patah founded town of Demak in marshy area to the north of Semarang. After the collapse of Majapahit, its various dependencies and vassals broke free, including northern Javanese port towns like Demak.[4]

The new state derives its income by trade: importing spices and exporting rice to Malacca and the Maluku Islands. He managed to gain hegemony on other Javanese trading ports in northern coast of Java such as Semarang, Jepara, Tuban, and Gresik.[5]

Supremacy of Raden Patah was illustrated by Tome Pires,” … should de Albuquerque make peace with the Lord of Demak, all of Java will almost be forced to make peace with him… The Lord of Demak stood for all of Java”.[6] Apart from Javanese city-states, Raden Patah also gained overlordship of ports of Jambi and Palembang in eastern Sumatra, from which produced commodities such as lignaloes and gold.[6] As most of its power is based on trade and control of coastal cities, Demak can be considered as a thalassocracy.

A early 18th century map of Java. Note that only major trading ports on the northern coast were known to the European. From west to east: * Bantam (Banten) * Xacatara (Jayakarta) * Cherebum (Cirebon) * Taggal (Tegal) * Damo (Demak) * Iapara (Jepara) * Tubam (Tuban) * Sodaio (Sedayu, now near Gresik) * Surubaya (Surabaya)

Pati Unus

Raden Patah was succeeded by his brother-in-law Pati Unus or Adipati Yunus (1518–1521). Before it, he was a ruler of Jepara, a vassal state to the north of Demak. He was known for his two attempts in 1511 and 1521 to seize the port of Malacca from the control of Portuguese.

In Suma Oriental, Tomé Pires refer to him as “Pate Onus” or “Pate Unus”, brother in-law of “Pate Rodim” (Raden Patah), the ruler of Demak. During the invasions he managed to mobilise vessels from Javanese coastal cities to Malay Peninsula. Javanese ports turned against Portuguese for a number of reason, the major of them is opposition to Portuguese insistence on monopoly of spices trade. The invasion fleet cosisted around one thousand vessels, but this was repulsed by the Portuguese. The destruction of this navy proved devastating to the Javanese ports, who although somewhat recovered, unable to respond properly when next colonial power came, the Dutch.

This campaign attempt ended with failures and loss of the King’s life. He was later remembered as Pangeran Sabrang Lor or the Prince who crossed (the Java Sea) to North (Malay peninsula).

 Sultan Trenggana

After the death of Pati Unus, the throne was contested between his brothers; Raden Kikin and Raden Trenggana. According to tradition, Sunan Prawoto, the son of Prince Trenggana, stole Keris Setan Kober, a powerful magical kris from Sunan Kudus, and used it to assassin his uncle Raden Kikin by the river, since then Raden Kikin also referred to as Sekar Seda Lepen (flower that fell by the river). Raden Trenggana rise as Sultan. The Pati Unus’ brother-in-law, Trenggana (1522–1548), crowned by Sunan Gunungjati (one of the Wali Songo), became the third and the greatest ruler of Demak. He conquered the Hindu based resistance in Central Java.

Following discovery of news of Portuguese-Sunda alliance, he ordered invasion to Banten and Sunda Kelapa ports of kingdom of Sunda at 1527 (Sunda Kelapa was later renamed Jayakarta). From this territories he created sultanate of Banten as vassal-state under Hasanudin, son of Gunungjati.

Trenggana spread Demak’s influence eastward and during his second regin, he conquered the last Javanese Hindu-Buddhist state, the remnants of Majapahit. Majapahit had been in decline since the later fifteenth century and was in an advanced state of collapse at the time of the Demak’s conquest,[1] it not real Majapahit which defeated by Sultan Trenggana since it created by Girindrawardhana after he defeat Kertabumi and raze Trowulan into ground. Majapahit’s heirlooms were brought to Demak and adopted as Demak’s royal icons.[citation needed] Demak was able to subdue other major ports and its reach extended into some inland areas of East Java that are not thought to have been Islamised at the time. Although evidence is limited, it is known that Demak’s conquests covered much of Java: Tuban, an old Majapahit port mentioned in Chinese sources from the eleventh century, was conquered c. 1527;

His campaign ended when he was killed in Panarukan, East Java in 1548.


The death of the strong Trenggana sparked the civil war of succession between the King’s son, Prince Prawoto; and Arya Penangsang the son of late Sekar Seda Lepen (Raden Kikin). Prawoto son of Trenggana ascend to throne as the new Sultan of Demak. However, Arya Penangsang of Jipang with the help of his teacher, Sunan Kudus, took revenge by sending an assassin to kill Prawoto using the same kris. Prawoto younger sister Ratu Kalinyamat seeks revenge on Penangsang, since Penangsang also murdered her husband. She urged her brother in-law, Hadiwijaya (popularly known as Joko Tingkir), Lord of Boyolali, to kill Arya Penangsang.

Arya Penangsang soon faced heavy opposition from his own vassals due to his unlikeable character, and soon was dethroned by a coalition of vassals led by Hadiwijaya, Lord of Boyolali, who had kinship with the King Trenggana. Hadiwijaya sent his adopted son and also his son in-law Sutawijaya, who would later become the first ruler of the Mataram dynasty, to kill Penangsang.

Hadiwijaya assumed the role as the King but he moved all the Demak heirlooms and sacred artifacts to Pajang, then he ended the Demak history when he founded his new kingdom: the short-lived Kingdom of Pajang.

Javanese legends of Demak

Later Javanese chronicles provide varying accounts of the conquest, but they all describe Demak as the legitimate direct successor of Majapahit although they do not mention the possibility that by the time of its final conquest, Majapahit no longer ruled. The first ‘Sultan’ of Demak, Raden Patah, is portrayed as the son of Majapahit’s last king by a Chinese princess who was exiled from the court before Patah’s birth.

The chronicles conventionally date the fall of Majapahit at the end of the fourteenth Javanese calendar (1400 Saka or 1478 AD), a time when changes of dynasties or court was though to occur. Although these legends explain little about the actual events, they do illustrate that the dynastic continuity survived Islamisation of

 from central Java.

By the 14th century, it was a major port for the Hindu

Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word “Hindu” is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion…

 16th century

Sunda Kingdom
 around 1579, covering areas of present-day Banten, Jakarta, West Java, and the western part of Central Java…
around 1579, covering areas of present-day Banten, Jakarta, West Java, and the western part of Central Java… The source reports the port of Sunda as strategic and thriving, pepper

Black pepper

Black pepper is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. The fruit, known as a peppercorn when dried, is approximately in diameter, dark red when fully mature, and, like all drupes, contains a single seed…

 from Sunda being among the best in quality. The people worked in agriculture and their houses were built on wooden piles.
The harbour area was renamed Sunda Kelapa

Sunda Kelapa
Sunda Kelapa is the old port of Jakarta located on the estuarine of Ciliwung River. “Sunda Kalapa” is the original name, and it was the main port of Sunda Kingdom of Pajajaran. The port is situated in Penjaringan sub-district, of North Jakarta, Indonesia…

 as written in a Hindu

. The first Europe


Europe is, by convention, one of the world’s seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally ‘divided’ from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting…

an fleet, four Portuguese


Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic , is a country located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and south and by Spain to the north and east…

 ships from Malacca

Malacca is the third smallest Malaysian state, after Perlis and Penang. It is located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, on the Straits of Malacca. It borders Negeri Sembilan to the north and the state of Johor to the south…

, arrived in 1513. Malacca had been conquered by Afonso de Albuquerque in 1511 when the Portuguese were looking for spices and especially pepper

Black pepper

Black pepper is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. The fruit, known as a peppercorn when dried, is approximately in diameter, dark red when fully mature, and, like all drupes, contains a single seed…


In the 15th century AD there was, at the mouth of the Ciliwung River

Ciliwung River
Ciliwung is a river that passes through Jakarta, Indonesia. The river flows from its source near Puncak on the highlands of West Java to the Jakarta Bay….

 in the western part of Java Island, a harbour called Kalapa. It was one of the sea ports of the Sundanese kingdom of Pajajaran whose capital, Pakuan, was situated on the location of the modern city of Bogor


Bogor is a city on the island of Java in the West Java province of Indonesia. The city is located in the center of the Bogor Regency , 60 kilometers south of the Indonesian capital Jakarta…

, some 60 km upstream on the river.

The Portuguese, who had conquered Malacca

Malacca is the third smallest Malaysian state, after Perlis and Penang. It is located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, on the Straits of Malacca. It borders Negeri Sembilan to the north and the state of Johor to the south…

 in 1511 and wanted to set foot in the Moluccas, the famed “Spice Islands”, were looking for a relay harbour on Java. Kalapa was attractive to them, all the more so since Pajajaran, which was still a Hindu

Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word “Hindu” is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion…

 polity, could make an alliance against Muslims who dominated the regional trade at that time.

 In 1522,

the Portuguese signed with Pajajaran a treaty.

The relationship between the Kingdom

A monarchy is a form of government in which the head of state reigns by some kind of perceived divine sanction. It is usually hereditary and there is usually only one monarch, though there are significant exceptions to these. The monarch often bears the title king or queen…

 of Sunda and Portugal intensified when another Portuguese named Enrique Leme visited Sunda in 1522 with the intention of giving a present. He was well-received and as a result, the Portuguese gained rights to build a warehouse and expand their fort in Sunda Kelapa (the name of the location at the time). The Sundanese regarded this as a consolidation of their position against the raging Muslim


Relationship Sunda Kingdom with the European
Sunda kingdom had long established trade relations with European nations such as British, French and Portuguese. Kingdom of Sunda even had a political relationship with the Portuguese. In the year 1522, the Kingdom of Sunda sign Sunda-Portuguese Treaty that allowed the Portuguese built forts and warehouses in the port of Sunda Kelapa. In return, the Portuguese are required to give military aid to the Kingdom of Sunda in the face of attacks from Demak and Cirebon (which broke away from the Kingdom of Sunda).


In 1512,

 at the arrival of the Portuguese  two main kingdoms controlled  the Moluccas: they were the sultanat of Ternate and the reign of Tidore, the first one controlled beyond the island of Ternate also half of the island of Moti, the northern side of the island of Halmahera called by the Portuguese Moro, the island of Ambon, the east part of Ceram and the northeast area of Sulawesi. The reign of Tidore, controlled beyond the island of Tidore the other half of the island of Moti, the island of Makian, the great part of the island of Halmahera and the western side of New Guinea. The control on these islands was exercised directly or through vassallage. Two others smaller reigns also existed: that of Bacan and that of Jailolo. The reign of Bacan, whose main village was on the island of Kasiruta, extended its infuence on the archipelago of Bacan and on the northern side of Ceram; the reign of Bacan was a great producer of sago, basic food of the populations of the islands, but  it was scarcely populated; the reign of Jailolo instead had been in the past the more important of the region but in 1500s. it was in decline and it controlled only the  north-western side of Halmahera, this reign will be practically annexed by Ternate and the Portuguese in 1551.

The sultan of Ternate succeeded to make alliance with the Portuguese and in 1522 asked and obtained the construction of a Portuguese fortress in its island. The first stone of the fortress was placed for the festivity of Saint John he Baptiste, on 24 June 1522, and for this the fort was called “Săo Joăo Baptista de Ternate”. The alliance with the Portuguese put out of balance more in favor of Ternate the power relationships with Tidore, on the contrary the king of Tidore at the arrival of the ships of the Magellan expedition ready demanded the help of the Spaniards.

A 1714 map of theMoluccas

As  is well known,  starting from the Magellan expedition, the Spaniards tried more and more times to get the controll of the spice islands to the prejudice of the Portuguese, with which they often had severe divergences. The Spaniards, established alliances with the sultans of Tidore and Jailolo and Spanish troops were present in the islands during the years 1527-1534 and 1544-1545. The lack of discover of the return route through the Pacific prevented they of being able to compete with the Portuguese naval power. In 1529, in order to define the contentious, an agreement between Spain and Portugal, the treaty of Saragozza, was reached, with this treaty the king of Spain at least nominally abandoned every pretension on the islands in exchange for a sum of money. The first  period of interest of the Spaniards in the Moluccas, was characterized by the fights against the Portuguese for the control of the islands, it began with the arrival of the Magellan expedition in 1521 and ended in 1545 with the surrender to the Portuguese of the men of the army of Villalobos, between these two expedition the Spaniards sent other fleets, those of Loaisa (1527) and Saavedra (1528) beyond to the unlucky expedition of Grijalva (1538). The expedition of Villalobos was prepared after the treaty of Saragozza and for this reason it was direct to not better specified islands of the spices not still occupied by  Portugal. The center of all this activity of the Spaniards remained for the whole period the island of Tidore. This first period of interest for the Spaniards in the Moluccas, that regards the years 1521-1606, can be subdivided in two distinct parts: the first part was that one, to which we have already pointed out, of the fights against the Portuguese for the control of the islands, it began with the arrival of the shipment of Magellano in 1521 and finished in 1545 with the surrender to the Portuguese of the men of Villalobos. The second part of this first period, was instead that of the union between the crowns of Spain and Portugal, during this time the Spanish expeditions departed from Manila in the Philippines and were organized with the aim to help the Portuguese troops against the Ternateans enemies, that were rebelled to the Portuguese and that  had expelled them from the island of Ternate. The main objective of these expeditions was the “reconquista” of the Portuguese fortress of Ternate. None of the six successive Spanish attempt  reached the prefixed objective. These attempts began in 1582 with the expedition of Francisco Dueńas, this first expedition had  merely informative character to know more on the military situation of the islands, Francisco Dueńas remained in the Moluccas for approximately two months between March and April 1582. The successive expedition was that   commanded by D. Juan Ronquillo it was done between 1582 and 1583, the Spaniards collaborated with the Portuguese helping them in some punitive expeditions. In 1584 it was the time of Pedro Sarmiento and then in 1585 of Juan de Morón also these two expeditions did not have the hoped result, this time the fortress of Ternate was attacked, but without result. A larger and better assembled army left Manila direct to the Moluccas in 1593 under the command of the governor of the Philippines Gómez Pérez Dasmarińas, but a rebellion and the murder of the same governor before reaching the Moluccas carried to the cancellation of all the operation. The last Spanish expedition of this period was that sent from Manila in aid of the fleet of Portuguese admiral André Furtado de Mendonça, the Spanish succour was commanded by Juan Juárez Gallinato, and left  Manila to the end of 1602, a combined Spanish-Portuguese attack against the fortress of Ternate was with no success. Was successful instead the attack that the Dutch did to the fortress of Tidore in 1605. Tidore was conquered on 19  May 1605, but not having a sufficient number of men in order to garrison the conquered fort, the Dutch commander the vice-admiral Cornelis Bastiaensz was limited to leave some men in a small trading farm. The Spanish answer, this time, was not late to arrive, and the expedition of 1606  lead by the governor of the Philippines Pedro de Acuńa reestablished the Iberian control on the Moluccas. After his fast Victoria, Acuńa decided,  to deport to Manila the sultan of Ternate, Said Barakat, with the Prince, its son, and all his dignitaries, in total about thirty persons. It was therefore from the year 1606 for 57 years, until the 1663 (with one small appendix in the island of Siau where a very small Spanish garrison remained from 1671 to 1677), the Spanish occupied some spice islands. The period was characterized by a continuous and often hard fights against the Dutch that were nearly always masters of the seas and in condition of superiority for armament, number of soldiers and ships. For most part of the period the Spaniards had a faithful allied in the sultan of Tidore, while the Dutch had the same in that of Ternate.


Ternate by Francois Valentijn, 1726: in this print is showed also the map of the Spanish town Nuestra Seńora del Rosario (Gammalamma).

The Spaniards, that after the conquest of Ternate, in 1606, were at least nominally masters of the spice islands, did not succed to contrast the successive return of Dutch that formed an alliance with the rebellious Ternatens. The Spanish occupation was mainly a military occupation, because of the hostility of theTernatens and the Dutch, than after the Spanish conquest of Ternate, returned more battle-trained. Starting  from the year 1607, the Dutch extended their control on the more profitableand better part and of the Moluccas: they, in 1607 constructed a fort in the same island of Ternate a few kilometers from the Spanish city, this fort was name Fort Malayo and then Fort Orange  (it was the actual Benteng Orange, in the city of Ternate). In the same island in October 1609, the Dutch built a fort in Tacome (Fort Willemstadt). The fort of Tacome was situated in the northern side of the island, that was rich of cloves. A third fort was finally constructed,




In 1522,
less than half a century after Islam arrived at Ternate, the Portuguese set up a fort on the island.
Thus, for the time they became allies of Ternate (a Muslim). In subsequent years several magnifying Ternate successfully baptized, but the royal dynasty and the mass of the people stick to the religion of Islam, which they profess since 1473. Christian community in Ternate remains “fortress church”. But in some other area Christian congregations born natives. Let us realize that these churches is the result of the Moluccan own initiative. In Halmahera, population of the village on the east coast of the island requested that the Portuguese in Ternate protect them from enemies and accept the religion of their protectors (1534). They were given rudimentary religious instruction, was baptized and given a new name, the name of the Portuguese. Thus, the pattern of conversion to Christianity-like conversion to Islam.
In the long term, Christian congregations in Halmahera can not stand, because it began in 1570 a war raged between Ternate and the Portuguese, who had killed the Sultan of Ternate, Hairun. The killing led to a long partnership turned into enmity, and political reasons described above is no longer valid. Church of the fort of Ternate were wiped out with fort, and in Halmahera was the Christian religion can not survive. However, while it successfully planted the seeds of Christians in Ambon. Around the year 1510 brought Islam to Hitu of Java. In 1538, the Sultan of Ternate (Islam) with the help of allies of the Portuguese (Christian), attacking people Hitu (a Muslim), who is assisted by a fleet of Java. People Hitu defeated. Then a number of villages around the Bay of Ambon, which has not converted to Islam, calling for the Portuguese. They also would receive their religious friends. In later Christianity spread to other villages in Ambon and Lease. Just as Christians in Halmahera, Ambon who can not live peacefully. They must constantly resist the attacks of Ternate and Hitu, and they should help in his battle against Ternate Tidore. However, in contrast to Halmahera, Ambon and Christianity can survive in the future is also widespread.
Christianity also spread to North Sulawesi and Sangihe. In 1563 the King of Manado and the number of people baptized. Siau king happened to be visiting there and participate baptized; population Siau island itself followed some years later. But since the Portuguese increasingly pressured by the Ternate, this seed can not be maintained. New in the 17th century, when the Spaniards from the Philippines to expand their influence into the region, successfully established congregations rather steady.
Christianity also spread over a region that lies outside the influence of the Sultan of Ternate, which is in East Nusa Tenggara. This area is important for Portuguese traders, since they produce sandalwood, which is sold in India and China.

A Muslim is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. “Muslim” is the Arabic term for “one who submits to God”….

 troops from the rising power of the Sultanate of Demak in Central Java.

 Islamic Kingdom
 History of Nusantara in the era of the Islamic empire

Islam as a government presence in Indonesia around the 12th century, but in fact Islam has already arrived in Indonesia in the 7th century AD. It was already a busy shipping lane and become international through the Malacca Strait that connects the Tang Dynasty in China, the Srivijaya in Southeast Asia and the Umayyads in West Asia since the 7th century. [4]

According to Chinese sources by the end of the third quarter of 7th century, became the leader of an Arab merchant Muslim Arab settlements on the coast of Sumatra. Islam also gives effect to the existing political institutions. This is apparent in the year 100 H (718 AD) King of Srivijaya Jambi named Srindravarman send a letter to the Caliph Umar bin Abdul Aziz of the Umayyad Caliphate request sent preachers who could explain Islam to him. The letter reads: “From the King in the King who is the descendant of a thousand kings, whose wife was also grandson of a thousand kings, who in the animal cages are a thousand elephants, whose territory there are two rivers that irrigate the tree aloes, spices fragrance, nutmeg and lime lines that fragrant smell to reach out to a distance of 12 miles, to the Arab King who does not associate other gods with Allah. I have sent you a gift, which is actually a gift that is not so much, but just a sign of friendship. I want you to send me someone who can teach Islam to me and explain to me about its laws. “Two years later, the year 720 AD, King Srindravarman, which was originally Hindu, converted to Islam. Sriwijaya Jambi also known as the ‘Sribuza Islam’. Unfortunately, in 730 AD captured by Jambi Sriwijaya Sriwijaya Palembang who still adhered to Buddhism. [5]

Islam continues to mengokoh become a political institution who carry Islam. For example, an Islamic sultanate called the Sultanate of Peureulak established on 1 Muharram 225 H or 12 November 839 AD Another example is the kingdom of Ternate. Islam arrived in this kingdom in the Maluku islands in 1440. Its king, a Muslim named Bayanullah.

Islamic Sultanate then semikin spread his teachings to the people and through assimilation, replaced Hinduism as the main trust at the end of the 16th century in Java and Sumatra. Only Bali that still retain the majority Hindus. On the islands in the east, Churchman-known Christian and Muslim clergy has been active in the 16th century and 17, and currently there are a large majority of both religions on these islands.

The spread of Islam through trade relations outside the archipelago; this case, because the spreading propaganda or mubaligh an emissary of the Islamic government that came from outside Indonesia, then to feed themselves and their families, the mubaligh this work through how to trade, the spread even this mubaligh Islam to the traders from the natives, until the merchants are embracing Islam and also transmit to other people, because most traders and experts was the first kingdom to adopt the new religion. Important Islamic Kingdom including: Royal Ocean Pasai, Sultanate of Banten, which establish diplomatic relations with European countries, the Kingdom of Mataram, and the Sultanate of Ternate in the Moluccas and the Sultanate Tidore


In 1527, Musl



A Muslim is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. “Muslim” is the Arabic term for “one who submits to God”….

 troops coming from Cirebon


Cirebon is a port city on the north coast of the Indonesian island of Java. It is located in the province of West Java near the provincial border with Central Java, approximately 297 km east of Jakarta, at .The seat of a former Sultanate, the city’s West and Central Java border location have…

 and Demak

Demak is on the north coast of Central Java province, on the island of Java, Indonesia.* Demak, Indonesia – the modern-day large town.* Demak Sultanate – the sixteenth century sultanate.* Demak Regency – the modern-day regency around the town….

 attacked the Kingdom of Sunda under the leadership of Fatahillah. The king was expecting the Portuguese to come and help them hold Fatahillah’s army because of an agreement that had been in place between Sunda and the Portuguese. However, Fatahillah’s army succeeded in conquering the city on June 22, 1557, and Fatahillah changed the name of “Sunda Kelapa” to “Jayakarta” (जयकर्; “Great Deed” or “Complete Victory” in Sanskrit


Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism….



original manuscript.jpg (117635 bytes)

Naer dat wij bij d’Ed=e. Hr. gouverneur en d’E. H=ren raden van India naer Taijoan waren gedestineert, soo sijn op den 18en Junij 1553 met bovengenoemde Iacht vande rheede van Batavia ‘tzeijl gegaen, op hebbende d’E. Hr. Cornelis Caesar om’t gouvernement van Taijoan, Formosa , met den aencleven van dien te becleden, tot vervangh van d’E


 In 1556
five thousand people are baptized on the island of Timor. Thus was born the Christian congregations in Flores and on several other islands. Dominicans here are active. They established a kind of religious state, with the center on the island of Solor.
Fort in Solor 1556  was they who built it. In this area also Christian groups involved in wars and are often attacked by outside forces. But they survived and grew into a kind of enclave of Portuguese in Southeast Asia.
Thus, the spread of Christianity in the 16th century was the beginning of the history of religion in Indonesia. We mention a few characteristics. (1) Christianity is not imposed on people of Indonesia, but accepted by them based on political considerations, economic, ethnological, military. (2) The spread of Christianity is not a purely religious phenomenon, but intertwined with other factors. (3) The emphasis of the Christian congregation located in Eastern Indonesia. (4) For adherents, Christianity is not a foreign element, but one’s own. Indigenous religion and culture as well as a new religion that blends into a new identity. (5) Christians are willing to treat * hold * it, and defend their new identities against all enemies. Age was also the * right * to witness the faith who are willing to die for his faith


Triumph of the Archipelago Portuguese Period
Period 1511-1526,

for 15 years, the archipelago became an important maritime port for the Kingdom of Portugal, which regularly become a maritime route to the island of Sumatra, Java, Banda, and Maluku.

In 1511 the Portuguese defeated the kingdom of Malacca.

In the Portuguese in 1512 to establish communication with the [[Kingdom of Sunda]] to sign a trade agreement, especially pepper. Trade agreement is then manifested on August 21, 1522 in the form of contract documents created duplicate, one copy to the king of Sunda and one for the king of Portugal. On the same day built a monument called the [[Inscription Sunda-Portuguese Treaty]] in a place that is now the corner of Clove Road and East First Street Kali Besar, West Jakarta. With this agreement, the Portuguese allowed to build a warehouse or a fortress in the [[Sunda Kelapa]].

In the year 1512

also Afonso de Albuquerque send Albreu Antonio and Francisco Serrão to lead the fleet to find a way to place of origin of spices in the Moluccas. Along the way, they stopped at Madura, Bali and Lombok. By using the skipper-skipper of Java, the fleet arrived in the Banda Islands, continue heading North until arriving at Ternate.

Portuguese presence in the waters and islands of Indonesia that has left traces of history that to this day is still maintained by local communities in the archipelago, particularly Flores, Solor and Maluku, Jakarta Kampong monument located in the eastern part of Jakarta, between Kali Cakung, Cilincing beach and soil Marunda.

Europeans first discovered the Moluccas is Portuguese, in the year 1512. At that time, two Portuguese fleet, each under the leadership of Anthony d’Abreu and Francisco Serau, landed in Banda Islands and Turtle Island. Once they make friends with residents and local kings – such as with Kingdom of Ternate on the island of Ternate, the Portuguese were given permission to establish a stronghold in Pikaoli, nor may the State Hitu old, and Mamala Ambon.Namun Island spice trade relations did not last long , because the Portuguese introduced a system of monopoly and also to spread Christianity.
One of his famous missionary Francis Xavier. Arriving in Ambon 14 February 1546, then traveled to Ternate, arrived in 1547, and tirelessly visiting the islands in the Maluku Islands to make the spread of religion.
Portuguese Friendship and Ternate ended in 1570. Warfare with the Sultan Babullah for 5 years (1570-1575), allowed the Portuguese had to leave from and expelled into Tidore Ternate and Ambon.


Discounting francis drake’s brief passage through the sunda strait in the late 1570s,

In 1595,


Amsterdam is the capital and largest city of the Netherlands, with a population of 780,152 within city limits, an urban population of 1,209,419 and a metropolitan population of 2,158,592. The city is in the province of North Holland in the west of the country

then they built a fort at Ternate in 1511,

then in 1512 built the Citadel in Amurang North Sulawesi. Portuguese lost the war with Spain, the north Sulawesi area submitted in the Spanish rule (1560 to 1660). Portuguese kingdom later united with the Kingdom of Spain. (Read the book: Portuguese Colonial History in Indonesia, by David DS Lumoindong). 17th-century merchant fleet came VOC (Dutch), who later managed to expel the Portuguese from Ternate, which then backwards and mastering Portuguese East Timor (since 1515).

Colonialism and Imperialism began spreading in Indonesia around the 15th century, which begins with the landing of the Portuguese in Malacca and the Dutch-led Cornelis de Houtmen in 1596, to seek the source of spices and trade.

Popular Resistance against Portuguese === ===
The arrival of the Portuguese to the Malay Peninsula and the Maluku Islands is an order from his country to trade.

Popular Resistance ==== ==== Malacca to the Portuguese
In 1511, the Portuguese fleet led by Albuquerque to attack the kingdom of Malacca. To attack the colonial Portuguese in Malacca which occurred in 1513 have failed because the power of Portuguese and more powerful weapons. In 1527, the fleet Demak under the leadership of Falatehan can master Banten, Suda Palm, and Cirebon. Portuguese fleet to be destroyed by Falatehan and he later renamed Sunda Kelapa to Jayakarta (Jakarta)

Resistance ==== ==== Acehnese against the Portuguese
Beginning in 1554 until the year 1555, the Portuguese efforts failed because the Portuguese received stiff resistance from the people of Aceh. At the time of Sultan Iskandar Muda in power, the Kingdom of Aceh was attacked the Portuguese in Malacca in 1629.

Popular Resistance ==== ==== Moluccas against Portuguese
The Portuguese first landed in Maluku in 1511. The next Portuguese arrival in 1513. However, Tertnate feel aggrieved by the Portuguese because of their greed to obtain monopoly profits through the efforts of the spice trade.

In 1533, the Sultan of Ternate appeal to all the people of Maluku to expel the Portuguese in the Moluccas. In 1570, the people of Ternate, which was led by Sultan Hairun to re-take the fight against the Portuguese, but can be tricked by the Portuguese and eventually murdered in the Fort Duurstede. Furthermore, led by Sultan Baabullah in the year 1574. Portuguese expelled who then lived on the island of Timor.

Spanish Colonization === ===
{{Main | History of Nusantara Zaman_Spanyol}}

[[Fernando Magelhans]] (sometimes also written Ferdinand) Magelan. Because of this character, who led the first fleet to circumnavigate the world and prove that the earth is round, when it was known by the [[Europe]] flat earth. Commencement [[Colonization]] for centuries by the [[Spain]] along with other European nations, especially the [[Portuguese ]],[[ England]] and [[Netherlands]].

From [[Spain]] to [[Pacific Ocean]] that the Portuguese fleet sailed the Pacific Ocean, past the [[Cape of Good Hope Africa]], to [[Strait of Malacca]]. From here proceed to the Moluccas exploration to find spices, gold equivalent commodity at the time.

“In the 16th century when the adventure begins usually sailors Catholic country was blessed by the priest and the king before sailing through the ocean.

On September 20, 1519, San Antonio, Concepción, Victoria, and Santiago, the biggest to the smallest-follow the mother ship Magellan, Trinidad, the second largest ship, as they set sail for South America. On 13 December, they reached Brazil, and Pao de Açúcar staring, or Sugarloaf Mountain, which is impressive, they entered the bay of Rio de Janeiro is wonderful for repairs and provisions. Then they went south into what is now Argentina, always searching for el paso, the elusive path to the other oceans. Meanwhile, the days get colder and icebergs appear. Finally, on March 31, 1520, Magellan decided to spend the winter in a cold harbor of San Julián.

Sailing has now take six times longer than Columbus’ voyage across the Atlantic Ocean for the first time, and have not seen any of the strait! Their morale began as cold weather in San Julián, and the men, including several captains and officers, get frustrated and want to go home. It’s no surprise when mutiny erupts. However, thanks to a quick and decisive action on the part of Magellan, it was foiled and the two leaders are killed.

The presence of foreign vessels in the harbor must have attracted a strong local-and large-bodied. Feeling like a dwarf compared to these giants, the visitors Patagonia call that land from a Spanish word meaning “big feet”-to this day. They also observe ‘sea wolves of the calf, as well as black and white geese that swim underwater, eat fish, and has a beak like a crow’. Of course, none other than not it seals and penguins!

Polar latitudes are prone to violent storms suddenly, and before winter is over, the fleet was experiencing his first victim of small-Santiago. However, fortunately the crew can be rescued from the sinking ship that. After that, the four surviving ship, like a little winged moths that hit in the middle of the frozen ocean currents and never let up, fight tooth and nail head south to colder waters, until October 21. Sailing under the pouring rain that freezes, all eyes glued to a crack in the west. El paso? Yes! Finally, they turned and entered the strait later known as the Strait of Magellan! However, even this moment of triumph is tarnished. San Antonio deliberately disappear in the maze of straits and return to Spain.

The three ships which still survive, diimpit by a narrow gulf between snow-covered cliffs, with persistent sailed through the winding strait that. Brand watched so many fires in the south, possibly from Indian camps, so they call that land Tierra del Fuego, “Land of Fire.”

Magellan arrived in the Philippines many local people and their rulers to Catholicism. But the spirit also become corrupted. He became involved in tribal disputes and, with only 60 men, attacked about 1,500 indigenous people, with the belief that guns bows, old-fashioned guns, and God will ensure his victory. Instead, he and a number of his subordinates were killed. Magellan was about 41 years. Pigafetta loyal wailing, ‘They killed reflection, lights, entertainers, and our true guide. ” A few days later, about 27 officers who only watch from their ship, was killed by tribal leaders who previously friendly.

Because now the number of crew of the cruise is low, it is impossible to sail with three ships, so they drown the Concepción and sail with two ships are still living to their final destination, the Spice Islands. Then, after filling the charge with the spices, the two ships separated. However, the crew of the ship Trinidad was captured by the Portuguese and imprisoned.

However, Victoria, under the command of former rebel Juan Sebastián de Elcano, miss. While avoiding all the ports except one, they take the risk of the Portuguese route around the Cape of Good Hope. However, without stopping to fill the supply is an expensive strategy. When they finally reached Spain on 6 September 1522-three years since their departure, only 18 men who are sick and helpless who survive. Even so, can not be denied that they were the first person to sail around the earth. Juan Sebastián de Elcano was a hero. What an amazing thing, the charge spice Victoria weighing 26 tons defray the costs of the entire expedition!

When a ship that survived, Victoria, returned to port after completing the journey around the world for the first time, only 18 men of 237 men who were on the ship in the early departure. Among survivors, there are two Italians, Antonio Pigafetta and Martino de Judicibus. Martino de Judicibus (Spanish: Martín de Judicibus) adalan people of Genoa [1] which acts as the Head Waiter. It works by Ferdinand Magellan on its historic journey to find a western route to the Spice Islands of Indonesia. [2] The history of his trip immortalized in the registration of nominative in Archivo General de Indias in Seville, Spain. The family name is called with the proper Latin patronimik, namely: “de Judicibus”. At first he was assigned to the Caravel Concepción, one of five Spanish fleet owned by Magellan. Martino de Judicibus start this expedition with the title of captain. (Read more in the book “History of Colonial Spanish in Indonesia” by David DS Lumoindong.

Before mastering the Philippine islands in 1543, Spain made the island of Manado Tua as a stopover to obtain fresh water. Of the island’s Spanish ships entered the mainland
North Sulawesi through the river-Tondano. Spanish traveler relationship with rural residents is established through a barter economy began in Uwuran (now city Amurang) alongside the river Rano I Apo. Barter trade of rice, resin, honey and other forest products with fish and salt.

Warehouse Coffee
Manado and Minahasa be important for Spain, because of soil fertility and use Spanish for the planting Kofi originating from South-America to be marketed to mainland China. For that in-
wake Manado as a trade center for Chinese traders who market Kofi kedaratan China. Manado name included in the map of the world by experts the world map, Nicolas_Desliens, in 1541. Manado also
the main attraction of Chinese society by Kofi as an export commodity inland communities of Manado and Minahasa. Pioneered the development of Chinese traders Kofi warehouse (now around the Market 45) which later became Chinatown and the settlement. The arrivals from mainland China mingle and assimilate with inland communities and to form a pluralistic society in Manado and Minahasa
with derivatives Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch.

The appearance of the name of Manado in North Sulawesi with a variety of commercial activities carried Spain into Portugal since the appeal to establish its position in Ternate. For that approach send the Portuguese Catholic mission on the ground Manado and Minahasa in 1563 and developed a religious and Catholic education. Effect of race in the Celebes Sea Adu

Between Minahasa with Ternate, there are two small islands called Mayu and Tafure. Then the two islands were used as transit port by sailors Minahasa. At that time there is competition Portuguese and Spanish in which Spain won the two islands. Pandey Tombulu origin who became king on the island run by a fleet of boats back to the Minahasa, but because of the summer monsoon and then stranded in Gorontalo. Pandey boy named Potangka continue the journey and arrived at Ratahan. In Ratahan, he was appointed commander of the war because he was an expert shot guns and rifles to fight the Portuguese attacker from Mongondouw in the region. In 1563 the territory known Ratahan Ternate people with the name “Watasina” because when attacked by a fleet of Kora-kora menhalau Ternate to Spain from the region (the book “De Katholieken en hares Missie” written by AJ Van Aernsbergen). In 1570 Portuguese and Spanish conspired to kill the king of Ternate, so make a big fuss in Ternate. When that many Islamic traders fled to Ternate and Tidore Ratahan. Pirate attacks increased in Ratahan through Bentenan, plows the sea using the slaves as rowers. The captive slaves fled to the Ratahan pirates when night pirate boat fleet was damaged soldiers Ratahan – barely. Tentative conclusions can we draw from this story collection is the original inhabitants of this region is Touwuntu in lowland areas to the beach Toulumawak in the mountains, they are descendants Opok Soputan seventh century. Name OPO ‘Soputan appears again as the head of the 16th century walak region with head walak Raliu brothers and Potangkuman. Residents of this region comes from the 16th century natives and newcomers from Tombulu, Tompakewa (Tontemboan), Tonsea, Ternate and pirates prisoner may from Sangihe.

Minahasa Struggle Against Spain === ===

Oki Queen in 1644 ranges up to 1683. At that time, there was a great war between the child Tombatu tribe (also commonly referred to Toundanow or Tonsawang) with the Spaniards. The war was triggered by the child’s tribe Tombatu disaffection against the Spaniards who want to master the trade of commodities, especially rice, which is the result of the earth at that time the mainstay of residents. Besides, anger is also caused by the evil Spaniards against local residents, especially to his daughter.
The war has resulted in the death of 40 Spanish soldiers in Kali and Stone (Stone Dimples location now – ed). Naasnya, on the child’s tribe Tombatu, has resulted in the deaths Monde Commander with 9 people’s armies. Commander Monde is none other than her husband Queen Oki. According to that told in the paper, the Commander Monde died after desperately defending his wife, Queen Oki.Menurut PA Gosal, et al., In the reign of Queen Oki, son of the tribe Toundanow (another name for the child’s tribe or Tonsawang Tombatu) that inhabit the lake Bulilin live prosperous, secure and peaceful. “The wisdom and the wisdom to lead children Toudanow tribe then adopted as well as Queen Oki Tonaas or Balian. During kepemimpinnan Queen Oki, Spain and the Netherlands have never mastered or colonize Toundanow child, “

War of the Spanish opponent Minahasa

The crew of Spanish sailors lived in Minahasa and even blend in with society. They married women Minahasa, so that their descendants became brothers with indigenous residents.

In 1643 war broke out Minaesa States against the kingdom of Spain. in a battle in Tompaso, Spanish troops assisted the troops of King Loloda Mokoagouw II hit losers, the union backed by the combined forces Minaesa, chased up to the shore but

Year 1694 in a battle in Tompaso, the troops of King Loloda Mokoagouw II hit losers, the union backed by the combined forces of Minahasa, chased down to the beach but is prevented and mediated by the Resident VOC Herman Jansz Steynkuler. In the year 1694 September 21, was held peace agreement, and set the border is a river Poigar Minahasa. Minaesa States troops from occupied Tompaso New Tompaso, Rumoong settled in Rumoong Down, down Kawangkoan Kawangkoan inhabit, and so forth.

In the Dutch colonial administration pasa then it originally was an autonomous region but over time gradually decreased with the powers of the king the king the appointment of an officer in the Dutch government, so that the king lives a territory level officials ‘district’.

 Europeans had been aware of the existence of a rich archipelago off the southeastern corner of Asia since classical times, and the name ‘Java’ in particular often appeared in various forms on European maps of the world before 1500. Closer European knowledge of the Indies, however, had to await the establishment of direct contact after the Portuguese Vasco da Gama discovered the sea route to India around the Cape of Good Hope (though Marco Polo’s brief passage through the archipelago at the end of the 13th century had begun to extend European knowledge). The Portuguese Antonio d’Abreu and Francisco Serrão, sent eastwards after the capture of Melaka, gave detailed reports of Maluku, but the Portuguese were most secretive about their activities in the east and it was not until the later expeditions of the Spaniard Ferdinand Magellan (who died in what is now The Philippines before reaching the Indies) and the Englishman Francis Drake (1540 –1596) that information on the Indies became more widely published in Europe.


Figure 3.i:  Portuguese ship.

Early European visitors to the Indonesian archipelago

Rijklof van Goens’ description of main roads in Mataram, 1648-1654

These visits were the prelude to an era of more than four centuries in which European traders, soldiers, administrators and missionaries utterly transformed the Indonesian archipelago.

Historians continue to debate when European influence in the Indonesian archipelago began to produce significant political, social and economic change. The Portuguese attack on Melaka in 1511 was significant as the first attack on the Indonesian archipelago from outside since the brief Mongol invasion of the 13th century and the attack had major religious and political consequences for western Indonesia. Many regions, however, remained entirely or largely unaffected by the Europeans for decades or even centuries thereafter.

The Europeans were drawn to Indonesia by the spice trade, but all the major European powers with interests in the archipelago claimed more than traders’ rights there. Portugal and Spain, the only European powers active in the archipelago during the 16th century, claimed authority throughout the region on the basis of the so-called Papal Donation of 1493, which had allocated the western hemisphere to Spain and the eastern hemisphere to Portugal. This Donation, ratified in the Treaty of Tordesillas of 1494, implicitly established a line of demarcation in the Indies at 129°E, thus partitioning Maluku. Determining longitude in the field, however, was a difficult exercise, and the course of the line remained uncertain. In 1527, Spain and Portugal signed a further treaty in Saragossa which shifted the boundary seventeen degrees to the east, giving Portugal clear title over Maluku and most of the island of New Guinea in exchange for a payment of 350,000 ducats. Nonetheless, Spain briefly established a post in Tidore between 1542 and 1545 while further north the Spanish claimed what became the Philippines by virtue of Magellan’s ‘discovery’ in 1521. An expedition from New Spain landed in the islands in 1565 and laid the basis for Spanish control which confirmed the separation of the Philippines from the Indonesian world.


Sulawesi and Maluku (The Moluccas)

Like Nusatenggara, the island of Sulawesi offers only a sparse historical and archaeological record before the 17th century. By the 14th century, states had begun to form in the southwestern peninsula (generally called South Sulawesi), but because there appears to have been little Indic cultural influence in this process, there are no significant inscriptions from this era. In 1300, the main states were Luwu’ (by tradition the oldest state in the region) and Soppeng, both of them consisting of powerful centres dominating a number of surrounding lesser states, including Sidenreng and Lamuru. Soppeng’s power seems to have been based especially on the export of rice, while Luwu’ exported iron from the interior. In the late 15th century, Soppeng appears to have declined in power, while Wajo’ emerged as junior member of an alliance with Luwu’. The dominance of Luwu’, however, was checked by the rise of Bone in the early 16th century, while a new power arose in the south in the form of Gowa. Little is known about the other peninsulas of Sulawesi in this period.

Southern Sulawesi, ca 1500

Minor states of northern Sulawesi, 16th century

From about 1530, the formerly small south Sulawesi state of Gowa began to grow in power, and its port, Makasar, became increasingly important as a centre of trade in the western archipelago. Gowa used military force to bring much of South Sulawesi under its domination, though the more distant and powerful states such as Wajo’ had the standing of slightly subordinate allies, rather than true vassals; only the Bugis state of Bone on the east coast successfully resisted Gowa’s campaigns. The port of Makasar became still more important in the early 17th century. Its ruler converted to Islam in 1605, making the port more attractive to Muslim traders, and it also became a centre for traders, both European and indigenous, excluded from Maluku by the monopoly practices of the VOC. Conversion to Islam led Gowa into a new bout of conquests in the region, including Wajo’ in 1610 and finally Bone in 1611. Further campaigns in the following decades took Gowa’s influence to Sumbawa, the east coast of Borneo and even the Kai and Aru Islands, though – except in Sumbawa and Butung – Makasar never exercised significant authority and in many areas, such as the northern parts of Sulawesi, the Makasar claim was a fiction supported only by the absence of significant local powers to question it.

Makasar and the subordinate states of south Sulawesi, ca 1600

As the centre for trade which the Dutch regarded as smuggling, Makasar soon became the target for intermittent Dutch hostility, and Makasar responded by assisting the Company’s enemies in Maluku. In 1666, the Dutch decided to make an end once and for all to Makasar’s resistance. They made an alliance with Arung Palakka, a Bugis prince from Bone, who had been exiled by Makasar to Butung in 1660 after an abortive uprising. The combined force defeated Makasar in 1667, and forced the sultan to sign the Treaty of Bungaya in which Makasar relinquished all its vassals, both in south Sulawesi and abroad, and allowed the Dutch to build a fort in the heart of its main port. The treaty was decisive in ending Makasar’s power, but it took a further round of fighting until 1669 before Makasar was fully defeated. Arung Palakka became ruler of Bone and the dominant political force in the region, but his authoritarian rule and destructive military campaigns against rebellious vassals led to a massive exodus of Buginese and Makasar warriors seeking safer homes elsewhere in the archipelago. The northern arm of Sulawesi had come under Spanish influence from the nearby Philippines in the 16th century, but was incorporated in the Dutch sphere of influence after the Treaty of Bungaya.


Bali and Nusatenggara

Recent archaeological work has shown that Bali was part of a trading network linking the archipelago with the Indian and Roman worlds from about the first century A.D., but very little is known of the island’s history before the 8th century, when it begins to be mentioned in Javanese accounts. Successive Javanese rulers, notably Airlangga in the 11th century, appear to have held some degree of hegemony over Bali, and many elements of Javanese culture, including Hindu-Buddhist beliefs, were transmitted in this era. According to the Nagarakertagama (Desawarnyana), Majapahit conquered Bali in 1334, establishing a ruling class of nobles called Arya.

Some time after the decline of Majapahit, probably in the early 16th century, Bali came under the dominance of a royal family based in the town of Gelgel, who created an empire encompassing not just Bali but parts of Lombok, Sumbawa and the eastern peninsula of Java.

Bali: the empire of Gelgel at its greatest extent, 17th century

Gelgel appears to have collapsed in the mid-17th century, and Bali disintegrated into a number of warring states, the most important of them Buleleng in the north, Mengwi in the south and Klungkung in the east; Klungkung’s capital was just a few kilometres from the site of Gelgel and its royal family claimed to be the senior lords on the island. Over the next century and a half, however, the balance of power between the kingdoms, large and small, was constantly in flux. Buleleng went into decline in the 18th century, while Karangasem rose in power to dominate virtually all of southern Bali. The rulers of Karangasem carved out an empire on Lombok and even sought to recover Gelgel’s hegemony over Sumbawa. Mengwi was the most powerful state in the south of the island for most of the 18th century, but much of its energy was consumed in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to regain and maintain hegemony over Balambangan.



The Alienation (1601 – 1700)

(1601 – 1700)

1601 – Portuguese sent a fleet from Goa, India, to drive the Dutch from the Indies. The English set up fort at Banda. Aceh sends two ambassadors to Europe to observe and report on the situation to the Sultan. December 25-27: Five Dutch ships defeat the Portuguese fleet of 30 ships in battle in Banten harbour.

1602 – March 20: Dutch companies combine to form Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC); led by Heeren XVII representing different regions of the Netherlands; States-General gives VOC power to raise armies, build forts, negotiate treaties and wage war in Asia. VOC begins sending large, well-armed ships to the Indies (38 in the first three years). VOC establishes post at Gresik. Sir James Lancaster leads an (English) East India Company expedition, reaches Aceh, and builds a trading post at Banten.

1603 – Official VOC trading post founded at Banten.

1604 – English East India Company expedition under Sir Henry Middleton visits Ternate, Tidore, Ambon, and Banda.

1605 – Portuguese at Ambon surrender to ships under VOC and sends expeditions to Banda, Irian Jaya, northern Australia.

1606 – Spanish take Ternate and Tidore. VOC makes unsuccessful attack on Portuguese Melaka. VOC begins trading at Banjarmasin.

1607 – May: Sultan of Ternate appeals to the VOC for help against the Spanish. Aceh under Iskandar Muda and his successor, Iskandar Thani, was a center of Islamic scholarship and debate.

1609 – Portuguese fortress on Bacan falls to VOC.

1610 – Post of Governor-General is created for VOC in Asia, advised by Raad van Indie (Council of the Indies).

1611 – English begin setting up many posts in the Indies, including at Makassar, Jepara, Aceh and Jambi. Dutch set up post at Jayakerta.

1613 – April 18: Dutch take Solor from Portuguese. Portuguese Dominicans move headquarters to Larantuka, Flores. Iskandar Muda of Aceh defeats Johore, burns down the city, carries away the Sultan of Johore and VOC representatives. Mataram forces burn down Gresik; Krapyak asks VOC in Maluku for help against Surabaya. VOC sets up post at Jepara and first post on Timor.

1614 – Aceh wins naval battle against Portuguese at Bintan, continues on to attack Melaka. Johore throws out Aceh forces, creates alliance Palembang, Jambi, and other Sultanates against Aceh. VOC sends ambassador to Agung.


An attack in progress

1615 – VOC closes post at Gowa, hostilities drag on for years.

First Dutch Reformed church in the east founded at Ambon. English build warehouse at Jayakerta. Dutch abandon Solor after just two years.

During 1615-1616, the Schouten expedition became the first to sail around Cape Horn at the the southern tip of South America, then made the first visit by Europeans to many south Pacific islands. By the time they arrived in Batavia (Jakarta), Coen had them jailed for violating the V.O.C.’s monopoly, and confiscated their ships. Years later, in 1722, the Dutch explorer Roggeveen would run into the same trouble after discovering Easter Island.

1616 – VOC military expedition against Banda.

1618 – Jan Pieterzoon Coen becomes Governor-General of VOC. English merchants attack Chinese ships in Banten in a dispute over the price of pepper. Coen begins secretly fortifying the VOC warehouses at Jayakerta to the east. December Sultan of Banten encourages English to drive Dutch out of Jayakerta. Coen leaves for Maluku to muster ships and soldiers. Agung bans the sale of rice to the VOC. Agung’s governor of Jepara attacks the VOC post there; Dutch burn down much of Jepara in retaliation. Dutch reoccupy Solor.

banten - chinese traders late 1500Chinese traders

1619 – January: English force Dutch surrender at Jayakerta, but Banten forces take over from the English in a surprise move. The English and the Pangeran of Jayakerta retreat. March 12: Dutch rename post at Jayakerta to Batavia (today’s Jakarta). May: Coen passes through Jepara, and burns down the city again, including the English trading post. May 28: Coen arrives at Jayakerta, and burns down the original town of Jayakerta, leaving only the Dutch post of Batavia remaining to become VOC headquarters. August: VOC begins building city at Batavia.

1620 – VOC under Coen almost exterminates population of Banda to prevent “smuggling”. Survivors settle on small islands near Seram.

One of Coen’s goals was to make the VOC strong enough on its own so that it did not have to depend on the goodwill of neighboring rulers. He intended to do this by changing the VOC from a trade empire to an empire that ruled actual territories, then settling those territories with colonists from the Netherlands. Military strength was important, both for maintaining a position of power among the local kings and sultans, and for keeping the Spanish, Portuguese and English away.

1621 – British found trading post at Ambon.

1622 – Agung and VOC make overtures to each other.

1623 – VOC agents in Ambon arrest, torture and execute English agents on charges of conspiracy. Aceh sacks Johore. Carstenz expedition for VOC explores southern coast of Irian Jaya. Coen returns to the Netherlands. Carpentier is new Governor-General of the VOC. VOC takes nominal claim to Aru Islands.

1625 – The first “hongi” raids took place in Maluku. These were attacks, usually by local allies of the VOC, against anyone who was growing cloves without authorization of the VOC.

Dutch ship_1628

1627 – Coen returns from the Netherlands to serve as Governor-General of the V.O.C. again. December 25: Soldiers from Banten infiltrate the fortress of Batavia, kill some guards, and escape, but do little damage.

1628 – Agung sends army against VOC in Batavia; dams Ciliwung River in attempt to deny fresh water to the VOC. He fails to oust the Dutch, who prevent his army from receiving supplies by sea. Commanders of the Mataram army are executed for failure. Last of the English leave Banda.

1629 – Agung attacks Batavia again. He is defeated, although Coen dies during the siege. Banten, fearing Agung now more than the VOC, pleads for peace with the VOC. Iskandar Muda sends navy of Aceh against Portuguese Melaka, but the Aceh navy is destroyed. September 20: Coen passes away. Introduction of sugar cultivation in Banten.

1630 – Dutch abandon Solor, which is retaken by the Portuguese.

1633 – Agung raids east Java; the Hindu kingdom of Balambangan asks for VOC help and is refused. Balambangan then asks the King of Gelgel in Bali for help. War between VOC and Banten.

1634 – Dutch arrest Kakiali, leader of Hitu in Maluku, on charges of smuggling.

This was the “mercantilist” age of trade empires. There were many powers that wanted to create trade empires: the Dutch through the VOC, the English, Banten, and Gowa were among them. There was no such thing as “free trade” under these empires. The VOC especially wanted total control of trade, and any selling to anyone outside the VOC was considered “smuggling”.

batakwarrior2Batak warrior

1635 – VOC signs treaty with Kutai on Kalimantan.

1636 – Agung, realizing that he cannot defeat Dutch, makes overtures towards VOC. Van Diemen becomes Governor-General of VOC. Portuguese abandon posts on Solor after six years. VOC bans all private correspondence (until 1701).

1637 – VOC attacks Ternate. VOC releases Kakiali, who pledges friendship to VOC but makes anti-Dutch alliance between Hitu, Ternate, and Gowa. Local Muslims overcome Portuguese fortress at Ende on Flores. Agung gives permission for Portuguese and Catholic refugees from Batavia to settle around Jepara. Around this time the VOC started pushing the Portuguese out of many of their posts in Nusa Tenggara.

1639 – Chief minister Matoaya of Gowa is succeeded by his son Pattingalloang. Unlike his father, Pattingalloang did not maintain good relations with the Bugis. The bad feeling would eventually lead some Bugis to side with the VOC against Gowa and Makassar.

1640 – Portugal regains independent crown from Spain. Portuguese abandon trading post at Jepara.

1641 – Taj ul-Alam becomes Sultana of Aceh, starts period of female rulers; Johore and Aceh settle differences. January 14: VOC takes Melaka from Portuguese, with help from the Sultan of Johore. The Sultan opens ports in Riau to all traders. Kakiali and Hitu attack VOC on Ambon.

The VOC takeover of Melaka was the real end of Portuguese importance in the region. But after losing Melaka, some Portuguese started trading with Gowa on Sulawesi. With the English and Portuguese almost gone, and Batavia and Ambon relatively secure from neighboring rulers, this was the most profitable time for the VOC.


1642 – VOC gets monopoly on trade with Palembang by treaty. Tasman explores coasts of Irian Jaya for VOC on voyage back from New Zealand. “Statutes of Batavia”, based on Roman law, are introduced as a legal code for VOC territories.

1645 – Mandarsyah becomes Sultan of Ternate with VOC help. VOC established outpost at Perak.

1646 – Sultan Agung dies, and is succeeded by Susuhunan Amangkurat I. Relations between Amangkurat I and the VOC are good in the beginning. VOC finally takes Hitu. Dutch arrive again on Solor, abandoned by the Portuguese ten years earlier. September 24: Cooperation treaty between VOC and Mataram, involving promises of mutual assistance against enemies and extradition of runaway debtors, among other things. Ships of Mataram may trade at any VOC port except Ambon, Ternate or Banda, but must apply for a pass at Batavia if they are sailing for Melaka or points beyond. Portuguese begin building a settlement at the present site of Kupang on western Timor. VOC builds a trading post in the Tanimbar Islands.

1650 – VOC intervenes in uprising against Sultan Mandarsyah of Ternate, sparking civil war.

1651 – VOC reopens post at Jepara; Amangkurat I begins interfering in coastal trade. VOC takes Kupang on western Timor; Portuguese move to Lifau, in what is now East Timor. VOC outpost at Perak is destroyed.

1652 – VOC takes Sultan Mandarsyah of Ternate to Batavia, makes him sign agreement not to grow cloves, starts military moves against opposing faction in Ternate. Amangkurat I bans the export of rice or timber. Tensions grow between the VOC and Gowa.

1656 – VOC deports population of Hoamoal near Ternate to Ambon.

1657 – VOC forces population of Buru to relocate to Kaleji Bay.

1658 – VOC sets up post at Manado. War between VOC and Palembang.

1659 – VOC forces burn down Palembang, and reestablish the VOC post. Amangkurat I has several family members murdered, including the mother of the future Amangkurat II. July 10 Treaty between VOC and Banten: prisoners and runaway slaves are to be exchanged; VOC receives a presence at Banten free from rent or taxes; boundary between Banten and VOC territory is set. VOC builds fort in the Aru Islands, but soon abandons it.


1660 – VOC attacks Gowa, destroys Portuguese ships in harbor, and forces peace treaty on Sultan Hasanuddin of Gowa. Amangkurat I closes ports again; VOC leaves Jepara.

1662 – Portuguese headquarters in the east is moved from Larantuka, Flores to Lifau (today Oecussi or Pantemakassar) in what is now East Timor. VOC signs treaty with chiefs on Roti.

1663 – Spanish abandon post at Tidore. VOC allows Arung Palakka and followers to settle at Batavia. Banten begins direct trade with Manila. July 6, Treaty of Painan: coastal areas of Minangkabau, including Padang, become a protectorate of the VOC, which guarantees them security against raids from Aceh.

1666 – VOC sends out a fleet under Admiral Cornelis Speelman, with Bugis soldiers under Arung Palakka and Ambonese soldiers under “Captain Jonker”, to settle issues in Gowa and Maluku.

1667 – VOC expedition under Speelman lands at Butung, and clears the island of Gowa forces. Speelman expedition forces the Sultan of Tidore (now free of Spanish presence) to submit to the VOC. A peace treaty is signed between Ternate and Tidore, now both under VOC control. Future Amangkurat II begins seeking VOC help against his father. The English give up claims to Banda in exchange for Manhattan Island in America.

Sultan Hasanuddin of Gowa is remembered for fighting bravely against the VOC, but he eventually had to sign a treaty giving up almost all his territories to the Dutch.

war boatIndonesian war boat

1668 – Speelman expedition finally defeats Gowa. November 18, Treaty of Bungaya: Gowa submits to VOC control, and Sultan Hasanuddin has no influence outside the general area of the city of Makassar. VOC extends claims to Sumbawa and Flores after the defeat of Gowa. VOC builds a fort at Menggala in Lampung.

1669 – Sultan Hasanuddin of Gowa passes away; continuing troubles against the VOC in Gowa finally end. VOC traders at Banjarmasin are massacred.

1670 – VOC establishes outposts at Bengkalis (across the straits from Melaka) and Perak, both for controlling the trade in tin.

1672 – Louis XIV of France invaded the Netherlands with 100,000 soldiers. The Dutch had to open the dikes and flood the fields to prevent Amsterdam from falling to the French. However, since travel and communication were so slow in the 1600s and 1700s, these events had little effect on the activities of the VOC, which had the power to govern itself in any case.

1675 – Rebels appeal to Islamic sentiments among the common people against both the court of Mataram and the VOC.

1676 – Amangkurat I sends his son, Pangeran Puger, to the VOC to ask for help. VOC sends Admiral Speelman to fight the rebels against Mataram in North Java and Madura. Speelman quiets the rebellion along the coast between Cirebon and Jepara.

1677 – February 25, VOC makes a treaty with Amangkurat I: VOC will help Mataram, VOC territory around Batavia will be extended eastward, VOC may establish a factory anywhere they like without any restrictions on exports or imports, Mataram will restrict Malays, Arabs and other outsiders from settling in Mataram, and Mataram will repay the VOC for the cost of putting down the rebellion. Speelman receives the right to make treaties on behalf of Amangkurat I. May: VOC pushes Trunojoyo out of Surabaya. Trunojoyo leaves behind over a 100 cannons. July: Amangkurat I dies. Amangkurat II seeks VOC help against the rebels. VOC occupies Sangir islands.

1678 – January 15 Amangkurat II gives the VOC a monopoly on the sugar trade in Jepara. Amangkurat II, without money to pay his debts to the VOC, promises to give up Semarang, his claims to the Priangan, and fees from coastal ports until debts are paid. VOC and Amangkurat II march on Kediri and destroy Trunojoyo’s headquarters after a fifty-day siege. Arung Palakka and his supporters fight for the VOC as mercenaries, and conspire to win away Makassarese mercenaries fighting for Trunojoyo. December 9: Nine Makassarese chiefs who had been fighting for Trunojoyo as mercenaries surrender to the VOC, and are allowed to return to Sulawesi.

1679 – VOC and Arung Palakka drive the remaining Makassarese out of East Java. VOC makes an alliance with Minahasans at Manado. December 25: Trunojoyo gives himself up to the combined VOC and Mataram forces, under the promise that his life will be spared. He is executed anyway. (In one story, he is promised the post of minister and executed by Amangkurat II himself, with a royal keris.)

Malay_coupleA couple in discussion

1680 – VOC forces attack rebel areas in Mataram. Banten declares war on VOC. Sultan Ageng is replaced in coup by his son, Sultan Haji, who seeks help from the VOC. VOC forces invade Madura, supposedly on behalf of Mataram. Cakraningrat II, uncle of Trunojoyo, takes power in West Madura. VOC retains control of East Madura.

1681 – January 6 VOC signs agreement with the princes of Cirebon for mutual assistance in case of emergencies, and agreeing on severe punishment if any of the three heads rebelled against the VOC. Cirebon will not build any fortifications without VOC approval, the VOC has a monopoly on pepper in Cirebon, and the princes may control the export of sugar and rice from Cirebon. Pangeran Puger builds a new force and retakes the center of Mataram, but not Kartasura. VOC forces push him back and defeat him. VOC intervenes in Roti, puts allies in power.

1682 – Sultan Ageng’s supporters, including much of the population, retake Banten against his son. VOC reacts by taking Banten with superior firepower. VOC expels English and other European traders from Banten, and begins to control Cirebon, the Priangan, and Lampung. Syekh Waliyullah, Islamic scholar and enemy of the Dutch, is exiled to the VOC post in Ceylon.

1684 – April 17: VOC renews its 1659 treaty with Banten; in addition, Banten gives up its claims to Cirebon, and grants the VOC a monopoly in the pepper trade in Lampung. April 28: VOC cancels the debts owed by the Sultan of Banten, but only on the condition that the previous treaties between the VOC and Banten are obeyed. Surapati, (also called Untung), a former slave and outlaw, now employed as a VOC soldier, attacks a VOC column and escapes. He travels across the countryside of Java gathering followers. Surapati instructs his followers to kill two officials in Banyumas who were rebelling against the authority of Mataram. He receives the gratitude of Amangkurat II, and is given refuge by anti-VOC members of the court of Mataram at Kartasura.

1685 – Post is founded at Bengkulu by English traders who had been forced to leave Banten. VOC forces treaty on Sultan of Riau.

1686 – February 15 VOC receives a complete monopoly on pepper in Banten. VOC sends an embassy to the Mataram court at Kartasura, demanding the return of Surapati. Amangkurat II stages a fake attack on Surapati’s residence, then has his soldiers turn to cut down VOC representatives and soldiers, with the help of Pangeran Puger. The remaining VOC presence at court leaves for Jepara. Amangkurat II sends an ambassador to the VOC at Jepara claiming that he took no part in attacking the Dutch. Amangkurat II sends secret letters to Johore, Minangkabau, English East India Co, even Siam trying to find help against VOC.

1688 – Local leader on Bangka (claimed by Palembang) asks for VOC protection.

1689 – Plot against VOC in Batavia fails; rebels flee to Kartasura.

1690 – VOC abandons outpost at Perak. Tea is introduced on Java.

1694 – VOC begins contacts with Bataks around Lake Toba, Sumatra.

1696 – Sultan Muhammad Syah of Indrapura abdicates and VOC gains influence in the absence of a ruler there.


1699 – VOC introduces coffee cultivation to Java. VOC increases influence around Kutai on Kalimantan.


In the 1500s, the Netherlands were an important business center for Europe, where products from Russia, Scandinavia, Africa, Asia and America were bought and sold. The Netherlands during that time was ruled by Spain. By 1581, the Netherlands had rebelled against the King of Spain and had begun to govern themselves. But since Spain now had control of the Portuguese colonies, the Spanish could prevent Dutch businessmen from easy access to spices from the Indies. This was one reason that Dutch ships began to make their own voyages direct to the Indies in the 1590s. Many Dutch sailors had worked on Spanish and Portuguese ships. When De Houtman’s Dutch expedition set sail, there were experienced crewmen available to guide them to the Indies.

The Dutch introduced the fifth of Indonesia’s recognized religions: Protestant Christianity. Beside the missionary work on Java, there were soon many “orang Kristen” around Manado on Sulawesi, in Ambon, and around Kupang on Timor and nearby Roti. The VOC, being mostly a business, had very little interest in spreading religion. However, it banned the practice of Catholicism wherever it could.

By this time, the VOC was probably the largest business enterprise anywhere in the world, with tens of thousands of employees. The territories controlled by the VOC were not only in Indonesia: in the mid-1600s, they also included Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and the Cape area in what is now South Africa. The VOC also had “factories”, warehouses and offices in Thailand, Japan, Iran, Yemen, and Canton in China.

By the end of the 1660s, Banten was trading directly with China, Japan, Thailand, India and Arabia, using its own ships to compete with English, French, Danish and VOC traders. Sultan Ageng of Banten was a strong opponent of the VOC monopoly who insisted on promoting trade with other European, Arab and Asian traders as he pleased.




The Alienation (1501 – 1600)


Timeline (of Mayhem)

(1501 – 1600)

1509 – Portuguese visit Melaka for the first time.

1511 – April: Portuguese Admiral Albuquerque sets sail from Goa to Melaka. August: Albuquerque’s forces take Melaka. Sultan of Melaka escapes to Riau. Portuguese in Melaka destroy a “Javanese” fleet. Portuguese ship sinks with treasure on way back to Goa. December: Albuquerque sends three ships under da Breu from Melaka to explore eastwards.

1512 – Da Breu expedition travels from Melaka to Madura, Bali, Lombok, Aru and Banda. Two ships are wrecked at Banda. Da Breu returns to Melaka. Francisco Serrão repairs ship and continues to Ambon, Ternate, and Tidore. Serrão offers support to Ternate in a dispute with Tidore – his men build a Portuguese post at Ternate.


1513 – A force from Jepara and Palembang attacks the Portuguese in Melaka, but is repulsed. March Portuguese send an envoy to King of Pajajaran. Portuguese are allowed to build a fort at Sunda Kelapa (now Jakarta). Portuguese build factories at Ternate and Bacan.

1515 – First Portuguese visit Timor.

1520 – Portuguese traders begin visiting Flores and Solor.

1522 – February Portuguese expedition under De Brito arrives on Banda. May De Brito expedition arrive at Ternate, builds a Portuguese fort. Banten, still Hindu, asks for Portuguese help against Muslim Demak. Portuguese build fort at Hitu on Ambon.

1526 – Portuguese build first fort on Timor.


1527 – Expeditions from Spain and Mexico try to drive the Portuguese from Maluku.


1529 – The Kings of Spain and Portugal agree that Maluku should belong to Portugal, and the Philippines should belong to Spain.

1530 – Gowa begins expanding from Makassar.

1536 – Major Portuguese attack on Johore. Antonio da Galvão becomes governor of Portuguese post at Ternate; founds Portuguese post at Ambon. Portuguese take Sultan Tabariji of Ternate to Goa due to suspicions of anti-Portuguese activity, replace him with his brother.

1537 – Acehnese attack on Melaka fails. Salahuddin of Aceh is replaced by Alaudin Riayat Syah I.

1540 – Portuguese in contact with Gowa.

1546 – St. Francis Xavier travels to Morotai, Ambon, and Ternate.

1547 – Aceh attacks Melaka.

1550 – Portuguese begin building forts on Flores.

1551 – Johore attacks Portuguese Melaka with help from Jepara. Force from Ternate takes control of Sultanate of Jailolo on Halmahera with Portuguese help.

1552 – Aceh sends embassy to the Ottoman sultan in Istanbul.

1558 – Leiliato leads a force from Ternate to attack the Portuguese at Hitu. Portuguese build a fortress on Bacan.

1559 – Portuguese missionaries land at Timor.

1560 – Portuguese found mission and trading post at Panarukan, in easternmost Java. Spanish establish a presence at Manado.

1561 – Portuguese Dominican mission founded on Solor.

1564 – Smallpox epidemic at Ambon.

1566 – Portuguese Dominican mission on Solor builds a stone fortress.

1568 – Unsuccessful attack by Aceh on Portuguese Melaka.

1569 – Portuguese build wooden fortress on Ambon island.

1570 – Aceh attacks Johore again, but fails. Sultan Khairun of Ternate signs a treaty of friendship with the Portuguese, but is found poisoned the next day. Portuguese agents are suspected. They had thrown Sultan Khairun in prison and tried to poison him when he would not yield lands to them. Babullah becomes Sultan (until 1583), and vows to drive the Portuguese out of their fortress. Maulana Yusup becomes Sultan of Banten.

1574 – Jepara led another unsuccessful attack on Melaka.

1575 – Sultan Babullah expels the Portuguese from Ternate. The Portuguese in Ternate were under siege in their fortress for five years, and never received help from Melaka or Goa in India. Portuguese build a fort on Tidore instead.

1576 – Portuguese build fort at the present site of the city of Ambon.

1579 – November: Sir Francis Drake of England, after raiding Spanish ships and ports in America, arrives at Ternate. Sultan Babullah, who also hated the Spanish, pledges friendship to England.

1580 – Maulana Muhammad becomes Sultan of Banten. Portugal falls under Spanish crown; Portuguese colonial enterprises are disregarded. Drake visits Sulawesi and Java, on the way back to England. Ternate takes control of Butung.

1585 – Sultan of Aceh sends a letter to Elizabeth I of England. Portuguese ship sent to build a fort and mission on Bali is wrecked just offshore.

1587 – Portuguese in Melaka attack Johore. Portuguese sign a truce with the Sultan of Aceh. Sir Thomas Cavendish of England visits Java.

1591 – Sir James Lancaster of England reaches Aceh and Penang, but his mission is a failure. Ternate attacks Portuguese in Ambon.

1593 – Ternate lays siege on the Portuguese in Ambon again.

1595 – April 2: Dutch expedition under De Houtman leaves for Indies. Portuguese build fort at Ende, Flores.

1596 – June 5: De Houtman expedition reaches Sumatra. June 23: De Houtman expedition reaches Banten. The initial reception is friendly, but after some bad behaviour by the Dutch, the Sultan of Banten, along with the Portuguese stationed in Banten, shell the Dutch ships. The De Houtman expedition continues along north coast of Java. A ship is lost to pirates. More bad behaviour leads to misunderstandings and violence on Madura. A prince of Madura is killed, several Dutch sailors are arrested and taken prisoner, De Houtman has to ransom them for release. Abul Mufakir becomes Sultan of Banten.

1597 – Some members of De Houtman expedition settle on Bali and refuse to leave. A Portuguese fleet under Lourenzo de Brito decides, contrary to instructions, to seek retribution from the Sultan of Banten for doing business with Dutch traders. The fleet is defeated by Banten and forced to retreat. Remnants of the De Houtman expedition (89 of an original 248 sailors) return to Holland with spices.

1598 – 22 Dutch ships in five expeditions set out for the east. The Netherlands States-General suggests that competing companies should merge. De Houtman’s second expedition includes John Davis, an English spy. Van Noort sets off to sail around the southern tip of America to the Indies.

1599 – Dutch expedition under Van Neck reaches Maluku, begins successful trading on Banda, Ambon and Ternate. June: De Houtman is killed in conflict with Sultan of Aceh. Dutch churches begin calls for missionary work in the Indies.

1600 – Van Noort expedition attacks Spanish at Guam. Portuguese establish trading post at Jepara. September: Dutch Admiral Van den Haghen makes an alliance with the Hitu against the Portuguese in Ambon. December 31: Elizabeth I of England charters East India Company.



Colonial contact

The scents of Eden had caught the attention of the colonialists, which also attracted them to the Ternate and Tidore and three smaller islands adjacent to the sprawling island of Halmahera in the Northern Moluccas.

Contact 1599

Maluku – Leaders of Banda met with Dutch traders in 1599

Spices were prized for their flavour and some were also believed to cure everything from the plague to venereal disease, which made spices literally worth their weight in gold.



This article is actually from “A Sobana Hardjasaputra”, but bludgeons his fault that the share again, good for improving the earth we love this parahyangan. most young people today have forgotten the history of Bandung that used in the proud. so I share again here. cekidot …

Regarding the origin of the name “Bandung”, put forward various opinions. Some say that the word “Bandung” in Sundanese, synonymous with the word “appeal” in Indonesian, means side by side. Ngabanding (Sunda) means contiguous or adjacent. This is among others expressed in Indonesian dictionary published by Balai Besar Reader (1994) and Sundanese-Indonesian dictionary published by Pustaka Setia (1996), that word means in pairs and mean bandung also side by side.

Bandung Lake in old map
Another opinion says that the word “bandung” means big or large. The word comes from the word milk. In Sundanese, ngabandeng means vast pool of water and looked Timbanganten with Tegalluar capital. The kingdom is under the domination of the Kingdom of Sunda-Pajajaran. Since the mid-15th century, the Kingdom Timbanganten hereditarily ruled by King Pandaan Measure, Dipati the Great, and Dipati Ukur. In the reign of Dipati Ukur, Tatar Ukur is an area which is quite extensive, covering most areas of West Java, consists of nine regional called “Measure Sasanga”.
After the Kingdom of Sunda-Pajajaran collapse (1579/1580) due to Forces movement of offerings in an effort to spread Islam in West Java,
Tatar Ukur become the Kingdom’s territory Sumedanglarang, successors Pajajaran Kingdom. Sumedanglarang Kingdom was founded and ruled the first time by King Geusan Ulun on (1580-1608), with its capital in Kutamaya, a place which is located west of Sumedang now. The kingdom’s territory covers an area then called Priangan, except Galuh area (now called Ciamis).

Balinese kingdoms, ca 1700


Balinese kingdoms, ca 1800

To the east of Bali lies the long chain of islands known as the Lesser Sundas or Nusatenggara (Southeastern Islands). For the most part, these islands were involved only peripherally in the trade and civilization of the western archipelago until the colonial area. Although the Nagarakertagama (Desawarnyana) lists Timor and Sumba as tributaries of 14th -century Majapahit, Javanese culture has left at the most only scattered traces in the region. No significant local inscriptions have been found to attest to the existence of early kingdoms and Chinese records are vague. The region’s economic relations with the outside world seem to have been based on the export of sandalwood, especially from Timor, a trade which may have begun in the 7th century.

Islands of Nusatenggara

From about the 16th century, the western islands of Lombok and Sumbawa came under the increasing domination of outside forces. Balinese settlers from the kingdom of Karangasem displaced the indigenous Sasaks from western Lombok and by the end of the 17th century held a loose hegemony over the east of the island, while raiders and settlers from Makasar drew Sumbawa increasingly into their orbit. The island was effectively subject to Makasar from 1618, and Manggarai, at the western end of Flores, soon followed. The rest of Flores, however, and the whole of Sumba remained divided into a large number of small states until the colonial era.

Polities in Lombok and Sumbawa, 16th century

Polities in Sumba, 17th to 18th centuries

Polities in the Solor and Alor archipelagos, 17th to 18th centuries

Polities in Flores, 17th to 18th centuries

Lombok and Sumbawa, ca 1800

Balinese rule on Lombok was turbulent. By the middle of the 18th century, they had subdued the Sasak aristocracy in the east of the island. A few decades later, however, disunity led them to split into four separate kingdoms, while the Sasak domains in the east regained much of their independence. Even in times of Balinese control, the east of the island was often restive.

Evidence from the earliest European visitors to the Nusatenggara region suggests that the normal state of affairs was one of division into a large number of small polities, which were linked into larger confederacies or empires whose significance was sometimes political and economic but more often symbolic. Timor produced sandalwood, which was valued for trade to China, and management of this trade necessarily meant a relationship between port towns such as Sorbian, Insana and Dili, and the polities of the interior. In the centre and east of the island, the ruler of Wehale (Belu), sometimes based in the port of Dili, sometimes based in the interior, claimed a hegemony over some forty-six liurai or ‘kings’ along the coast and the interior. In the west the confederacy of Sonba’i (Sonnebait), sometimes based in Sorbian, claimed a similar hegemony over sixteen liurai. The port of Kupang seems to have been independent of both of these power centres.

Timor and nearby islands 1500-1800

The Portuguese began trading and missionary activities in the Timor region soon after they had captured Melaka, and they established settlements at Lifau and Kupang in about 1520 and a fort on Solor in 1566 to protect both their trading interests and their converts. The fort soon became the nucleus for a community of mixed race ‘Black Portuguese’ or Topasses. When Dutch vessels captured Solor in 1613, many of the Topasses fled to Larantuka, where they established an independent community, which later extended its influence to the northern coast of west Timor. In 1642, a Portuguese expedition devastated the confederacy of Wehale and intimidated the Sonba’i states into submission, but Portuguese power remained slight and until the end of the century it was represented mainly by the Topasses.

In 1653, the Dutch shifted their local headquarters from Solor to Kupang in Timor. They were defeated by the Topasses in a campaign in Amarasi in 1653, but signed treaties with five small states near Kupang in 1654 and 1655 which confirmed their foothold on the island. Battles with the Topasses continued on and off for the next century, and the strength of Topass resistance was the main reason why Portuguese influence persisted in the Timor region whereas the Dutch were able to remove it from everywhere else in the archipelago. Only with the defeat of Topass forces in the battle of Penfui in 1749 were the Dutch able to extend their influence into the interior of western Timor.

Although the Topasses from time to time nominally acknowledged the sovereignty of Portugal, they were entirely independent of Portuguese control, and from 1719 to 1731 joined an alliance of liurai in the east to fight the Portuguese. The defeat of this alliance and the rise of Dutch power in the west with the victory at Penfui led the official representatives of Portugal to shift their headquarters from Lifau to Dili in 1769.

The VOC was now free to extend closer influence over the west of the island, and in 1756 it signed a contract with fifteen liurai, taking them as vassals. In the following years, the VOC extended a loose hegemony over the middle of the island, with the exception of the Topass enclaves, but a clear demarcation of territory with the Portuguese was not made until the 19th century.

Borneo (Kalimantan)

Unlike Java and Sumatra, Borneo has not experienced volcanic activity in historical times and its soils are correspondingly poor. As a result, although some of the earliest known polities in the Indonesian archipelago were located on the Borneo coasts, the island was never able to support the substantial populations which underpinned empires such as Srivijaya and Majapahit. The interior of Borneo was consistently important as a source of minerals and forest products, but the kingdoms which emerged on the coast never became powerful enough to extend their control over more than a small part of the island, and there is no record of a Borneo state exercising influence further afield than Borneo’s offshore islands. Besides, very few early inscriptions have been recovered from Borneo, so that the record of early state formation there has to be based mainly on external records. Chinese records from the 10th to 15th centuries speak of a significant state called ‘Poni’ on the northern coast of the island which was tributary to China as a trading partner. The name suggests a connection with the later state of Brunei, but Poni’s location remains uncertain. Archaeological research suggests that ‘Poni’ may have centred originally at Santubong, near the mouth of the Sarawak River, before moving at some stage to Brunei Bay.

The most extensive early account comes from the 14th century Javanese Nagarakertagama (Desawarnyana), which records over twenty states in Borneo as tributary to Majapahit. Just how significantly this claim, like that of China, was felt by the Borneo states themselves is open to debate. Archaeological evidence indicates the existence of a state called Negaradipa in what is now the hinterland of Banjarmasin.

Borneo in the 15th and 16th centuries

Little is known of Borneo in the 15th century, but the most significant states were apparently Sukadana and Banjarmasin in the south (both of them tributaries to Demak and later Mataram), Berau in the east, and Brunei in the north. Sukadana is said to have been established by Brawijaya, a ruler of Majapahit, and to have converted to Islam in about 1550. Throughout these years, the interior of the island was the domain of indigenous Dayak tribes.

Shortly after the fall of Melaka to the Portuguese in 1511, however, Brunei seems to have converted to Islam, perhaps as the consequence of an influx of Muslim refugees (though Brunei’s own dynastic records suggest that conversion took place a century earlier). During the 16th century, the sultans of Brunei created an empire which stretched along the entire northern coast of Borneo and into what is now the southern Philippines, though their control was probably tenuous at that distance. The port of Brunei itself became a major entrepot on the spice route between the Moluccas and China and was described in glittering terms by members of the Spanish expedition of Ferdinand Magellan in 1521.

With its mountainous, densely forested interior, Borneo could not easily be dominated by a single power, and each of its four coasts has generally had its own distinctive history.

In the south, the sultanate of Banjarmasin grew strong on the pepper trade. Large areas in the hills behind Banjarmasin were cleared for pepper cultivation and from the middle of the 17th century the region threw off its tradition of vassaldom to Java to become a significant regional power. Banjarmasin’s heartland was the basin of the Barito River, especially the fertile uplands of Amuntai, but at the height of its power, it claimed suzerainty over all the coastal states from Kota Waringin to Bulungan, and even claimed some influence in Sintang in the Kapuas basin. In the west, the main power at the beginning of the 17th century was Sukadana, a major exporter of diamonds and forest products, though its influence was being challenged by Sambas to the north, which was a vassal of Johor. The state of Landak came under Sukadana’s control in about 1600, but frequently sought its independence.

In 1622, forces from Mataram conquered Sukadana. Mataram, however, soon declined and by 1650 Sukadana had recovered to dominate the entire west coast. In 1699, rebels from Landak joined forces with the Javanese state of Banten to conquer Sukadana. Banten’s domination of Sukadana was brief. With the help of Bugis mercenaries based in Banjarmasin, the sultan managed to recover his throne and Sukadana once more became the major trading power of the west coast. Towards the end of the century, however, Sukadana’s power was increasingly challenged by the new state of Pontianak, founded by an Arab adventurer in 1772. In 1778, Banten ceded its defunct rights over Sukadana to the VOC, which joined Pontianak in 1786 in an attack which utterly destroyed the city. The royal family of Sukadana continued to rule the minor state of Matan (Kayung), but Sukadana was abandoned and Pontianak became the main centre of trade on the west coast. In the final years of the century, the rulers of Pontianak claimed Sanggau, Landak, Matan and Tayan as vassals, but they never ruled those areas directly. North of Pontianak, the states of Sambas and Mempawah were transformed from about 1760 by the arrival of Chinese miners to work the gold fields of the region. The miners came at first at the invitation of the local rulers, but their commercial organizations, or kongsi, soon developed into small republics virtually independent of the rulers. States of a different kind also emerged in this era in the interior of western Kalimantan, along the Kapuas River and its tributaries. For the most part, the elites of these states were Malays, often with trading interests, who established varying degrees of hegemony over the indigenous Dayaks. The largest of these states, Sintang, was moderately significant, but the states further upstream were small, sometimes claiming only a few hundred subjects.

Borneo, ca 1750

Brunei, meanwhile, was also in decline before the rising sultanate of Sulu, based in the archipelago between Borneo and Mindanao. In return for backing the successful claimant in a succession dispute in Brunei, Sulu received suzerainty over much of Borneo north of Brunei itself. Sulu’s influence also increased on the east coast of Borneo.

The principal state of the east coast was Kutai, a Malay kingdom in the Mahakam river basin which converted to Islam in the 16th century. From the late 17th century, however, many Buginese settled on the east coast, founding the state of Pasir and for a time dominating the Tidung, Bulungan and Berau regions, though these northern areas were to come under the Sulu sultanate.

States of western Borneo, ca 1800

Sulawesi and Maluku (The Moluccas)

Like Nusatenggara, the island of Sulawesi offers only a sparse historical and archaeological record before the 17th century. By the 14th century, states had begun to form in the southwestern peninsula (generally called South Sulawesi), but because there appears to have been little Indic cultural influence in this process, there are no significant inscriptions from this era. In 1300, the main states were Luwu’ (by tradition the oldest state in the region) and Soppeng, both of them consisting of powerful centres dominating a number of surrounding lesser states, including Sidenreng and Lamuru. Soppeng’s power seems to have been based especially on the export of rice, while Luwu’ exported iron from the interior. In the late 15th century, Soppeng appears to have declined in power, while Wajo’ emerged as junior member of an alliance with Luwu’. The dominance of Luwu’, however, was checked by the rise of Bone in the early 16th century, while a new power arose in the south in the form of Gowa. Little is known about the other peninsulas of Sulawesi in this period.

Southern Sulawesi, ca 1500

Minor states of northern Sulawesi, 16th century

From about 1530, the formerly small south Sulawesi state of Gowa began to grow in power, and its port, Makasar, became increasingly important as a centre of trade in the western archipelago. Gowa used military force to bring much of South Sulawesi under its domination, though the more distant and powerful states such as Wajo’ had the standing of slightly subordinate allies, rather than true vassals; only the Bugis state of Bone on the east coast successfully resisted Gowa’s campaigns. The port of Makasar became still more important in the early 17th century. Its ruler converted to Islam in 1605, making the port more attractive to Muslim traders, and it also became a centre for traders, both European and indigenous, excluded from Maluku by the monopoly practices of the VOC. Conversion to Islam led Gowa into a new bout of conquests in the region, including Wajo’ in 1610 and finally Bone in 1611. Further campaigns in the following decades took Gowa’s influence to Sumbawa, the east coast of Borneo and even the Kai and Aru Islands, though – except in Sumbawa and Butung – Makasar never exercised significant authority and in many areas, such as the northern parts of Sulawesi, the Makasar claim was a fiction supported only by the absence of significant local powers to question it.

Makasar and the subordinate states of south Sulawesi, ca 1600

As the centre for trade which the Dutch regarded as smuggling, Makasar soon became the target for intermittent Dutch hostility, and Makasar responded by assisting the Company’s enemies in Maluku. In 1666, the Dutch decided to make an end once and for all to Makasar’s resistance. They made an alliance with Arung Palakka, a Bugis prince from Bone, who had been exiled by Makasar to Butung in 1660 after an abortive uprising. The combined force defeated Makasar in 1667, and forced the sultan to sign the Treaty of Bungaya in which Makasar relinquished all its vassals, both in south Sulawesi and abroad, and allowed the Dutch to build a fort in the heart of its main port. The treaty was decisive in ending Makasar’s power, but it took a further round of fighting until 1669 before Makasar was fully defeated. Arung Palakka became ruler of Bone and the dominant political force in the region, but his authoritarian rule and destructive military campaigns against rebellious vassals led to a massive exodus of Buginese and Makasar warriors seeking safer homes elsewhere in the archipelago. The northern arm of Sulawesi had come under Spanish influence from the nearby Philippines in the 16th century, but was incorporated in the Dutch sphere of influence after the Treaty of Bungaya.

Makasar empire before 1667

Pre-colonial records are even sparser for eastern Indonesia than they are for Sulawesi, and only the sketchiest outline can be given of the region’s history before the 17th century.

The islands of Maluku had supplied cloves to other parts of the world since at least 1700 B.C., according to archaeological evidence from the Middle East, and they were also the only source of nutmeg. The small islands with their narrow coastal plains, however, could only sustain a relatively small population, and there appear to have been no large polities in the region before the 15th century, when the tiny clove-producing islands of Ternate and Tidore began to emerge as major political centres. Except in Sula, Buru, Ambon and Seram, where Ternatean aristocrats ruled directly, both empires operated as a network of alliances and vassalages, rather than as tightly ruled polities, and there was considerable ebb and flow in the degree of authority that each exercised. Ternate reached the peak of its power in the late 16th century under the warlike Sultan Baabullah.

Traditional kingdoms of Maluku, early 15th century, and the spheres of influence of Ternate and Tidore, early 16th century

As the main reason for European interest in the Indies, the Spice Islands were amongst the first to experience direct European military intervention. Ternate and Tidore were unable to prevent first the Portuguese and Spanish and later the Dutch and English from establishing fortified trading posts in the region, though Ternate had a number of military victories over the Europeans in the course of the sporadic hostilities of the 16th and early 17th centuries.

By the middle of the 17th century, however, Ternate’s need for free trade in spices was fundamentally in conflict with the Dutch aims for monopoly. In 1652, the Dutch extracted a treaty from Ternate giving the Company a monopoly of clove production, and broke the power of local Ternatean lords in a series of bloody campaigns during the next few years. The Company then centred clove production on Ambon and sent out periodic expeditions to destroy clove trees in other regions.

The great island of New Guinea was also a major centre of population, but its people were concentrated in the interior and except on the fringes close to Maluku there is no record at all of political forms before the 17th century.

Imagining the Archipelago

Although trade routes had tied the Indonesian archipelago to China, India and the Middle East since very early times, the region remained relatively unknown to outsiders until five or six centuries ago. Long distances and the hazards of travel, together with the fact that Indonesians themselves carried most of the products of their islands to the outside world, meant that scholars in the major centres of civilization generally relied on sparse and often second hand accounts of Southeast Asia.

In the West, the Egyptian geographer Claudius Ptolemy (c. 85–165 AD) prepared a major geographical work, the Periplus of the Erythrean Sea, containing a compilation of information on the region gathered from traders and seafarers. Ptolemy described a Golden Chersonese, or peninsula, far to the east which is normally identified with the Malay Peninsula and he records the existence of many islands in the vicinity. Ptolemy’s geography formed the basis of most Western conceptions of the Far East until the 16th century, and also influenced some of the Arab geographers. The maps of Idrisi (d. 1165) show a good deal more detail than those based on Ptolemy’s account, but they clearly reflect an attempt to reconcile imprecise and contradictory information originating from several centuries and a wide variety of sources.


The Silent Film Historic Collections

The Silent film Historic Collections

Created By

Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA

Limited Private E-book In CD-ROM

Please look The Sample below and The complete CD-ROM only for premium member,please subscribed via comment)

This book dedicated

 to my grandgrandpa Tan G.L.who built  the first silent film cinema Scalabio at Padang City West Sumatra Indonesia and My Friend Ang T.L(Wirako) his Grandpa also built the silent and first speaking film Cinema at the same city.



Scene from the 1921 Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, one of the highest-grossing silent films.

A silent film is a film with no synchronized recorded sound, especially with no spoken dialogue. In silent films for entertainment the dialogue is transmitted through muted gestures, pantomime and title cards.

Chronologic Historic Collections




 Muybridge’s initial attempts failed and it wasn’t until 1877


The first projected sequential proto-movie was made by Eadweard Muybridge some time between 1877 and 1880



. The first narrative film was created by Louis Le Prince in 1888.

  The first narrative film was created by Louis

It was a two-second film of people walking in Oakwood streets garden, entitled Roundhay Garden Scene.[1]

Roundhay Garden Scene 1888, the first known celluloid film recorded.



 West Orange, New Jersey, used December 1892

Edison Studios were first in West Orange, New Jersey (1892),


The Black Maria, Edison's first motion picture studio

The Black Maria, Edison's first motion picture studio
The Black Maria, Edison’s First Motion Picture Studio,
West Orange, New Jersey,
used between December 1892 and January 1901.
Inventing Entertainment: the Early Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies

Edison and Dickson continued to experiment with motion pictures in the late 1880s and into the 1890s. Dickson designed the Black Maria, the first movie studio, which was completed in 1893. The name was derived from the slang for the police paddy wagons that the studio was said to resemble. Between 1893 and 1903, Edison produced more than 250 films at the Black Maria, including many of those found in the Edison Motion Pictures collection of the Library of Congress. Most of the films are short, as it was believed that people would not stand the “flickers” for more than ten minutes.

Turn-of-the-century copyright law provided protection for photographs but not for motion pictures. Therefore, a number of early film producers protected their work by copyrighting paper contact prints (paper prints) of the film’s individual frames.


Edison Kinetoscopic Recording of a Sneeze
Edison Kinetoscopic Recording of a Sneeze,
copyright January 9, 1894.
American Treasures of the Library of Congress

View the film which was reconstructed from the paper print.
Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze
by W. K. L. Dickson, one of Edison’s assistants,
January 7, 1894.



Thomas Edison with his Home Kinetoscope, introduced 1912




Scene from Broken Blossoms starring Lilian Gish and Richard Barthelmess, an example of sepia-tinted print.

With the lack of natural color processing available, films of the silent era were frequently dipped in dyestuffs and dyed various shades and hues to signal a mood or represent a time of day. Blue represented night scenes, yellow or amber meant day. Red represented fire and green represented a mysterious mood. Similarly, toning of film (such as the common silent film generalization of sepia-toning) with special solutions replaced the silver particles in the film stock with salts or dyes of various colors. A combination of tinting and toning could be used as an effect that could be striking.

Some films were hand-tinted, such as Annabelle Serpentine Dance (1894), from Edison Studios. In it, Annabelle Whitford,[13] a young dancer from Broadway, is dressed in white veils that appear to change colors as she dances.



Georges Méliès, the first truly great director in movie

Hand coloring was often used in the early “trick” and fantasy films of Europe, especially those by Georges Méliès.



 The art of motion pictures grew into fullShowings of silent films almost always featured live music, starting with the pianist at the first public projection of movies by the Lumière Brothers on December 28, 1895 in Paris.[4]



Edison Receives Patent for Kinetographic Camera

On August 31, 1897, Thomas Edison received a patent for the kinetographic camera, “a certain new and useful Improvement in Kinetoscopes,” the forerunner of the motion picture film projector. Edison and his assistant, W. K. L. Dickson, had begun work on the project—to enliven sound recordings with moving pictures—in hopes of boosting sales of the phonograph, which Edison had invented in 1877. Unable to synchronize the two media, he introduced the kinetoscope, a device for viewing moving pictures without sound—on which work had begun in 1889. Patents were filed for the kinetoscope and kinetograph in August 1891.

The kinetoscope (viewer), which Edison initially considered an insignificant toy, had become an immediate success about a decade earlier. The invention was soon replaced, however, by screen projectors that made it possible for more than one person to view the novel silent movies at a time.



sample frames from Edison film 'Three acrobats'
Three Acrobats,
Thomas A. Edison, Inc.,
copyright March 20, 1899.
The American Variety Stage: Vaudeville and Popular Entertainment, 1870-1920


Unidentified silent film 1910



- Saved from the Titanic



By the time that the law was amended in 1912, some 3,500 paper prints had been deposited for copyright registration. This practice proved fortuitous, as many early films have been lost due to disintegration and the high combustibility caused by early film’s nitrate base. Many of these paper contact prints were converted back to film in the 1950s, and hundreds were digitized in the 1990s.

, 1933-Present to see photos and written historical and descriptive data of the Edison’s laboratories in New Jersey.




A film of a re-enactment of a naval battle, depicting Russians firing at a Japanese ship with a cannon

An early film, depicting a re-enactment of the Battle of Chemulpo Bay (Film produced in 1904 by Edison Studios)



 Early studios

The early studios were located in the New York City area.

In December 1908,

 Edison led the formation of the Motion Picture Patents Company in an attempt to control the industry and shut out smaller producers. The “Edison Trust,” as it was nicknamed, was made up of Edison, Biograph, Essanay Studios, Kalem Company, George Kleine Productions, Lubin Studios, Georges Méliès, Pathé, Selig Studios, and Vitagraph Studios, and dominated distribution through the General Film Company.


From the beginning, music was recognized as essential, contributing to the atmosphere and giving the audience vital emotional cues. (Musicians sometimes played on film sets during shooting for similar reasons.) Small town and neighborhood movie theatres usually had a pianist. Beginning in the mid-1910s, large city theaters tended to have organists or ensembles of musicians. Massive theater organs were designed to fill a gap between a simple piano soloist and a larger orchestra. Theatre organs had a wide range of special effects; theatrical organs such as the famous “Mighty Wurlitzer” could simulate some orchestral sounds along with a number of percussion effects such as bass drums and cymbals and sound effects ranging from galloping horses to rolling thunder.Film scores for early silent films were either improvised or compiled of classical or theatrical repertory music. Once full features became commonplace, however, music was compiled from photoplay music by the pianist, organist, orchestra conductor or the movie studio itself, which included a cue sheet with the film. These sheets were often lengthy, with detailed notes about effects and moods to watch for


By the beginning of the 1910s, with the onset of feature-length films, tinting was used as another mood setter, just as commonplace as music. The director D. W. Griffith displayed a constant interest and concern about color, and used tinting as a special effect in many of his films. His 1915 epic, The Birth of a Nation, used a number of colors, including amber, blue, lavender, and a striking red tint for scenes such as the “burning of Atlanta” and the ride of the Ku Klux Klan at the climax of the picture. Griffith later invented a color system in which colored lights flashed on areas of the screen to achieve a color effect.


Lillian Gish was a major star of the silent era with one of the longest careers, working from 1912


The Motion Picture Patents Co. and the General Film Co. were found guilty of antitrust violation in October 1915, and were dissolved.

1892 -1906

Edison Studios were first in West Orange, New Jersey (1892), they were moved to the Bronx, New York (1907). Fox (1909) and Biograph (1906) started in Manhattan, with studios in St George Staten Island. Others films were shot in Fort Lee, New Jersey. The first westerns were filmed at Scott’s Movie Ranch. Cowboys and Indians galloped across Fred Scott’s movie ranch in South Beach, Staten Island), which had a frontier main street, a wide selection of stagecoaches and a 56-foot stockade. The island provided a serviceable stand-in for locations as varied as the Sahara desert and a British cricket pitch. War scenes were shot on the plains of Grasmere, Staten Island. The Perils of Pauline and its even more popular sequel The Exploits of Elaine were filmed largely on the island. So was the 1906 blockbuster Life of a Cowboy, by Edwin S. Porter. Companies and filming moved to the west coast around 1911.


 Starting with the mostly original score composed by Joseph Carl Breil for D. W. Griffith‘s groundbreaking epic The Birth of a Nation (USA, 1915) it became relatively common for the biggest-budgeted films to arrive at the exhibiting theater with original, specially composed scores.[5]

When organists or pianists used sheet music, they still might add improvisatory flourishes to heighten the drama onscreen. Even when special effects were not indicated in the score, if an organist was playing a theater organ capable of an unusual sound effect, such as a “galloping horses” effect, it would be used for dramatic horseback chases.

By the height of the silent era, movies were the single largest source of employment for instrumental musicians (at least in America). But the introduction of talkies, which happened simultaneously with the onset of the Great Depression, was devastating to many musicians.



Silent film actors emphasized body language and facial expression so that the audience could better understand what an actor was feeling and portraying on screen. Much silent film acting is apt to strike modern-day audiences as simplistic or campy. The melodramatic acting style was in some cases a habit actors transferred from their former stage experience. The pervading presence of stage actors in film was the cause of this outburst from director Marshall Neilan in 1917: “The sooner the stage people who have come into pictures get out, the better for the pictures.”[8]


 The visual quality of silent movies—especially those produced in the 1920s—was often high. However, there is a widely held misconception that these films were primitive and barely watchable by modern standards.[3] This misconception comes as a result of silent films being played back at wrong speed and their deteriorated condition. Many silent films exist only in second- or third-generation copies, often copied from already damaged and neglected film stock.[2

As motion pictures eventually increased in length, a replacement was needed for the in-house interpreter who would explain parts of the film. Because silent films had no synchronized sound for dialogue, onscreen intertitles were used to narrate story points, present key dialogue and sometimes even comment on the action for the cinema audience. The title writer became a key professional in silent film and was often separate from the scenario writer who created the story. Intertitles (or titles as they were generally called at the time) often became graphic elements themselves, featuring illustrations or abstract decoration that commented on the action. 


The idea of combining motion pictures with recorded sound is nearly as old as film itself, but because of the technical challenges involved, synchronized dialogue was only made practical in the late 1920s with the perfection of the audion amplifier tube  and  introduction of the Vitaphone system.


1921 Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, one of the highest-grossing silent films.

 Rudolph Valentino in ‘The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ 1921


Unidentified silent film


Loetoeng Kasaroeng is an Indonesian film in 1926. Although produced and directed by Dutch filmmaker, this film is the first film commercially released involving the actor Indonesia.


Silent film Metropolis and  Abel Gance‘s Napoléon

. Eulis Atjih (1927)

A silent film genre family melodrama, the film is directed by G.Kruger and starring Arsad & Soekria. The film was screened along with keroncong music performed by groups led by Kajoon, a popular musician at the time. Acts Eulis Atjih, a faithful wife who must live with her children destitute because her husband left the left to dissipate with another woman, though with various problems, ultimately with the greatness of his heart Eulis willing to accept her husband’s return even though her husband had fallen into poverty.


 Lily Van Java (1928)

The film company that produced The South Sea Film and manufactured in June 1928. Tells the story of the girl who arranged marriage her parents when she had a choice. First created by Len H. Roos, an American who was in Indonesia for Java on the film.When he returned, followed by Nelson Wong in collaboration with David Wong, an important employee company General Motors in Batavia with an interest in art, forming Hatimoen Film. In the end, the film Lily van Java was taken over by Halimoen. According to journalist Leopold Gan, the film is still favored for many years until the film is damaged. Lily van Java is the first Chinese movie made in Indonesia.

Resia Boroboedoer (1928)the temple boroboedoer secret.

The film is produced by Nancing Film Co., which stars Oliver Young, a silent film that tells of the Young fen pei who finds a book resia (secret) belonging to his father who tells the story of a famous temple (Borobudur). It is told also in the temple there is a priceless treasure, namely urn containing the ashes of the Buddha Gautama.

 Setangan Berloemoer Darah (1928) The bloody handskerchief
The film, directed by San Tan Boen, after searching in multiple sources, the synopsis of the film is not yet known for certain.


maturity in the “silent era”(1894-1929) before silent films were replaced by “talking pictures” in the late 1920s. Many film scholars and buffs argue that the aesthetic quality of cinema decreased for several years until directors, actors, and production staff adapted to the new “talkies“.[2]


Interest in the scoring of silent films fell somewhat out of fashion during the 1960s and 1970s. There was a belief in many college film programs and repertory cinemas that audiences should experience silent film as a pure visual medium, undistracted by music. This belief may have been encouraged by the poor quality of the music tracks found on many silent film reprints of the time. More recently, there has been a revival of interest in presenting silent films with quality musical scores, either reworkings of period scores or cue sheets, or composition of appropriate original scores. A watershed event in this context was Kevin Brownlow‘s 1980 restoration of Abel Gance‘s Napoléon (1927) featuring a score by Carl Davis. Brownlow’s restoration was later distributed in America re-edited and shortened by Francis Ford Coppola with a live orchestral score composed by his father Carmine Coppola.

In 1984, a restoration of Metropolis (1927) with new score by producer/composer Giorgio Moroder was another turning point in modern day interest in silent films. Although the contemporary score, which included pop songs by Freddy Mercury of Queen, Pat Benatar and Jon Anderson of Yes was controversial, the door had been opened for a new approach to presentation of classic “silent” films.

Music ensembles currently perform traditional and contemporary scores for silent films. Purveyors of the traditional approach include organists and pianists such as Dennis James, Rick Friend, Chris Elliott, Dennis Scott, Clark Wilson and Jim Riggs. Orchestral conductors such as Gillian B. Anderson, Carl Davis, Carl Daehler, and Robert Israel have written and compiled scores for numerous silent films. In addition to composing new film scores, Timothy Brock has restored many of Charlie Chaplin‘s scores.

Contemporary music ensembles are helping to introduce classic silent films to a wider audience through a broad range of musical styles and approaches. Some performers create new compositions using traditional musical instruments while others add electronic sounds, modern harmonies, rhythms, improvisation and sound design elements to enhance the film watching experience. Among the contemporary ensembles in this category are Alloy Orchestra, Club Foot Orchestra, Silent Orchestra, Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra and The Reel Music Ensemble. Alloy Orchestra, which began performing in 1990, is among the first of the new wave of silent film music ensembles.


6. Njai Dasima I (1929)

This film comes from an essay G. Francis in 1896 taken from a true story, the story of a mistress, Njai (housekeeper) Dasima that occurred in Tangerang and Batavia / Batavia that occurred around the year 1813 to 1820’s. Nyai Dasima, a girl who comes from Kuripan, Bogor, West Java. She became the mistress of a British man named Edward William. Therefore, she eventually moved to Batavia / Batavia. Because the beauty and wealth, Dasima become famous. Samiun weighing one fan who was so excited to have Nyai Dasima persuade Mak Nyai Dasima Buyung to persuade to accept his love. Mak pitcher managed to persuade Dasima Samiun although already married. Until finally Nyai Dasima wasted Samiun after successfully used as a young wife.

7. Rampok Preanger (1929) 
Mother Ining never occupied the school, in the 1920s was a famous singer on Radio Bandung keroncong (Nirom Indies) who often sing around the area around Bandung. Then he entered the world of Tonil as a player and as a singer who had a show in the area around East Priangan. Play movie in 1928 which resulted in his next three films. The films were all silent films. When Halimoen film closed in 1932, also the mother Ining missing from the film world. But until the outbreak of World War II, he continued to sing and had also made a record in Singapore and Malaya. In 1935 he died at the age of 69 years because of pain from liver.

 Si Tjonat (1929) 
The story in this movie spin on the story of someone who was nicknamed the Tjonat. Naughty since childhood, the Tjonat (Lie A Tjip) escaped to Batavia (Jakarta) after killing his friend. In this city he became a houseboy a Dutchman, instead of thanking you for a job, he also undermined his master’s treasure gammer. Soon he switched professions to become a robber and fell in love with Lie Gouw Nio (Ku Fung May). But unrequited love, rejection Gouw Nio make run off by the Tjonat. Business evil prevented by Thio Sing Sang (Herman Sim) who valor.


After the release of The Jazz Singer in 1927, “talkies” became more and more commonplace. Within a decade, popular production of silent films had ceased.

 In other cases, directors such as John Griffith Wray required their actors to deliver larger-than-life expressions for emphasis. As early as 1914, American viewers had begun to make known their preference for greater naturalness on screen.[8]

In any case, the large image size and unprecedented intimacy the actor enjoyed with the audience began to affect acting style, making for more subtlety of expression. Actresses such as Mary Pickford in all her films, Eleonora Duse in the Italian film Cenere (1916), Janet Gaynor in Sunrise, Priscilla Dean in Outside the Law and The Dice Woman and Lillian Gish and Greta Garbo in most of their performances made restraint and easy naturalism in acting a virtue.[8] Directors such as Albert Capellani (a French director who also did work in America directing Alla Nazimova films) and Maurice Tourneur insisted on naturalism in their films; Tourneur had been just such a minimalist in his prior stage productions. By the mid-1920s many American silent films had adopted a more naturalistic acting style, though not all actors and directors accepted naturalistic, low-key acting straight away; as late as 1927 films featuring expressionistic acting styles such as Metropolis were still being released. Some viewers liked the flamboyant acting for its escape value, and some countries were later than the United States in embracing naturalistic style in their films. In fact today the level of naturalism in acting varies from film to film and our favourites may not be the most naturalistic. Just as today, a film’s success depended upon the setting, the mood, the script, the skills of the director, and the overall talent of the cast.[8]


Projection speed

Until the standardization of the projection speed of 24 frames per second (fps) for sound films between 1926


Some countries devised other ways of bringing sound to silent films. The early cinema of Brazil featured fitas cantatas: filmed operettas with singers performing behind the screen.[6] In Japan, films had not only live music but also the benshi, a live narrator who provided commentary and character voices. The benshi became a central element in Japanese film, as well as providing translation for foreign (mostly American) movies.[7] The popularity of the benshi was one reason why silent films persisted well into the 1930s in Japan.

Few film scores survive intact from this period, and musicologists are still confronted by questions when they attempt to precisely reconstruct those that remain. Scores can be distinguished as complete reconstructions of composed scores, newly composed for the occasion, assembled from already existing music libraries, or even improvised.

. Si Ronda (1930)

The film was directed by Lie Tek Swie & A. LOEPIAS (Director of Photography), and starring Bachtiar Efendy & Momo. The film tells the story of a hero fights that contain elements of Chinese culture.

silent films were shot at variable speeds (or “frame rates“) anywhere from 12 to 26 fps, depending on the year and studio.[9] “Standard silent film speed” is often said to be 16 fps as a result of the Lumière brothers’ Cinematographé, but industry practice varied considerably; there was no actual standard. Cameramen of the era insisted that their cranking technique was exactly 16 fps, but modern examination of the films shows this to be in error, that they often cranked faster. Unless carefully shown at their intended speeds silent films can appear unnaturally fast. However, some scenes were intentionally undercranked during shooting to accelerate the action—particularly for comedies and action films.[9]

Slow projection of a cellulose nitrate base film carried a risk of fire, as each frame was exposed for a longer time to the intense heat of the projection lamp; but there were other reasons to project a film at a greater pace. Often projectionists received general instructions from the distributors on the musical director’s cue sheet as to how fast particular reels or scenes should be projected.[9] In rare instances, usually for larger productions, cue sheets specifically for the projectionist provided a detailed guide to presenting the film. Theaters also—to maximize profit—sometimes varied projection speeds depending on the time of day or popularity of a film,[10] and to fit a film into a prescribed time slot.[9]

By using projectors with dual- and triple-blade shutters the projected rate was multiplied two or three times higher than the number of film frames—each frame was flashed two or three times on screen. Early studies by Thomas Edison determined that any rate below 46 images per second “will strain the eye.”[9] A three-blade shutter projecting a 16 fps film would slightly surpass this mark, giving the audience 48 images per second. A 35 mm film frame rate of 24 fps translates to a film speed of 456 millimetres (18.0 in) per second.[11] One 1,000-foot (300 m) reel requires 11 minutes and 7 seconds to be projected at 24 fps, while a 16 fps projection of the same reel would take 16 minutes and 40 seconds; 304 millimetres (12.0 in) per second.[9]


 Boenga Roos dari Tjikembang (1931)

the floer from Tjikembang

Indonesia’s first silent film, this film tells the story of relations between ethnic Chinese and indigenous. In this film, The Teng Chun acted as director and camera. This story was written by Kwee and Dalia Union had staged opera in 1927, although only a summary of the story, that is about the Indo-Tiongha. And the film is reported by the authors of this Java-made Chinese film is the work of the Indo-Tiongha.



Top grossing silent films in the United States

The following are the silent films that earned the highest ever gross income in film history, as calculated by Variety magazine in 1932. The dollar amounts are not adjusted for inflation.[14]

  1. The Birth of a Nation (1915) – $10,000,000
  2. The Big Parade (1925) – $6,400,000
  3. Ben-Hur (1925) – $5,500,000
  4. Way Down East (1920) – $5,000,000
  5. The Gold Rush (1925) – $4,250,000
  6. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921) – $4,000,000
  7. The Circus (1928) – $3,800,000
  8. The Covered Wagon (1923) – $3,800,000
  9. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) – $3,500,000
  10. The Ten Commandments (1923) – $3,400,000
  11. Orphans of the Storm (1921) – $3,000,000
  12. For Heaven’s Sake (1926) – $2,600,000
  13. Seventh Heaven (1926) – $2,400,000
  14. Abie’s Irish Rose (1928) – $1,500,000

 During the sound era


Although attempts to create sync-sound motion pictures go back to the Edison lab in 1896, the technology became well-developed only in the early 1920s. The next few years saw a race to design, implement, and market several rival sound-on-disc and sound-on-film sound formats, such as Photokinema (1921), Phonofilm (1923), Vitaphone (1926), Fox Movietone (1927), and RCA Photophone (1928).

Although the release of The Jazz Singer (1927) by Warner Brothers marked the first commercially successful sound film, silent films were the majority of features released in both 1927 and 1928, along with so-called goat-glanded films: silents with a section of sound film inserted. Thus the modern sound film era may be regarded as coming to dominance beginning in 1929.

For a listing of notable silent era films, see list of years in film for the years between the beginning of film and 1928. The following list includes only films produced in the sound era with the specific artistic intention of being silent.


In the 1950s,

 many telecine conversions of silent films at grossly incorrect frame rates for broadcast television may have alienated viewers.[12] Film speed is often a vexed issue among scholars and film buffs in the presentation of silents today, especially when it comes to DVD releases of restored films; the 2002 restoration of Metropolis (Germany, 1927) may be the most fiercely debated example.


Darah dan Doa (1950),

Blood and Praying

 Indonesia’s first film made by an Indonesian

Blood and Prayer is an Indonesian film by Usmar Ismail, produced in 1950 and starring Faridah. This film is the first Indonesian film made entirely by natives. This film is the first production of the Indonesian National Film Company (Perfini), and the date of the first filming of this movie March 30, 1950, who later celebrated as the National Film Day. The story of this film comes from the scenario Sitor Situmorang poet, told an Indonesian revolutionary fighter who falls in love with one of Dutch who became his captive

 Later homages

Several filmmakers have paid homage to the comedies of the silent era, including Jacques Tati with his Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot (1953) and Mel Brooks with Silent Movie (1976). Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien‘s acclaimed drama Three Times (2005) is silent during its middle third, complete with intertitles; Stanley Tucci‘s The Impostors has an opening silent sequence in the style of early silent comedies. Brazilian filmmaker Renato Falcão’s Margarette’s Feast (2003) is silent. Writer / Director Michael Pleckaitis puts his own twist on the genre with Silent (2007). While not silent, the Mr. Bean TV show and movies have used the title character’s non-talkative nature to create a similar style of humor.

The 1999 German film Tuvalu is mostly silent; the small amount of dialog is an odd mix of European languages, increasing the film’s universality. Guy Maddin won awards for his homage to Soviet era silent films with his short The Heart of the World after which he made a feature-length silent, Brand Upon the Brain! (2006), incorporating live Foley artists, narration and orchestra at select showings. Shadow of the Vampire (2000) is a highly fictionalized depiction of the filming of Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau‘s classic silent vampire movie Nosferatu (1922). Werner Herzog honored the same film in his own version, Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (1979).

Some films draw a direct contrast between the silent film era and the era of talkies. Sunset Boulevard shows the disconnect between the two eras in the character of Norma Desmond, played by silent film star Gloria Swanson, and Singin’ in the Rain deals with the period where the people of Hollywood had to face changing from making silents to talkies. Peter Bogdanovich‘s affectionate 1976 film Nickelodeon deals with the turmoil of silent filmmaking in Hollywood during the early 1910s, leading up to the release of D. W. Griffith‘s 1915 epic The Birth of a Nation.

In 1999, the Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki produced Juha, which captures the style of a silent film, using intertitles in place of spoken dialogue.[15] In India, the 1988 film Pushpak,[16] starring Kamal Hassan, was a black comedy entirely devoid of dialog. The 2007 Australian film Dr Plonk, was a silent comedy directed by Rolf de Heer. Stage plays have drawn upon silent film styles and sources. Actor/writers Billy Van Zandt & Jane Milmore staged their Off-Broadway slapstick comedy Silent Laughter as a live action tribute to the silent screen era.[17] Geoff Sobelle and Trey Lyford created and starred in All Wear Bowlers (2004), which started as an homage to Laurel and Hardy then evolved to incorporate life-sized silent film sequences of Sobelle and Lyford who jump back and forth between live action and the silver screen.[18] The 1940 animated film Fantasia, which is eight different animation sequences set to music, can be considered a silent film, with only one short scene involving dialogue. The 1952 espionage film The Thief has music and sound effects, but no dialogue.

In 2005, the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society produced a silent film version of Lovecraft’s story The Call of Cthulhu. This film maintained a period-accurate filming style, and was received as both “the best HPL adaptation to date” and, referring to the decision to make it as a silent movie, “a brilliant conceit.” [19]

The 2011 French film The Artist, directed by Michel Hazanavicius, plays as a silent film and is set in Hollywood during the silent era. It also includes segments of fictitious silent films starring its protagonists.[20]

Preservation and lost films


Many early motion pictures are lost because the nitrate film used in that era was extremely unstable and flammable. Additionally, many films were deliberately destroyed because they had little value in the era before home video. It has often been claimed that around 75% of silent films have been lost, though these estimates may be inaccurate due to a lack of numerical data.[21] Major silent films presumed lost include Saved from the Titanic (1912);[22] The Apostle, the world’s first animated feature film (1917); Cleopatra (1917);[23] Arirang (1926); Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1927);[24] The Great Gatsby (1926); and London After Midnight (1927). Though most lost silent films will never be recovered, some have been discovered in film archives or private collections.

In 1978 in Dawson City, Yukon, a bulldozer uncovered buried reels of nitrate film during excavation of a landfill. Dawson City was once the end of the distribution line for many films. The retired titles were stored at the local library until 1929 when the flammable nitrate was used as landfill in a condemned swimming pool. Stored for 50 years under the permafrost of the Yukon, the films turned out to be extremely well preserved. Included were films by Pearl White, Harold Lloyd, Douglas Fairbanks, and Lon Chaney. These films are now housed at the Library of Congress.[25] The degradation of old film stock can be slowed through proper archiving, or films can be transferred to CD-ROM or other digital media for preservation. Silent film preservation has been a high priority among film historians.[26]

the end @ copyright Dr Iwan Suwandy 2012




Fishes of Ceylon 1834 a

Fishes of Ceylon 1834

Fishes of Ceylon 1834 b

These stunning hand-coloured engravings of exotic fish from Sri Lanka (extracted from a .pdf) are from:
‘A Selection from the most Remarkable and Interesting of the Fishes Found on the Coast of Ceylon from Drawings made in the Southern Part of that Island from the Living Specimens by John Whitchurch Bennett, 2nd Ed. 1834′.
The work contains thirty illustrations in total and the Harvard University edition is ‘Natural History of Ceylon’ from 1861



‘An Account of Indian Serpents, collected on the Coast of Coromandel’ by Patrick Russell, 1796. Russell was the botanist to the East India Company in Madras (Chennai). This is apparently the first book devoted to Indian snakes. The image, spliced together from screencaps, comes from somewhere in the Books, Manuscripts & Maps category at Christies (inadvertently following from a comment by Michael some weeks ago).

All the World Going to See the Great Exhibition of 1851

‘All the World Going to See the Great Exhibition of 1851′ by George Cruikshank.

“This image first appeared in Henry Mayhew’s 1851 or The Adventures of Mr. and Mrs. Sandboys and Family, Who Came Up to London to ‘Enjoy Themselves,’ and to See the Great Exhibition (London: David Bogue, [1851]).”
[image and quote from this entry - where there is more info. - at one of my favourite sites: Princeton Graphic Arts Blog.]

satirical cartoon - London in 1851

‘London in 1851′ by George Cruikshank.

View from the Circus looking up Piccadilly – Proof for an illustration to be included in: ‘1851, or, The Adventures of Mr and Mrs Sandboys’ by Henry Mayhew (from the British Museum Prints Database)

Overland Journey to the Great Exhibition (composite)

Overland Journey to the Great Exhibition

‘An Overland Journey to the Great Exhibition. Showing a Few Extra Articles & Visitors’ by (at one time) Punch Magazine illustrator, Richard Doyle. The book contains no text and the satirical parade of humans and animals on their way to Crystal Palace measured nine feet in length when all of the illustrations were joined together. The composite image is from PBA Galleries and the second illustration comes from the Great Exhibition Humorous Asides page at Kansas University’s Spencer Library.

'The Arts and Manufactures of Ireland'

‘The Arts and Manufactures of Ireland’

One of several designs for political caricatures on the Great Exhibition of 1851 drawn by George Augustus Sala (from the British Museum Prints Database)

Th' Greyt Eggshibishun

‘O Ful, Tru, un Pertikler Okeaawnt o bwoth wat aw seed un wat aw yerd, we gooin too Th’ Greyt Eggshibishun, e Lundun, an a greyt deyle of Hinfurmashun besoide’ by Oliver Ormerod (penned under his Rochdale, Lancashire pseudonym, Felley from Rachde).
“The title of the book (translated from the Rochdalian) is “A full, true and particular account of both what I saw and what I heard when going to the Great Exhibition, in London, and a great deal of information besides.” (image and quote also from Kansas U.)

editorial cartoon: Britannia's Great Party - Punch on the Prince Consort and the Exhibition 1851

‘Britannia’s Great Party’

Punch Magazine on the Prince Consort and the Exhibition of 1851 (from Victorian Web) [See also: Punch Magazine illustrations by John Leech: Memorials of the Great Exhibition]

The prompt that made me look around for some satirical prints on the Great Exhibition of 1851 was receiving a (requested) copy of the catalogue (available online) from Melbourne’s Monash University Library exhibition (until August 31) – Fifty Books for Fifty Years. “This is an exhibition of fifty books chosen by Monash academics and researchers.[..] The fifty participants have chosen items they have consulted in the course of their work. The result is a fascinating variety of books, many of which have never been displayed.” If not for the thousand-or-so kilometres, I would definitely go.

Cover of Meanjin 1949 - Australia

cover of Meanjin Literary Magazine 1965

Speaking of Melbourne, Sophie Cunningham is a publisher, journalist, writer and current editor of Meanjin, an Australian literary and culture magazine established more than sixty years ago. Sophie has posted a set of photographs of Meanjin covers to Flickr. Both the stylised Aboriginal figure in ceremonial* attire and emu head cover illustrations above remain under copyright and have been posted here with permission.

Harp and Pneumatic Organ


These engravings come from the first of Johann Forkel’s ambitious 2-volume work, ‘Allgemeine Geschichte der Musik’ (General History of Music) [1788-1801]. These, together with a couple more similarly interesting illustrations can be found on the last pages of Tome I at the Universities of Strasbourg Digital Library (very little of visual interest in Tome 2). I presume the schematic in the first illustration above is a pedal control unit for a pneumatic organ. It’s too early for steam. Forkel was a biographer of Bach and is often regarded as the founder of modern musicology. He was never able to complete the planned third volume in the series so this first German attempt at documenting the history of music stops at the beginning of the 16th century. (See: i, ii, iii)

Zincgref, Julius Wilhelm - Facetiae Pennalium 1622 (HAB)

Titlepage from ‘Facetiae Pennalium’, 1622, by Julius Zincgref from HAB. I know nothing about this book although I suspect it is philosophical in nature. Somewhere around I have a couple of links to emblemata books by him which might materialise here in the future.

Een Gesigt van de Zuyker mool te Pasoeroeang met het Gebergte Artjoeno

‘Een Gesigt van de Zuyker mool te Pasoeroeang met het Gebergte Artjoeno’


De Tempel van Madjanpoeti van Binnen te Zien

‘De Tempel van Madjanpoeti van Binnen te Zien’

De Berg Mirabie bij Banjoewangi

‘De Berg Mirabie bij Banjoewangi’

Batavia 1656

Batavia 1656

Despite the terrible rendering of online translation of Dutch, I’m fairly confident all four images above relate to the Java region of Indonesia and are all* the first three are approximately from the second half of the 17th 18th century [*see the comments at the end of the post]. They are spliced screencaps from a new cartographic database of several hundred images relating to the Dutch East India Company (VOC). The collection consists mostly of maps (of course) – many fort outlines and lots of interesting and artistic map sketches – but there are the occasional scenic watercolour pictures as well.  From the ‘Collectie/Archief’ drop down menu, select ‘Kaarten van de VOC’, change the number of thumbnails you want to display per page down the bottom and then hit ‘zoek’. It’s all easy.

D'Haazendans 1868

‘D’Haazendans’ engraved by FW Zürcher, 1868.
Spliced from screencaps

De Muizenvreugd

‘De Muizenvreugd’ engraved by FW Zürcher, 1868.
The Joy of Mice spliced from screencaps

World map from 1300 - Monialium Ebstorfensium Mappamundi

‘Monialium Ebstorfensium Mappamundi’

This chromolithograph world map [spliced together from two sections] was made by Konrad Miller in 1896 and is a reproduction of a mappamundi produced in Hanover (I think) in 1300. Although the largest version doesn’t quite magnify all the details, it nevertheless remains an interesting map. Note that Christ’s head, hands and feet mark the vertical and horizontal axes. The digital version is hosted by MDZ.

 the map – the German equivalent of the ‘Hereford Mappamundi’ – is known as the ‘Ebstorf Mappamundi’ (image) and was produced in 1234 by Gervase of Tilbury.

Kermis of geen Kermis


‘Kermis of geen Kermis?’
This lithograph, with it’s unusual scalloped vignettes, was produced by Joseph Vürtheim sometime between 1843 and 1875. The print imagery seems to imply that village fair recreation will lead to death and despair. .

 squid from Bible der Natur by Jan Swammerdam

mosquito from Bible der Natur by Jan Swammerdam

These fabulous squid and mosquito engravings come from Jan Swammerdam’s classic ‘Bibel der Natur’ (1752). The whole book is (finally!) online at Berlin’s Humboldt University E-Doc server. (note the thumbnail link top left; the text may be photocopy quality but the engravings are great: ‘Höhere Auflösung’=high resolution)

The Dutch microscopist, Jan Swammerdam, conducted groundbreaking research into the development of insects and made significant contributions to human anatomy and scientific methodology.

Mathesis Caesarea - Albert von Curtz 1662 (HAB) c

Mathesis Caesarea (composite)

Mathesis Caesarea - Curtz/Schott 1662 (HAB)

 these odd engravings from ‘Mathesis Caesarea’ (1662) just because the idea of adding putti (cupids) to an otherwise rather dry reworking of Albert von Curtz’s ‘Amussis Fernandea’ by Gaspar Schott (the book being about mathematics, geometry and military architecture) seems amusingly incongruous..

Flora of the Cashmere - Gossypium herbaceum + G. arboreum

Gossypium herbaceum and Gossypium arboreum

Flora of Cashmere - Rheum Webbianum + Balanophora dioica

Rheum webbianum and Balanophora dioica

These plates (extracted from a .pdf) come from the beautiful book, ‘Illustrations of the Botany and other Branches of the Natural History of the Himalayan Mountains and of the Flora of Cashmere’ by J. Forbes Royle, 1839.

Allegorie op de vrede (Allegory of Peace)

Allegorie op de vrede (Allegory of Peace) (detail)

‘Allegorie op de Vrede’ (Allegory of Peace) is by A. Zürcher 1814

anthropomorphic Polish satire

‘Zoilus’ by Cyprian Norwid (search on his name at the Polish Digital Library – they have a large number of his works. As previously noted, Matt from Rashomon made a beautiful five minute collage-film from a range of Norwid prints)

The Maritime Marine Historic Collections

The Maritime Marine Historic Collections

collection of maritime small arms and accessories.

a flintlock ‘coach’ pistol produced by J. Harding, a London manufacturer active between 1815 and 1840.

One pistol held by the collection—and yes, the story of its owner—brought home how close the Australian colonies and America were in the nineteenth century. It is a flintlock ‘coach’ pistol produced by J. Harding, a London manufacturer active between 1815 and 1840. For stylistic reasons I suspect this pistol was produced in the late 1830s. Harding manufactured similar pistols for use by Her Majesty’s Coach Service and three examples are held in the British Post Museum and Archive.

Flintlock Coach Pistol owned by Francis Deane (ANMM 00008294).

Flintlock Coach Pistol owned by Francis Deane

This particular pistol, however, was for civilian use, and is believed to have belonged to Francis Williams Deane, an American sailor who travelled between the gold-rushes in California and Victoria in the mid-nineteenth century. The museum holds a number of objects associated with Deane, including a daguerreotype portrait, and his naturalization, death and marriage certificates.

Daguerreotype of Francis Williams Deane (ANMM 00008367).Daguerreotype of Francis Williams Deane

Deane was born around 1820 in Raynham, Massachusetts. After travelling to the Californian rushes in 1848, Deane came to Sydney as master of the Bark Milwood. The following year, Deane returned to America to join the ‘forty-niners’ on the Yuma diggings in Arizona.

Diggings in Arizona and California were reputed to be fairly safe places for new immigrants, but around the time Deane arrived, a number of arrivals from the south had been causing trouble. One local miner explained there was an influx “of the worst element in the world, chiefly from Sydney and other Pacific Ocean ports… this matter seriously changed and endangered current affairs in California.” In response to a string of thefts in 1851, locals in San Francisco rose up and formed the famous “Committee of Vigilance Committee,” several hundred strong. In a flurry of activity, the Vigilantes hung 4 Australians, and drove several dozen others from California.

The execution of John Jenkins, “an ex-convict from Sydney”. Held at the Californian Military Museum.The execution of John Jenkins, “an ex-convict from Sydney”.

Deane was not Australian, but, perhaps due to his earlier Antipodean sojourn, is rumoured to have fled town “a pier jump ahead” of the Vigilantes. He departed (permanently) for Victoria, and it is tempting to wonder whether he armed himself with this pistol for protection.

Deane was naturalised in 1854 in Williamstown, Victoria, a place known for its strong maritime community. On his naturalization certificate he was described as “a master mariner who arrived from the US on board the Mary & Ellen and who intends to purchase land and establish himself in the said colony.”

Deane married a local, but never abandoned his ‘Yankee’ ways. According to a district historian, “Captain Deane called his home Yosemite… it was his habit to ride round the streets of Williamstown on a small skewbald pony, complete with Mexican saddle and savagely rowelled spurs. A heaving line [lasso] was coiled on the pommel like a lariat, and jammed on the head of the pilot would be his shiny stovepipe hat.” Deane died in 1898.

Deane’s single-shot, muzzle loading coach pistol seems small and awkward in comparison to a second pistol associated with both Americans and the Victorian gold rushes. It is a Colt Second Model Dragoon Revolver, which fired six shots and was known for its large bore and great stopping power. Colt revolvers were popular amongst civilians and soldiers because of their unique (at the time) double-action firing mechanism. Previous mechanisms required the shooter to manually ‘cock’ the pistol before firing the trigger. The ‘double action’ cocked and fired the pistol simply by pulling the trigger, which significantly increased the gun’s rate of fire.

Colt’s Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company was established in Hartford, Connecticut in 1847. It’s initial focus was on the production of revolvers for use in the Mexican-American War of 1846 – 1848, but it soon expanded its operations. Three models of the Colt revolver were manufactured, with the second model being made between 1850 and 1851. Approximately 2550 of these were produced, making them the least common of the three. This pistol’s serial number- 9253- indicates that it was manufactured in 1850.

Colt Second Model Dragoon Revolver (ANMM 00029485).Colt Second Model Dragoon Revolver

According to its previous owners, the pistol was “found in pieces under the dirt floor of a shed in Ballarat.” There is a chance- admittedly a small one- that it was used in the miner’s uprising at the Eureka Stockade in 1854.

The uprising began in response to the high price of mining licenses and the uncertain returns of digging. Some miners equated the purchase of licences with taxation, and argued that gold diggers were being subjected to taxation without representation.

In October 1854 the murder of a Scottish miner by a local hotelkeeper led to increasing civil unrest, which culminated with the formation of the Ballarat Reform League in November. Among other things, the League demanded the removal of the licence system, and manhood suffrage. On the 3rd of December, after a tense stand-off, miners and government troops clashed at a hill occupied by the League. A subsequent commission determined that 22 miners were killed, and at least twelve more were wounded. Other accounts put the figure as high as 27.

Troops and miners clash at the stockade. The miner in the blue trousers appears to be wielding a Colt. State Library of NSW SSV2B/Ball/7.Troops and miners clash at the stockade. The miner in the blue trousers appears to be wielding a Colt.

Because of the Reform League’s demand for universal male suffrage, the uprising at Eureka has sometimes been described as the “birthplace of Australian democracy.” This Australian claim makes it is easy to forget what an international endeavour the uprising was. The thirteen miners were charged with treason in the uprising’s aftermath included Irishmen. Scots, an Italian, and a Jamaican. The first of the thirteen tried, John Joseph, was an African American who hade come from New York. As with the other twelve, Joseph was acquitted. His defence, however, held a unique racial element: the defence argued it was impossible for “a simple nigger” to oppose Her Majesty the Queen.

Joseph was not the only American involved. The prominent American businessman George Francis Train, who was based in Melbourne, had imported a consignment of Colt revolvers to the colony. They sold well, and when tensions arose in Ballarat, miners sent a request for Train to forward a further stock of Colts, on loan, to the diggings. Train refused to help, and, ever the entrepreneur, proceeded to lease six wagons to transport government troops and supplies to Ballarat.

Despite Train’s tardiness, a group of up to 200 American miners based in Ballarat organised themselves into the “Independent California Rangers Revolver Brigade.” Rafaello Carboni, an Italian who described events at the stockade, noted members of the Brigade were armed “with a Colt’s revolver of large size, and many had a Mexican knife at the hip.” The Brigade missed the skirmish, having left the stockade the previous evening in an attempt to intercept government reinforcements (incorrectly) rumoured to be en-route to Ballarat.


 the lives and careers of the seamen who owned used the objects have  been examining. Scattered amongst drier details of calibres, dates, and manufacturers are stories, details of past lives.
One interesting example is found in the service records of Lieutenant Commander Thomas Edward Mullins. Mullins served as a Sick Berth Steward on the HMAS Sydney (I) when it engaged with the German light cruiser SMS Emden in November 1914. During and after this battle, Australia’s first as a federated nation, Mullins “constantly attended [the] sick and wounded uninterruptedly for 6 days, including terribly severe cases which were received from SMS Emden.” As a result of his actions, Mullins was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, one of only 17 issued to Australians during the First World War.

Crew From the HMAS Sydney celebrating on the Cocos Islands. Australian War Memorial P00565.018.Crew From the HMAS Sydney celebrating on the Cocos Islands. Australian War .

Eight years later, in July 1922, Mullins was promoted to the rank of Warrant Wardmaster. It is likely that a sword held by the museum, engraved with the text “THOMAS E MULLINS” and “PRESENTED BY S. B. STAFF / ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY / 1922″ commemorates his promotion. Eventually, in 1957, Mullins achieved the rank of Wardmaster Lieutenant Commander on the retired list.

Naval officer's sword presented to Thomas Mullins on his promotion in 1922. ANMM 00031676Naval officer’s sword presented to Thomas Mullins on his promotion in 1922.

Known to me as Lieutenant Commander Mullins D. S. M. through the museums records, I had imagined him as being a stately sort of naval gentleman. It was something of a surprise, when, browsing through his service records, I found that, when Mullins first enlisted in 1912 he was described as having “coiled snakes [tattooed] round neck—various figures and floral designs on arms R + L, butterfly on left leg, [butterfly on] each shoulder”

Thomas Edward Mullin's tattoos, as described on his service record, held at the National Archives of Australia.Thomas Edward Mullin’s tattoos,

The service records of the sailors I have encountered reveal that many would have crossed paths during their duties. Mullins is one of several sidearm-owners who served on or were associated with the pride of the Victorian Colonial Navy, the HMVS (later HMAS) Cerberus. The Cerberus was launched in 1868 at the Chatham Dockyards in Kent before making an arduous journey to the Colony. She was the first entirely steam-powered ship in the British Navy, inspired by ironclad riverboats such as the USS Monitor, which had seen service in the American Civil War of 1861 – 65.

Wood engraving of the HMVS Cerberus in dock, 1874. From the State Library of Victoria, IAN18/05/74/73.Wood engraving of the HMVS Cerberus in dock, 1874. The Cerberus remained under Victorian control until 1901, when the Australian Commonwealth Government assumed control of defence, and she was absorbed into the Royal Australian Navy after its formation in 1911. By this stage she was dilapidated and out of date. Fifteen years later, having been sold as scrap to a private firm, she was scuttled in Half Moon Bay, Victoria, where she can still be seen. A group of enthusiasts, the Friends of the Cerberus, have campaigned for several years to have the ship preserved.



A bayonet  believed to have been used aboard the Cerberus by James Conder, a seaman who had a lengthy career on several significant Victorian and Australian vessels, including the HMAS Katoomba, HMAS Challenger, and HMAS Psyche. It is an unusual sword-style bayonet which would have fitted an 1855 model Lancaster (Sappers & Miners) Carbine, a rifle popular with the Volunteer and Rifle Club movement in the nineteenth. There is some evidence that Victorian volunteer defence forces were issued with these guns, and one firearms authority considers it likely that this (by then) obsolete small arm was carried on the Cerberus in the 1890s.

Bayonet for Lancaster (Sappers & Miners) Carbine, ANMM 00005671.Bayonet for Lancaster (Sappers & Miners) Carbine,

A final object with a Cerberus association is a double-barrelled flintlock pistol. It is yet another souvenir from the Boxer Uprising, this time believed to have collected by Walter Underwood. Described as a 5 foot 9 inch tall Protestant with black hair and hazel eyes, Underwood was a bandmaster with the Williamstown Division of the Victorian Naval Brigade. He served upon the Cerberus until his retirement in 1922. Underwood is pictured in a group portrait of the Victorian Navy Band photographed in 1898, holding his baton and leaning against the bass drum.

The HMVS Cerberus band in 1898. Underwood is moustached, leaning on the bass drum near the centre-right. Australian War Memorial 305343.The HMVS Cerberus band in 1898. Underwood is moustached, leaning on the bass drum near the centre-right. Australian War Memorial 305343.

The pistol was produced by the firm Kynock & Co., which is known to have operated a plant in Warwickshire producing percussion sporting guns in the 1860s. This particular example is marked “Kynock & Co, Birmingham,” and stamped “TOWER 1867,” which roughly correlates with the estimated date of the pistol’s manufacture. It is further stamped “W U C E F 1901,” which I’m taking to stand for “Walter Underwood, China Expeditionary Force.” The question remains whether Underwood acquired the pistol from locals in China, or whether he obtained it from a British soldier, or perhaps even from the stores of the Naval Brigade, another antiquated relic like Conder’s bayonet. While in China, Underwood wrote letters home, and six of them are held by the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. Next time I head in that direction, I’ll be sure to stop by and take a look—they might shed some light on the mystery.

Double-barrelled flintlock pistol, marked "WUCEF", ANMM 00033858.Double-barrelled flintlock pistol, marked “WUCEF”, Giant guitar boat 

… the custom-made guitar boat SS Maton.

Josh Pyke and his guitar boat at the museumJosh Pyke and his guitar boat

The extraordinary vessel which starred in the music video for ARIA-award winning singer/songwriter Josh Pyke’s hit single ‘Make You Happy’ was on display at the museum while it was being auctioned off for charity.

The SS Maton – named for the brand of guitar Josh Pyke plays – made headlines late last year when Pyke cruised around Sydney Harbour in it for the music video. During filming, images of the boat spread rapidly across the world on the internet. The video clip even became the #1 featured video on YouTube world wide.

The boat was custom-designed and measures an amazing 6.1 metres from the top of the neck to the base, and is just over 2 metres wide. In all it took a week to build at a workshop at Fox Professional Studios in Moore Park. Made from plywood, polystyrene and steel it weighs around 250 kgs. It also features a small outboard motor hooked over the back to propel it across the water and even a giant plectrum (guitar pick)!

The choice of a guitar boat for his music video is not such a strange one for Pyke … he admits to a strong seafaring influence in his song writing.

‘I’ve always been interested in maritime history… my ancestors were all whalers and Navy men, so I feel some kind of pull for that kind of life and history,” Pyke says.

And it’s not such a surprise to see Pyke and the guitar boat at the museum… the song ‘Make You Happy’ is from Josh’s new album ‘Chimney’s Afire’ which has a distinct nautical feel.

“Ever since I was a kid reading adventure books, especially Huckleberry Finn, I’ve always had the desire to jump on a raft and disappear down a river…I relate solid, seafaring adventuring tales as the romantic, alternate universe that I’d want to live in if I was ever to throw it all away and disappear,” he said.

It’s the language of the whaling era which seems to have struck such a chord with Josh and can be heard flowing through the album. ‘Chimney’s Afire’ is the cry whalers of yesteryear made when they harpooned a whale and a plume of blood and water would spurt from its blowhole.

“It’s a horrifying, brutal image, but the actual language is evocative and quite amazing,” says Pyke. Other songs on the album include ‘The Lighthouse Song’, ‘Where Two Oceans Meet’ and the title track ‘Chimney’s Afire’.

The guitar boat  The eBay auction was a success with a final winning bid of $7,100..

Josh Pyke on board the guitar boat

Josh Pyke on board the guitar boat

the collection of naval and civilian small-arms.

 many of the small-arms , and in the future will be performing a much needed update to the catalogue information  around a dozen swords, two dozen guns, and a handful of assorted small-arms, including pikes, dirks, and a walking-stick rumoured (but not proven) to conceal a rapier.

The significance of these weapons often lies in the people or the events with which they are associated. Rather than simply being objects d’ art or examples of technological innovation, these weapons can tell us something of the lives lived and values held by the people who owned and used them. For example, many of the naval swords feature elaborate etchings on the blade, hinting at imperial loyalties, significant events, or personal achievements. We can track how these symbols changed over time, gaining an insight into the way in which social attitudes have evolved through the decades.

Other items give us an impression of everyday events. One of my personal favourites is a whaler’s “bowie” knife, believed to be made during the nineteenth century. Someone, perhaps the owner, has crudely incised a three-masted clipper on one side of the blade, and a whaling scene on the other. In this image, four whalers—three rowing and a fourth standing with a whaling spear—face off a rampant whale in a choppy sea.

Whaler's Bowie Knife ANMM Registry Number 00030339Whaler’s Bowie Knife  

The object that I am currently investigating is a bolt action rifle, previously described in the museum’s catalogue as an “Austrian Model 1888 Rifle,” thought to have been acquired during the Boxer Uprising in China.

The Boxer Uprising, often called the Boxer Rebellion, began when a Chinese sect known as the Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists started agitating against Western Colonial influences in the late nineteenth century. In 1900, the Society, having gained popular support in northern China, attacked Western outposts in Beijing and Tianjin. In response, European and Japanese forces combined to form the Eight Nation Alliance. They brought 20,000 troops to China and suppressed the uprising in September 1901. Australia provided a contingent of several hundred troops from its colonial navies, primarily from the New South Wales and Victorian Naval Brigades. No Australians were killed in the fighting, but six troops were lost to illness. You can read more about the Boxer Uprising at Wikipedia, at The Australian War Memorial, or search Google Books. The Internet Modern History Sourcebook also contains a number of interesting contemporary resources.

The rifle I am researching is one of several objects held by the Museum that are associated with the Boxer Uprising or with the Colonial Naval Brigades.

A midshipman’s dirk on display in the Navy Gallery was used by the New South Wales Brigade, its unit insignia proudly etched on the blade’s surface.

Midshipman's Dirk, ANMM Registration Number 00031675Midshipman’s Dirk,

A Martini-Henry rifle, the type used by the Naval Brigades, is also on display in the Naval Gallery. It features an elaborately carved dragon motif on its stock, suggestive of its Boxer links. Out of view are four Chinese characters and the text “J. C. Jamieson.”

Martini-Henry Rifle, ANMM Registration Number 00033857Martini-Henry Rifle,

Jamieson was a member of the Royal Victorian Naval Brigade and is known to have travelled to China as part of the Australian contingent. He is believed to be pictured in a photograph held by the Australian War Memorial which was taken shortly before the Victorian Brigade left for China.
// Victorian Naval Brigade prepares to leave for war.

A final item on display in the Naval Gallery is an officer’s sword which belonged to Lieutenant William Staunton Spain. Spain travelled to China as part of the New South Wales Naval Brigade. The sword was dispensed by the London cutlers Firmin and Sons, and its hilt features an elaborate fouled anchor motif which was common on British naval swords.

NSW Naval Brigade Officer's Sword, ANMM Registration Number 00032413NSW Naval Brigade Officer’s Sword


Spain was photographed leading a group of Naval Brigade troopers mounted on ponies in China during 1901.

// Spain and his troopers.

Unlike these objects, the rifle which I am currently investigating  is not associated with a particular person. It is simply described as being a “souvenir from Boxer Rebellion” in the Museum’s database. (Sadly, it didn’t make it into our current exhibition on souvenirs!) It is listed as an “Austrian Model 1888 Full Length Rifle.” The rifle has no distinct maker’s marks, but features what is possibly a manufacturer’s number, “51006.”

Austria-Hungary were a member of the Eight Nation Alliance, and at first I was inclined to assume the rifle was a version of the Gewehr Model 1888 Commission Rifle. This model and its variants were produced in Germany, Austria-Hungary, and a number of other European countries from 1888 until the early 1920s, although they were superseded by a number of later designs, and made officially obsolete with the introduction of the Model 1898 Mauser.

On closer inspection  was obviously wrong. The Gewehr 1888 features a distinctive protruding magazine which is integrated with the trigger guard. The  rifle has a protruding magazine, but this is separated from the trigger guard.

// Gewehr Model 1888 Commission Rifle. Image kindly provided by Euroarms

The museum's rifle. ANMM Registration Number 00031681rifle. ANMM Registration Number 00031681

In many ways, the  rifle is similar to the 1898 Mauser– which replaced the Gewehr 1888– except that the Model ’98 did not have a protruding magazine at all. This suggests that the rifle  might be a transitional model, possibly a model 1890/91 or 1896 Mauser rifle. we will  awaiting a number of rifle identification books from libraries which might shed some light on the rifle’s origins.

One possibility I am not ruling out  is that the rifle is a Chinese “bootleg” Mauser. A number of Chinese foundries produced copies of Western-style rifles in the nineteenth century, sometimes going as far as replicating European maker’s marks and serial numbers. If this is the case, then this enigmatic rifle might signify the modernisation of China and the adoption of Western values which the Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists fought hard to resist.


The Indonesia Historic Collections 1596-1700

The Indonesia Historic Collections 1596-1700

Portuguese forts and posts in Indonesia, 16th and 17th centuries

The Portuguese Estado da India was governed from Goa, on the Indian west coast. It consisted primarily of a sprinkling of forts and trading posts, stretching eventually from Mozambique to Japan, and its power lay not in trade but in tax collection. Although the Portuguese crown declared a royal monopoly over the trade of spices from Indonesia to Europe, the Portuguese authorities in Asia were unable and unwilling to enforce it. Instead, in exchange for payment, they issued cartaze, or certificates of safe conduct, to trading vessels within their sphere of influence and connived at smuggling on a massive scale by Portuguese returning to Europe. The Catholic missionary Francis Xavier commented that the learning of the Portuguese in Maluku was limited to the Latin verb rapio (‘I seize’), but that they had invented many new and imaginative ways to use it. Nonetheless, partly because of the widespread settlement of Portuguese men in the archipelago, partly because of Portugal’s control of major trading points, the Portuguese language spread widely as a second lingua franca alongside Malay. Portuguese-speaking communities survived in the region until the 19th century and many Portuguese words entered Malay itself.

The Portuguese initially had an advantage in firearms and ship design, but both advantages quickly diminished as Southeast Asians learnt European techniques and individual Portuguese took service with Southeast Asian rulers. Portugal, moreover, was a small country whose army and navy were thinly spread over a vast region, and their posts and forts were vulnerable to local emerging powers. Their efforts to control the trade routes were under constant challenge from states such as Aceh, Johor, Banten and Jambi.

In 1574, the people of Ternate expelled portugeus , as Japan did in 1637.

The greatest threat to Portugal, however, came from the Dutch and English trading companies. In 1601 a Dutch fleet drove the Portuguese from Banten, and in 1605 the Dutch seized the Portuguese forts in Maluku. Solor fell to the Dutch in 1613, and Melaka in 1641. Portuguese influence was then limited to Larantuka, which remained in their hands until 1859.

In 1587, following the union of Spain and Portugal in 1580, the Spanish king allocated the royal monopoly in the Indies to Fuggers and Welsers, the Habsburg bankers of Augsburg, who formed the Companhia Portugueza das Indias Orientaes, but this change came too late to deflect the military and commercial challenge presented by the Dutch



 merchants had set up an expedition to be sent to the Indonesia archipelago. Under the command of Cornelis de Houtman

Cornelis de Houtman
Cornelis de Houtman , brother of Frederick de Houtman, was a Dutch explorer who discovered a new sea route from Europe to Indonesia and managed to begin the Dutch spice trade…

, the expedition arrived in Banten in 1596. The goods it brought back to the Netherlands only produced a modest profit to the merchants who had set up the expedition


Jakarta , is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. Located on the northwest coast of Java,

. During the Dutch colonial era, it was called Batavia. In earlier forms it can be found as Djakarta

Dutch colonial era


(the location of Jayakarta), Prince Jayawikarta, was also very involved in the history of Jakarta. In 1596, many Dutch ships arrived in Jayakarta with the intention of trading spices, more or less the same as that of the Portuguese.


This island was conquered in 1598 by the Hollanders. It was called Mauritius after the then Stadtholder Maurits of Nassau. The trip was interrupted for the last time over here. As much fresh water as possible was taken in and furthermore some fresh fruits and fresh vegetables. Damage caused by the storm was repaired over here. After that the journey continued. For several weeks after that, the persons on board didn’t see anything else than sky and water. Especially a lot of water. Sometimes towering waves. Like tiny nutshells the ships of the convoy floated on the immeasurable ocean. In the middle of the day it was often unbearably hot, the pitch ran out the splits. 



:  One of the world’s first corporate logos, the VOC symbol. This was used widely on coinage, flags and public buildings in Dutch Asia.



Unlike the Estado da India, the Dutch East India Company (VOC, Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) was a joint stock company, formed in 1602 by merging several smaller companies founded in the 1590s to trade with the Indies. The joint stock company was a relatively new commercial form which became one of the most important vehicles for the development of modern capitalism. Its essence was that investors purchased shares in a joint operation which they themselves did not necessarily operate. In this way it became possible not only to produce a very large operating capital at short notice but to separate the functions of providing capital and managing the operation.


The VOC also brought to its operations a charter from the Dutch government which gave it the right to administer and to make war and peace in the regions east of the Cape of Good Hope. Although it was technically a private company, its owners were from the same merchant class that dominated the Dutch Republic, and it could thus draw on the protection of the Dutch state.


Newly free from Spanish rule themselves, the Dutch rejected in principle the Treaty of Saragossa and its partition of the Indies, arguing instead the principle of freedom of the seas.


With a large fleet of ships willing to break the Portuguese monopoly, they were initially welcomed in Southeast Asia. By making exclusive commercial agreements with indigenous rulers, and by direct military action against their European rivals and local challengers, they sought to create an exclusive sphere of influence in the Indies. The inter-European contest of the 17th century involved only tiny patches of territory and relatively small numbers of indigenous people, but it determined that the Indonesian archipelago was to be the sphere of influence of the VOC. By the end of the century, the Dutch were a significant power only in parts of Java and Maluku, but their rivals were gone or confined to insignificant peripheral regions of the archipelago – Spain to the Philippines, Portugal to Timor and a few adjacent islands, and the British to the west coast of Sumatra.

 Lord of the Kingdom of Tanjungpura Panembahan Giri Kusuma embraced Islam and changed the name of the Hindu kingdom became the Kingdom of Islam Sukadana Tanjungpura-Matan.

 Sultan Banjar IV Mustainbillah be until the year 1641. He received tribute from Sambas, Trunk Lawai, Sukadana and Paser.
 1596: Dutch traders seized two junks from Banjarmasin the pepper trade in the Sultanate of Banten.
 1598: Abdul Akbar became the Sultan of Brunei Jalilul X until the year 1659. Oliver van Noord, Dutch traders came to Brunei. [14]
 1599: Sultan of Brunei held a nexus with the Spanish in Manila.
 1600: Prince Anom Jaya Kesuma became ruler of Hedgehog.
 1600: Brother Pencin title of Great Prince who reigned from 1600 to 1643 was the first ruler who embraced Islam Sintang. This prince sent a messenger to pass the river Banjarmasin Katingan to copy the Scriptures of the Qur’an.
 1604: On March 13, 1604, King Sukadana Panembahan Giri Kusuma binding agreement with the Dutch (VOC) [15], which infuriated the Sultan of Mataram.

On February 14, 1606, an expedition led by Koopman Gillis Michaelszoon Dutch first arrived in Banjarmasin, because of bad temperament captain was killed in a riot. [16]

 Aji Mas Anom Paser Indra became the ruler until the year 1644.
 1607: June 7, 1607 expedition led by Koopman VOC Michaelszoon Gillis arrived in Banjarmasin, all the crew were killed in retaliation for the seizure of Banjar junks in Banten in 1596. [17]

 On October 1, VOC conduct cooperation pact with the Prince Duke of Sambas. [18]
 1610: Aji violated Kutai VII became King until the year 1635.

  the first Dutch governor-general, 1609–1614,


 King maimed became ruler based in Pekana porcupine, Authorship.

In May 1612, fire destroyed the Dutch Company Banjar Banjar Old Empire’s capital, so capital was moved to Martapura. British trade partnership, chaired by Sir Henry Middleton coming to Brunei.

Amiril Pengiran Lion King Tidung Laoet served until 1650.

 Prince Dipati Anta-founded the Duchy Kotawaringin Kasuma, fractional area of ​​the Sultanate of Banjar most western border with the Kingdom of Tanjungpura.

The English ships that remained in the Archipelago seemed destined to fall to the Dutch, who captured two of them in July, 1619,

 Admiral Dale, stricken with fever, and fearful lest the Bantamese might sacrifice the English to make terms with the Dutch, had shipped off our goods and factors from Bantam in the summer of 1619, sought an asylum for them on the east coast of India, and there died. The English ships that remained in the Archipelago seemed destined to fall to the Dutch, who captured two of them in July, 1619,and four others off Sumatra in October 1619 . Our alliance with the Prince of Bantam, to capture the half-built Dutch fort at Jacatra (Batavia) in the beginning of that year, furnished Coen with a cause of war against us, and placed him in the right from the point of view of European diplomacy.

The arrival, early in 1620,

of the treaty of July, 1619,  snatched the prey from between his hands. “The English ought to be very thankful to you,” he wrote to the Dutch directors in Holland, “for they had worked themselves very nicely out of the Indies, and you have placed them again in the midst.”

If, however, he had to obey the treaty, he could use it for his own ends


The English would have liked. to resettle at Bantam, but Coen resolved not only to destroy the trade of that port but to force the English to live under his own eye at Batavia. After some negotiation the joint Council of Defence, established in Java by the treaty, agreed to blockade Bantam in 1620,and

In Batavia Coen made our position so miserable that in July, 1620, we had to keep a ship there as a floating warehouse, “having no place on shore.” In 1621 the English almost gave up Java in despair, and part of them again sought a refuge on the Indian coast. In August, 1622, Thomas Drockedon, our agent at Batavia, asked leave from the directors in London to return home, as he could “live no longer under the insolence of the Dutch.”

His situation was a mournful one. So far from restitution having been made to us under the treaty of 1619, we were compelled to supply “incredible sums” for fortifications which the Dutch did or did not build, but which could only be a menace to ourselves. We had been dragged into a war with Bantam, from which we could derive no benefit, and which shut us out from the chief pepper mart. The civil and criminal jurisdiction was exercised by the Dutch to publicly insult us. We were placed on a level with “the blacks,” whose bare affirmation was taken against us. We might not “kill a wild hog or gather a cocoanut in the wood without leave.” The Dutch had flogged William Clarke, steward of the English factory, in the market-place, “cruelly cutting his flesh, and then washed him with salt and vinegar, and laid him again in irons.” The English watch had been imprisoned for eight days and threatened with torture, to force them to make false confessions against the president of our council. What seemed to the Dutch their lawful jurisdiction, the English regarded as oppression


 Sultanate of Mataram send Tumenggung Bahurekso, Regent of Kendal Sukadana attack under control Bunku Princess / Queen Mas Jaintan (Mustika Giri’s mother), this attack will attack worrying Banjar Sultanate of Mataram. Giri mustaka (Raden Saradewa) son-king Prince Dipati Kotawaringin Kasuma Anta-crowned king-Matan Sukadana Syafiuddin title of Sultan Muhammad (1622-1659). He was the first king of the title of Sultan, the previous king Panembahan Sukadana title only.


For another alleged plot twelve natives had been condemned to be quartered, and the rest of the accused to perpetual slavery in chains. The torture failed to elicit anything against the English; but if it could have given the Dutch “any advantage against us,” we should have had no mercy. “Wherefore,” wrote in 1622 our President Furgand and council at Batavia,

“we earnestly desire speedily to be released from this bondage.” A similar attempt was made in the island of Pularoon to extort confessions against the English by cruel torments of the natives. Thus was rehearsed alike in the capital of Dutch India and in the distant Nutmeg Isles, that tragedy of torture which was so soon to be enacted at Amboyna. In the still remoter seas, as we learn from a letter of Richard Cocks, dated Nagasaki, 10th March, 1620, the Hollanders, with seven ships at Japan, had, “with sound of trumpet,” “proclaimed there open war against the English, as their mortal enemies.”

The Clove and Nutmeg Isles, including among them Amboyna, Banda, and Pularoon, lay, it will be remembered, at the south-eastern end of the Spice Archipelago. The Dutch claimed the sovereignty over them, by the conquest of Amboyna from the Portuguese in 1605, and in virtue of many treaties. The English had a set of counter-claims based on the free surrender of Pularoon to us in 1616, of Lantor or Great Banda in 1620, and on compacts with other chiefs. We had also an agency at Amboyna under the Dutch-English treaty of 1619. The Dutch with an overwhelming force expelled us from Lantor and Pularoon in 1621–1622. Our gallant agent, Nathaniel Courthorpe, who, in “much want and misery,” held Pularoon from 1616 to 1620, sometimes with but thirty-eight men to resist the “force and tyranny” of the Hollanders, had been mortally wounded in a sea-fight, and threw himself overboard rather than see his ship strike her flag.


Herman van Speult, governor of the neighbouring island of Amboyna, was regarded at headquarters as “too scrupulous” in his fiscal administration. In January, 1623, the Governor-General Coen, when departing for Europe, enjoined strict justice, and mentioned Amboyna as a place where no English encroachments were to be allowed. “Trust them not,” he said,

any more than open enemies … not weighing too scrupulously what may fall out.” His farewell instructions merely reiterated the principles on which he had always insisted. “Trust the English no more than a public enemy ought to be trusted,” he wrote two months previously to Banda, the agency nearest Amboyna. This policy of suspicion, and of “not weighing too scrupulously what may fall out,” was now to be enforced with a stupid violence which the great governor-general might perhaps have anticipated, but which he would have been the first to condemn.

By the beginning of 1623 the Dutch found themselves completely masters of the Clove and Nutmeg Archipelago. At the principal clove island, Amboyna, they had, according to the English statement founded upon depositions on oath, a fortress garrisoned by two hundred Dutch soldiers, with three or four hundred native troops, including some thirty Japanese, and further protected by eight vessels in the roadstead. The English numbered eighteen men, scattered between five small factories on different islands, very badly off, with a few slaves, “just six and all boys.” In their house at Amboyna only three swords, two muskets,

Page 115

and half a pound of powder were found. The nearest English support was the Banda agency, at a distance across the sea, and containing but nine of their countrymen. English ships seldom came to Amboyna, and not one was then near. Our president in council at Java had in fact resolved to withdraw the petty English factories at Amboyna and throughout the Clove and Nutmeg

The fortress at Amboyna

Archipelago. He had even arranged with the Dutch governor-general for their transport to Batavia in Holland ships. In February, 1623, orders to this effect were on their way from our president in Batavia to Amboyna.

They arrived too. late. On the evening of February 10, 1623, a Japanese soldier of the Dutch garrison had some talk with the sentries about the number of the troops and the times of changing the watch. When questioned by the Governor Van Speult next day, February 11th, he explained that he had merely chatted with the soldiers “for his own amusement.” Indeed,

Page 116

the steward of the Dutch factory afterwards declared that “it was an usual speech amongst soldiers to enquire one of another how strong the watch might be, that they might know how many hours they might stand sentinel.”

Van Speult was, however, on the lookout for conspiracy, and perhaps anxious to redeem his reputation from the charge of slackness at headquarters. In the previous summer he had written to the Governor-General Coen about the English at Amboyna: “We hope to direct things according to your orders that our sovereignty shall not be diminished or injured in any way by their encroachments, and if we may hear of any conspiracies of theirs against the sovereignty, we shall with your sanction do justice to them, suitably, unhesitatingly, and immediately.” In October, 1622, Coen gave this sanction. In February, 1623, the opportunity arrived. Van Speult put the Japanese soldier to the torture, and after he had “endured pretty long,” wrung from him an accusation against the English. His statement was signed by the unhappy man on the day of his torment, in direct contravention of the Dutch law that one who had confessed under torture should be re-heard to confirm it not sooner than twenty-four hours afterwards, “ne durare adhuc tormentorum metus videatur.”

Eight or nine other Japanese soldiers in the service of the Dutch, whose names he had mentioned, denied the plot, but were tortured on that and the following day, until a complete story of treason was evolved.

Page 117

“Wailing and weeping by reason of their extreme tortures with burning, they were carried by slaves to prison, for it was not possible of themselves to go on their feet.” Such was the statement made by the steward of the Dutch factory regarding the affair

Decoration from an Indian sword

 The End of the Struggle:

The Tragedy of Amboyna


Events were now hastening to a catastrophe. The Dutch governor-general, Coen, while resolved to make the Archipelago an island empire for Holland, was too sagacious to imperil his plans by putting his nation openly in the wrong toward a great European power. He trusted to the treaty of 1619 itself to afford causes of quarrel, which would enable him to carry out the instructions given to the first Dutch governor-general, 1609–1614, and steadily reiterated ever since, that “the commerce of the Moluccas, Amboyna, and Banda should belong to the Company, and that no other nation in the world should possess the least part.” But Coen’s far-reaching policy was beyond the grasp of his bluff ship-captains, with their flaming broadsides, or of the angry isolated Dutch agents, a thousand miles apart, with their forts and prison cells.

Coen himself believed that the treaty alone stood in the way of his triumph over the English. Our Admiral Dale, stricken with fever, and fearful lest the Bantamese might sacrifice the English to make terms with the Dutch, had shipped off our goods and factors from Bantam in the summer of 1619, sought an asylum for them on the east coast of India, and there died. The English ships that remained in the Archipelago seemed destined to fall to the Dutch, who captured two of them in July, 1619,and four others off Sumatra in October 1619 . Our alliance with the Prince of Bantam, to capture the half-built Dutch fort at Jacatra (Batavia) in the beginning of that year, furnished Coen with a cause of war against us, and placed him in the right from the point of view of European diplomacy.

The arrival, early in 1620,

of the treaty of July, 1619,  snatched the prey from between his hands. “The English ought to be very thankful to you,” he wrote to the Dutch directors in Holland, “for they had worked themselves very nicely out of the Indies, and you have placed them again in the midst.”

If, however, he had to obey the treaty, he could use it for his own ends.


The English would have liked. to resettle at Bantam, but Coen resolved not only to destroy the trade of that port but to force the English to live under his own eye at Batavia. After some negotiation the joint Council of Defence, established in Java by the treaty, agreed to blockade Bantam in 1620, and thus accomplished both his objects. For, although the English soon withdrew, they had compromised themselves with the Bantam prince, and the Dutch fleet was strong enough to continue the blockade without them.

Court of Directors, East India House

In Batavia Coen made our position so miserable that in July, 1620, we had to keep a ship there as a floating warehouse, “having no place on shore.” In 1621 the English almost gave up Java in despair, and part of them again sought a refuge on the Indian coast. In August, 1622, Thomas Drockedon, our agent at Batavia, asked leave from the directors in London to

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return home, as he could “live no longer under the insolence of the Dutch.”

His situation was a mournful one. So far from restitution having been made to us under the treaty of 1619, we were compelled to supply “incredible sums” for fortifications which the Dutch did or did not build, but which could only be a menace to ourselves. We had been dragged into a war with Bantam, from which we could derive no benefit, and which shut us out from the chief pepper mart. The civil and criminal jurisdiction was exercised by the Dutch to publicly insult us. We were placed on a level with “the blacks,” whose bare affirmation was taken against us. We might not “kill a wild hog or gather a cocoanut in the wood without leave.” The Dutch had flogged William Clarke, steward of the English factory, in the market-place, “cruelly cutting his flesh, and then washed him with salt and vinegar, and laid him again in irons.” The English watch had been imprisoned for eight days and threatened with torture, to force them to make false confessions against the president of our council. What seemed to the Dutch their lawful jurisdiction, the English regarded as oppression.


For another alleged plot twelve natives had been condemned to be quartered, and the rest of the accused to perpetual slavery in chains. The torture failed to elicit anything against the English; but if it could have given the Dutch “any advantage against us,” we should have had no mercy. “Wherefore,” wrote in 1622 our President Furgand and council at Batavia,

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“we earnestly desire speedily to be released from this bondage.” A similar attempt was made in the island of Pularoon to extort confessions against the English by cruel torments of the natives. Thus was rehearsed alike in the capital of Dutch India and in the distant Nutmeg Isles, that tragedy of torture which was so soon to be enacted at Amboyna. In the still remoter seas, as we learn from a letter of Richard Cocks, dated Nagasaki, 10th March, 1620, the Hollanders, with seven ships at Japan, had, “with sound of trumpet,” “proclaimed there open war against the English, as their mortal enemies.”

The Clove and Nutmeg Isles, including among them Amboyna, Banda, and Pularoon, lay, it will be remembered, at the south-eastern end of the Spice Archipelago. The Dutch claimed the sovereignty over them, by the conquest of Amboyna from the Portuguese in 1605, and in virtue of many treaties. The English had a set of counter-claims based on the free surrender of Pularoon to us in 1616, of Lantor or Great Banda in 1620, and on compacts with other chiefs. We had also an agency at Amboyna under the Dutch-English treaty of 1619. The Dutch with an overwhelming force expelled us from Lantor and Pularoon in 1621–1622. Our gallant agent, Nathaniel Courthorpe, who, in “much want and misery,” held Pularoon from 1616 to 1620, sometimes with but thirty-eight men to resist the “force and tyranny” of the Hollanders, had been mortally wounded in a sea-fight, and threw himself overboard rather than see his ship strike her flag.

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Herman van Speult, governor of the neighbouring island of Amboyna, was regarded at headquarters as “too scrupulous” in his fiscal administration. In January, 1623, the Governor-General Coen, when departing for Europe, enjoined strict justice, and mentioned Amboyna as a place where no English encroachments were to be allowed. “Trust them not,” he said,

any more than open enemies … not weighing too scrupulously what may fall out.” His farewell instructions merely reiterated the principles on which he had always insisted. “Trust the English no more than a public enemy ought to be trusted,” he wrote two months previously to Banda, the agency nearest Amboyna. This policy of suspicion, and of “not weighing too scrupulously what may fall out,” was now to be enforced with a stupid violence which the great governor-general might perhaps have anticipated, but which he would have been the first to condemn.

By the beginning of 1623 the Dutch found themselves completely masters of the Clove and Nutmeg Archipelago. At the principal clove island, Amboyna, they had, according to the English statement founded upon depositions on oath, a fortress garrisoned by two hundred Dutch soldiers, with three or four hundred native troops, including some thirty Japanese, and further protected by eight vessels in the roadstead. The English numbered eighteen men, scattered between five small factories on different islands, very badly off, with a few slaves, “just six and all boys.” In their house at Amboyna only three swords, two muskets,

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and half a pound of powder were found. The nearest English support was the Banda agency, at a distance across the sea, and containing but nine of their countrymen. English ships seldom came to Amboyna, and not one was then near. Our president in council at Java had in fact resolved to withdraw the petty English factories at Amboyna and throughout the Clove and Nutmeg

The fortress at Amboyna

Archipelago. He had even arranged with the Dutch governor-general for their transport to Batavia in Holland ships. In February, 1623, orders to this effect were on their way from our president in Batavia to Amboyna.

They arrived too. late. On the evening of February 10, 1623, a Japanese soldier of the Dutch garrison had some talk with the sentries about the number of the troops and the times of changing the watch. When questioned by the Governor Van Speult next day, February 11th, he explained that he had merely chatted with the soldiers “for his own amusement.” Indeed,

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the steward of the Dutch factory afterwards declared that “it was an usual speech amongst soldiers to enquire one of another how strong the watch might be, that they might know how many hours they might stand sentinel.”

Van Speult was, however, on the lookout for conspiracy, and perhaps anxious to redeem his reputation from the charge of slackness at headquarters. In the previous summer he had written to the Governor-General Coen about the English at Amboyna: “We hope to direct things according to your orders that our sovereignty shall not be diminished or injured in any way by their encroachments, and if we may hear of any conspiracies of theirs against the sovereignty, we shall with your sanction do justice to them, suitably, unhesitatingly, and immediately.” In October, 1622, Coen gave this sanction. In February, 1623, the opportunity arrived. Van Speult put the Japanese soldier to the torture, and after he had “endured pretty long,” wrung from him an accusation against the English. His statement was signed by the unhappy man on the day of his torment, in direct contravention of the Dutch law that one who had confessed under torture should be re-heard to confirm it not sooner than twenty-four hours afterwards, “ne durare adhuc tormentorum metus videatur.”

Eight or nine other Japanese soldiers in the service of the Dutch, whose names he had mentioned, denied the plot, but were tortured on that and the following day, until a complete story of treason was evolved.

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“Wailing and weeping by reason of their extreme tortures with burning, they were carried by slaves to prison, for it was not possible of themselves to go on their feet.” Such was the statement made by the steward of the Dutch factory regarding the affair.

The handful of English, ran the improbable tale, had solemnly sworn on New Year’s Day to seize the fort upon the arrival of an English ship, or during the absence of the Dutch governor, and had employed to corrupt the Japanese soldiers so unlikely an agent as a drunken barber, or barber-surgeon, Abel Price. This man already lay in the Dutch prison for threatening to set fire to a house in a frenzy of liquor. On February 15th, as the records show, he, too, was haled to the torture-chamber, and made to “confess whatever they asked him.”

A ship of the Seventeenth Century

The English treated as ridiculous the story that eighteen men, scattered over the two islands of Amboyna and Ceram, at the factories of Amboyna, Hittou, Larica, Loho, and Cambello, should dare conspire to take a fort from two hundred Dutch and three or four hundred native soldiers with eight Holland vessels in the harbour, and they went about their business as usual. But Van Speult, now armed with the confession under torture of his prisoner, the drunken English barber,

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seized our chief agent, Towerson, and the other factors at Amboyna, put them in irons, and swept in the whole English from the four outlying factories between February 15th and 23d – just eighteen men all told.

Of the extraordinary proceedings that followed we have six accounts by eye-witnesses. First, the minutes of the court, kept by the Greffier or secretary: minutes so irregular and incomplete as to call forth the censure of the Dutch governor-general, and to invalidate them as a judicial record under the Dutch law. Second, the solemn dying messages of the victims written on the pages of their prayer-books or other furtive scraps of paper. Third, the statements of certain members of the Dutch Council at Amboyna who formed the court, when called to account by the governor-general at Batavia two and a half years later (October, 1625). These latter admit the use of torture, passed over in silence by the minutes, but state that it was slight. Fourth, the depositions of six Englishmen who survived, taken on oath before Sir Henry Marten, Judge of the Admiralty, in 1624. Fifth, the answers of certain of the Amboyna judges to interrogatories in 1628. Sixth, the statement of the steward of the Dutch factory, who also acted as interpreter during the trial. It was laid before Lord Dorchester and Secretary Coke in 1629. This man, George Forbis or Forbisher, a native of Aberdeen, and little likely to favour the English Company which persuaded James to cancel the charter granted to the Scotch, had long served the Dutch in

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the East, and was found on board a Dutch ship stayed by royal command at Portsmouth in 1627. He had continued in the Dutch service for two years after the trial. His declaration closely corresponds with the depositions of the English survivors.

In my narrative I fairly consider all the foregoing materials, together with the pamphlet literature which quickly sprang up7. I have also checked the “True Relation” from the depositions on oath.

That evidence consisted entirely of confessions wrung from the accused by torture. The ransacking of the English factories yielded not a single incriminating letter, or other corroborative piece of testimony, as is proved by the answer of Joosten, the Dutch officer who examined the papers. The Dutch began with John Beaumont and Timothy Johnson. Beaumont, an elderly man for India and an invalid, was left with a guard in the hall, while Johnson was taken into another room. Presently Beaumont heard him “cry out very pitifully;

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then be quiet for a little while, and then loud again.” Johnson long refused to confess, but after an hour he was “brought forth wailing and lamenting, all wet and cruelly burnt in divers parts of his body.”

One Englishman, Edward Collins, gave evidence, according to the Dutch, without torture. But the narrative founded upon the depositions of the surviving Englishmen on oath states that Collins was tied up for the torture, and the cloth put about his throat. “Thus prepared he prayed to be respited and he would confess all. Being let down he again vowed and protested his innocency,” but for fear of the torture asked them what he should say. This was not enough and he was tortured, but not being able to endure it long, he made a confession helped out by the Dutch prosecutor. Collins himself confirmed this statement on oath and produced three witnesses who “heard him many times roar very pitifully, being in the next room, and saw

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him come out, having no doublet on, his shirt all wet, his face swollen and his eyes starting out of his head.” From February 15th to 23d the cruel process went on. According to the English statements, the prisoners, even while confessing under the torture, declared in the same breath that they were not speaking truth. In the case of Collins, the “fiscal,” or prosecutor, forced leading questions upon him, till one of the Dutch themselves exclaimed: “Do not tell him what he should say, but let him speak for himself.” John Wetheral having been four times tied up, they were at length obliged to read out to him the confessions of the other victims until the poor wretch merely “answered yea to all.” He “prayed them to tell him what he should say or to write down what they would; he would subscribe it.” John Clarke stood the ordeal so bravely that “the tormentors reviled him, saying that he was a devil … or a witch.” So they “cut off his hair very short, as supposing he had some witchcraft hidden therein.” They then went on with the torture – burning him with candles on the feet, hands, elbows, and “under the armpits until his inwards might evidently be seen.” The English declared that no surgeon was allowed to dress the sores “until, his flesh being putrefied, great maggots dropt and crept from him in most loathsome and noisome manner.” Authority for all these statements may be found in the first pamphlet, “A True Relation.”

According to the English accounts each confession was wrung forth by torture. The Dutch minutes of

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the trial conceal the fact of torture at all, and thus violate a fundamental rule of the Dutch criminal procedure. The members of the Amboyna council, who sat as judges, acknowledged on oath that twelve of the English were tortured by water and two of them also by fire, but stated that one (Beaumont) was only tortured a little on account of his age and feeble health.

The judges also pleaded in their defence that the torture was in no case extreme, indeed of a “civil” sort.

What it exactly amounted to we know from eye-witnesses. The accused man was hoisted up and tied spread-eagle fashion in a doorway. In the water torment “they bound a cloth about his neck and face so close that little or no water could go by. That done they poured the water softly upon his head until the cloth was full up to the mouth and nostrils … till his body was swollen twice or thrice as big as before, his cheeks like great bladders, and his eyes staring and strutting out beyond his forehead.” It was the slow agony of bursting, joined to the acute but long-drawn-out agony of suffocation. In the fire torture, they held lighted candles beneath the most sensitive parts of the body – under the armpits, the palms of the hand, and the soles of the feet. Emmanuel Thomson, like John Clarke, it was said, had no surgeon to dress his burnt flesh, so that no one “was able to endure the smell of his body.”

To the torture by fire and water, admitted by the Dutch, the English accounts add “the splitting of the toes, and lancing of the breast, and putting in gunpowder, and then firing the same, whereby the body is not left entire, neither for innocency nor execution. Clarke and Thomson were both fain to be carried to their execution, though they were tortured many days before.” But the Dutch admissions suffice.

Towerson, who steadily asserted his innocence, on being confronted with some who had confessed, charged them as they would answer it at the dreadful day of judgment, they should speak nothing but the truth.” The sufferers implored his forgiveness and declared all they had said was false. But, threatened again with torture, they reaffirmed their confessions. The spirit of the miserable little band was completely broken.

Even Van Speult felt that he might be going too far, and for some days hesitated as to whether he should not remit the case to the Dutch governor-general at Batavia. But the English president and council at Batavia had, on January 10–20, 1623, resolved to withdraw

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their oppressed factories from the Moluccas, Amboyna, and the Clove and Nutmeg Isles. They had indeed thanked the Dutch president and council for agreeing to bring them away in Flemish ships. Orders in this sense were simultaneously sent to our agents at Banda and elsewhere. The Calendar of State Papers of the East Indies for 1622–1624 (p. 398) shows that while the tortured men lay waiting their doom, two Holland ships arrived from Batavia, bringing the letter from the English president and council ordering the withdrawal of our agency from Amboyna. “Which letter was opened and read by the Dutch governor while our people were yet in prison and not executed, and might well have secured him that there was no further danger to be feared of the English aid of shipping, whatever the English had through fear of torture confessed.” The statement is confirmed by Van Speult’s own admissions, and it gives a darker shade to his resolve on instant judgment.

The public prosecutor was instructed to demand sentence. This, according to the minutes, he did with irregular brevity – twenty-one lines of writing in all. According to the Dutch procedure, his requisition should have given a summary of the facts and evidence, which it did not. It should certainly have specified the separate names of the accused Englishmen, while it only contained that of Gabriel Towerson “and his creatures and accomplices.” These were not the omissions of ignorance. The “fiscal” who conducted the case was a lawyer, and in his haste for condemnation,

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A scene at Darjiling

he set at defiance the safeguards of procedure which even the Dutch law prescribed. His demand was really the demand of Sieyes at the trial of Louis XVI – La Mort sans phrase.

On February 25, 1623, or February 23d (for there are discrepancies as to the date), the prisoners, with certain exceptions, were condemned to death. The English from outlying factories, who had not even been at Amboyna at the time of the alleged plot, were released; three others were allowed to draw lots for their life; and in the end the elderly Beaumont and the terrified Collins were sent to give evidence at Batavia as “men condemned and left to the mercy of the governor-general.” Captain Towerson manfully proclaimed the iniquity of the proceedings. When ordered to indite a confession, he wrote out a protestation of his innocence. The governor gave it to the interpreter to read out in Dutch, “which I could not do,” said that officer, “without shedding of tears.” He had also to translate a dying declaration secretly written by Towerson in a Bible which he asked Van Speult to send to his friends in England – “which Bible after that time I never saw or heard mentioned.”

Yet some last words reached the outer world. William Griggs wrote in his Table-book, which was secretly saved by a servant: “We through torment were constrained to speak that which we never meant nor once imagined. … They tortured us with that extreme torment of fire and water that flesh and blood could not endure. … Written in the dark.” Captain Towerson

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wrote much; but all was suppressed, except an unnoticed sentence appended to his signature to a bill of debt due from the English Company: “Firmed by the Firm [i.e. signature] of me Gabriel Towerson now appointed to die, guiltless of anything that can be justly laid to my charge. God forgive them their guilt and receive me to His mercy. Amen.”

The old East India House (about 1650)

Samuel Colson, imprisoned with six of the others, on board the Dutch ships in the roads, wrote the following in his prayer-book and had it sewed up in a bed: “March 5, stilo novo, being Sunday, aboard the Rotterdam, lying in irons.” “Understand that I, Samuel Colson, late factor of Hitou, was apprehended for suspicion of conspiracy; and for anything I know must die for it: wherefore having no means to make my innocence known, have writ in this book hoping some good Englishman will see it. I do here upon my salvation, as I hope by His death and passion to have redemption for my sins, that I am clear of all such conspiracy; neither do I know any Englishman guilty thereof nor any other creature in the world. As this is true, God bless me, Sam. Colson.” In another part

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of the book, at the beginning of the Psalms, he declared: “As I mean and hope to have pardon for my sins, I know no more than the child unborn of this business.” These statements were written three or four days before the execution of the death sentence, as “March 5, stilo novo,” would correspond to February 23d, if we take the English dates.

On February 26th (English date) the prisoners were brought into the hall of the castle to be prepared for death. Captain Towerson was taken into the torture-chamber with “two great jars of water carried after him. What he there did or suffered is unknown to the English without, but it seemeth they made him then to underwrite his confession” – a confession of a plot so wild that, had it ever entered a man’s brain, “he should,” in the words of the English Company, “rather have been sent to bedlam … than to the gallows.”

The condemned men still protested their innocence. “Samuel Colson spake with a loud voice saying, According to my innocency in this treason, so Lord pardon all the rest of my sins; and if I be guilty thereof more or less, let me never be partaker of Thy heavenly joys. At which words every one of the rest cried Amen for me, Amen for me, good Lord. This done, each of them knowing whom he had accused, went one to another begging forgiveness for their false accusation,” under the torture; “and they all freely forgave one another, for none had been so falsely accused, but he himself had accused another as falsely.” Their last “doleful night they spent in prayer, singing of psalms

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and comforting one another,” refusing the wine which the guards offered them, “bidding them to drink lustick and drive away the sorrow.”

Next day, February 27th (English date), the ten Englishmen8, nine Japanese, and the Portuguese captain of slaves were led out to execution “in a long procession round the town,” through crowds of natives who had been summoned by beat of drum “to behold this triumph over the English.”

It is not needful, after the fashion of that time, to accept as manifestations of divine wrath a “great darkness” and hurricane which immediately followed, and drove two Dutch ships from their anchorage; or the pestilence, said to have swept away one thousand people. The innocence of Towerson and his fellow sufferers rests upon no such stories, whether false or true. The improbability of the enterprise, the absence of any evidence except such as was wrung forth under torments, the neglect of the safeguards imposed by the Dutch law on judicial torture, the dying declarations of the victims – suffice to convince any unbiassed mind that the ten Englishmen were unjustly done to death. This, too, without insisting on the circumstance that would place Van Speult’s conduct in the darkest light – his being on the outlook for conspiracies; or on the arrival of the English letter during the trial ordering

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the withdrawal of our agency from Amboyna; or on the existence of Dutch ships in the harbour which might even, if the shore prison were overcrowded, have carried those accused of the supposed conspiracy for judgment to the Dutch governor-general at Batavia, or served for their confinement till his confirmation of the proceedings was obtained.

Van Speult took possession of our Amboyna and neighbouring factories; “the poor remnant of the English” were removed to Batavia; and the great design for driving us out of the Clove and Nutmeg Isles was accomplished.

When the news of the tragedy reached England fifteen months later – May 29, 1624 – a cry of execration arose. The Company demanded justice. With English self-control it repressed irresponsible discussion by its members, and resolved, on June 16th, to trust to the state “to call for an account of the lives of the king’s subjects.” The governor refrained from speech until he was assured of the facts, and it was not until July 2d that he brought the matter officially before a general court of the Company.

The first feeling indeed was one of incredulity at so abominable an outrage on innocent men. King James apprehended the fact to be so foul … he could not believe it,” and, when convinced, threatened to extort reparation from Holland. At the Royal Council table “sundry of the greatest shed tears.” But James had resolved to break with Spain, in wrath at the treatment of Prince Charles on his knight-errant quest at

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Madrid for a Spanish wife in 1623. War with Spain meant an alliance with Holland, whose twelve years’ truce with Spain had also expired. Dutch envoys were, indeed, at that moment in London, negotiating a treaty of offence and defence. So the king and his Council dried their eyes, and the Dutch diplomats joyfully returned home, praising the good-will of a monarch who had said not a word about “the late accident at Amboyna.” Nor were courtiers wanting who blamed the Company for raising a difficulty “when his Majesty had resolved to aid the Dutch.”

Very different was the temper of the nation. On July 2, 1624, the governor of the Company declared that assuredly “God the Avenger of all such bloody acts will in His due time bring the truth to light” – “the unspeakable tyrannies done upon those unfortunate men, which is able to amaze the Christian world.” They still hoped that the king would help them; but their best comfort was that when man is at the weakest then God is strongest. On July 9th a general court of the Company decided that unless justice were “done on those Dutch that have in so great fury and tyranny tortured and slain the English,” the Company must wind up and “fetch home what they have in the Indies.” A petition in this sense was voted to the king – “and according to his answer and proceeding the trade to stop or proceed.” On July 11th they waited on the king in his bedchamber with the memorial, together with “A True Relation,” and received his promise of “a speedy reparation from the Dutch by

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the strength of his own arm, if they did it not suddenly themselves.”

The cry for revenge had gathered a strength which not even James could resist. Chamberlain, the Horace Walpole of his time, wrote to the English ambassador in Holland that “we should stay or arrest the first Indian ship that comes in our way, and hang up upon Dover cliffs” as many Dutchmen as had taken part in the outrage, “and then dispute the matter afterwards. For there is no other course to be held with such manner of men, as neither regard law nor justice, nor any other respect of equity or humanity, but only make gain their god.” The Company was believed to

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have collapsed. No man would pay in any money to it. If the king would not help, it was wildly propounded at a general court on July 22d, to “join with the Portugals and root the bloody Dutch out of the Indies.”

Marwario merchants, or traders of the Indies

The “True Relation” presented to James on July 11, 1624, had touched the sentimental fibre in his weak nature. On July 16th he promised to make stay of Dutch vessels if satisfaction were not given, and even offered to become himself a shareholder in the Company, and to allow its ships to sail under the royal standard. This offer of greatness thrust upon it, the Company respectfully declined. The king meanwhile ordered his ambassador at The Hague to demand satisfaction from the States-General before August 12th, under threat of reprisals by hanging, or even “an irreconcilable war.”

These were brave words, and if the Dutch Government had believed they would be followed by action, they might have proved decisive. For the outrage of Amboyna had come as an unpleasant surprise to the Dutch Company, and as a serious embarrassment to the Dutch Government. The governor-general at Batavia spoke his mind as freely as he dared to Van Speult. The Company in Holland, while making the best case they could against the English claims for compensation, refrained from sending back Coen to the East, although they had reappointed him governor-general in 1624. Members of the States-General openly expressed their disgust. The Prince of Orange wished that Van Speult with all his council had been hanged

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on a gibbet before they began “to spell this tragedy.”

The States-General accordingly appointed deputies to treat with our ambassador. But an English observer wrote that, although the king spoke valiantly, he could wish his Majesty would say less, so that he would do more. The Dutch deputies played on his irresolution, and the time allowed for redress expired. When at length, on October 15th, a royal warrant was issued for the seizure of Flemish ships, our ambassador at The Hague advised that this extremity should be avoided, and the Dutch were somehow warned of the danger. In November, 1624, the London Company officially informed the lord admiral that Holland ships were in the Straits of Dover, but they were allowed to pass unharmed.

The English Company was forced to realize that, in trusting to the royal support, it leaned on a broken reed. In July it had demanded satisfaction under three heads:, justice against the murderers, compensation for injuries, and absolute separation from the Dutch Company in the East. In October it despondently reduced its claims to the safe removal of the English from Batavia; the question of jurisdiction and Council of Defence; and the right to erect forts, and to be treated by the Dutch as allies and friends. James would not fight, and the Dutch knew it. They were willing enough to accept the first condition and allow the safe removal of the English from Batavia. But, while dangling before us a compromise, they would never surrender

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their sovereign jurisdiction in the Spice Islands or allow the English to erect fortifications. On March 25, 1625, King James died.

Palace of Jahangir at Agra

By this time the facts were well known in England. A certain simplicity in Towerson’s character gave additional pathos to his death. He had sailed on the Company’s second voyage in 1604 and obtained his admission as a freeman gratis in recognition of long service. Eighteen checkered years brought him to the chief agency at Amboyna in 1622, with a salary of £10 a month. Once indeed he had emerged for a moment. Having married the Indian widow of Captain Hawkins, he attempted for a time to make a figure not justified either by her position or his own. In 1617 Sir Thomas

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Roe, our ambassador to the Moghul Emperor Jahangir, wrote that Towerson “is here arrived with many servants, a trumpet, and more show than I use.” In 1620 we find him back in England vainly soliciting the command of a ship, and returning to the Archipelago along with other factors in “the great cabin of the Anne.”

The contemporary records show that he had not gained caution with years. Arriving at Amboyna in May, 1622, he became a close friend of the Dutch Governor Van Speult and gave him his entire confidence. In June of that year, as we saw, Van Speult was on the lookout for conspiracies and asking the Dutch governor-general at Batavia for leave to deal with them “suitably, unhesitatingly, and immediately.” In September Towerson, on the other hand, wrote to the English president at Batavia in warm terms of Van Speult’s “courtesies” and “love.” He asks our president to send Van Speult a complimentary letter, together “with some beer or a case of strong waters, which will be very acceptable to him.”

The president and council at Batavia saw more of the game. “In such kind of courtesy,” they replied in December, 1622, “we know he is free enough, but in your main affairs you will find him a subtle man.” There was to be no beer or case of strong waters for Van Speult. On the contrary, “be careful you be not circumvented in matters of importance, through his dissembling friendship.” This warning they followed up next month by commanding Towerson and his subordinates to quit Amboyna. “Prepare and make yourself

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ready to come away from thence with all the rest of the factors in the Dutch ship, except two you may leave there at Amboyna to keep house until our further order.”

Meanwhile Towerson continued his unsuspecting course. On January 1, 1623, he gave his official dinner to the little English group at Amboyna – the regular New Year’s Day party which was to serve the Dutch fiscal as a ground-work for the alleged conspiracy. How far any thoughts of seizing Amboyna were from the minds of the English may be known by the letter of our president and council in March, 1622, to the Company, desiring to retire even from Batavia; by Brockedon’s petition in August, 1622, for leave to return home, as he could “live no longer under the insolence of the Dutch;” and by the orders of January, 1623, to Towerson and other outlying agencies to withdraw to Batavia with the English under their charge. Towerson, “a sincere, honest, and plain man without malice,” as one of the Amboyna free burghers and a servant of the Dutch Company described him, discerned not the signs of the times, and the letter ordering him to leave Amboyna was intercepted by the Dutch governor Van Speult. So he went to his death – ” that honest good man, Captain Towerson, whom I think in my conscience was so upright and honest toward all men, that he has harboured no ill will of any.”

Such a character is pretty sure of sympathy from the English middle classes, always indulgent to sturdy mediocrity, especially of the jovial sort. The story

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De Houtman’s Map of the sea route to India, Batavia, and Java, in 1597

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Blank page

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of Amboyna gathered round his name, until it reached Dryden’s version of a murderous plot by Van Speult against Towerson in revenge for his killing Van Speult’s son in a duel. In 1625 the legend was still a long way from this climax. But the last weeks of King James’s life had been harassed by popular demonstrations. In February, 1625, the Dutch living in London complained to the lords of the Council that on the coming Shrove Tuesday they would be in danger from the fury of the people. Besides the pamphlets spread broadcast, a play was to be publicly acted setting forth the sufferings of the English; and a great picture had been painted, “lively, largely, and artificially,” of their tortures and execution. The reins were falling from the old king’s hands, and the Council gently admonished the Company not to exhibit this picture – at least till Shrove Tuesday be passed.

Next month, March, 1625, Charles succeeded to the throne. The main business of our ambassador at The Hague, Sir Dudley Carleton (afterwards Viscount Dorchester), was to strengthen the affiance of Holland with England against Spain, and he groaned audibly over the new labours and awkward questions to which the Amboyna imbroglio gave rise. Charles, keenly resentful of his personal treatment when in quest of a wife at Madrid, was eager to send a fleet to the Spanish coast, and promised large subsidies to the Protestant league in the North. The Amboyna difficulty had to be got out of the way, and in September, 1625, Charles agreed to make no reprisals on the Dutch ships for

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eighteen months, and at the same time appeased the London Company by promising that if, by that time, justice were not done, he would proceed to hostilities. This is shown by the treaty of Southampton, September 7, 1625.

A Typical Eastern Scene

But before the expiration of the eighteen months Charles had quarrelled with his Parliament and found a war with France oh his hands. The Dutch were masters of the situation and they knew it. So far from their giving satisfaction for Amboyna, Coen went out as governor-general for a second time in March, 1627, in spite of the protests of the English Company, who regarded his policy as the main source of their sorrows. When in April, 1627, the States-General were reminded that the eighteen months had elapsed, they dexterously got the question transferred to the law courts, and offered to proceed by way of a legal prosecution against the Amboyna judges who had sentenced the English to death.

Here they were on safe ground. Preliminary difficulties at once arose. The Dutch naturally insisted that the tribunal should be a Dutch one sitting in Holland. King Charles objected to his subjects being

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required to leave their country and prosecute before a foreign court beyond the seas. The feeling both in England and Holland was that, while the States-General would gladly have seen the matter settled, the directors of the Dutch Company were so intermingled with the Dutch Government that no justice would be done.

English protests against the re-appointment of Coen passed unheeded, and in August, 1627, Carleton despaired of redress from a government controlled by the votes of the interested parties, among whom “one oar which holds back, stops more than ten can row forward.” In September, however, a tribunal of seven Dutch judges was constituted, three from the high and four from the provincial council.

Meanwhile Charles, with the rising tide in Parliament and in the nation against him, was anxious to keep the London Company his friends. In a moment of vigour, he stayed three Dutch ships off Cowes (September, 1627) and held them fast for eleven months, although threatened with a, Dutch fleet to bring them away. The English Company declared that, if his Majesty let the Dutch ships go, it were better for the Company to abandon the trade. But the fit of royal resolution passed, and the king, in sore straits for money, suddenly released the Dutch ships in August, 1628: it was rumoured, for a gratification of £30,000. In vain his Majesty tried to soften the blow by the unprecedented compliment of sending the lords of the Council to a court meeting of the Company to explain that the

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release was due to an “extraordinary matter of State.” The directors of the Dutch Company gave out as far back as March, 1628, that they had arranged for the release of the ships on the condition of their redeeming his Majesty’s jewels.

The Company now knew that, if they had little to expect from the Dutch tribunal, they had nothing to hope from the king. The Dutch also knew it. In November, 1628, his Majesty feebly suggested, in reply to the repeated demands of the Dutch for the English witnesses to go over to Holland, that the Dutch judges should come to England under a safe-conduct – a proposal which merely furnished a good ground for further delay.

A year later, having sunk into still deeper difficulties with the Parliament and the nation, Charles yielded to the demands of the foreigner and sent over the witnesses. But he tried to save his royal honour by explaining that he had never submitted to the jurisdiction of the Dutch judges, although he would prefer to receive reparation at their hands than by any other means The English ambassador must be present in the Dutch court; the English witnesses must not be questioned on other articles than those on which they had already been examined in his Majesty’s Court of Admiralty; the Dutch judges, when ready to deliver sentence, must inform the king of it, so that he might weigh and consider its import. The Dutch tribunal naturally refused to concede these points. The king had put not only himself but also the English nation

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in the wrong by his method of procedure, and again the Dutch knew it.

His Majesty struggled for a time in the meshes he had woven around himself. In December, 1629, he insisted on reserving the final sentence either to himself or to a joint bench of English and Dutch judges, on the strength of the treaty of 1619. The Dutch quite truly rejoined that the treaty contained not a single article which implied joint jurisdiction in criminal cases, but only in what concerned the joint defence and trade. While the preliminaries were thus spun out from 1627 to 1630, the six Amboyna councillors who were supposed to be on their trial figured as patriots to their nation. The English witnesses, still unheard, were sunk in debt to obtain food from day to day. They mournfully complained to the Privy Council that they had attended in Holland for twelve months, that they were now destitute and like to be cast into prison, while their wives and children were perishing miserably. In March, 1631, the British ambassador at The Hague reported that in the Amboyna business all was silence.

It is doubtful, even if the Amboyna council had been promptly and impartially tried, whether the London Company would have obtained substantial redress. It is certain that no court administering the law then in force in Europe could have condemned the judges to death for the Amboyna executions. The two grounds which underlay the English contention were badly chosen. As a matter of fact, the Amboyna council had

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exercised a lawful jurisdiction, and torture was not only allowed, but enjoined by the law which they were bound to administer. The Dutch Company’s charter of 1602 empowered it to appoint public prosecutors in the name of the States-General for the conduct of judicial business in its fortresses beyond the Cape of Good Hope. The ordinances for the Dutch governor-general in 1617 authorized him not only to execute all civil and

Cape Town and harbour

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criminal sentences, but also to delegate this function to the subordinate councils and proper officers of settlements at which the governor-general and council could not be present. In 1619 instructions had been duly given to Van Speult to administer justice as governor of Amboyna in civil and criminal cases. They were further enforced by the Dutch governor-general’s express sanction to Van Speult in October, 1622, to deal unhesitatingly with conspiracies.

A candid examination of the Anglo-Dutch treaty of 1619 shows that its jurisdiction clause referred only to questions of trade and joint defence, and left the criminal and civil jurisdiction untouched. Nor could the pronouncement of King James in 1623 seriously affect the issue, for the Dutch repudiated it as never having been accepted by (perhaps not even communicated to) their representatives. The States-General consistently maintained their civil and criminal jurisdiction in their settlements throughout the Spice Archipelago. As a matter of fact, the English in the Dutch settlements had been steadily subjected to that jurisdiction, although they groaned under it, and their very complaints to the directors in London prove their practical submission to its most irksome forms.

The general law of Europe at that time prescribed judicial torture as a proper and an almost necessary means for arriving at the truth. Dutch jurisprudence went so far as to declare that, in eases similar to that of Amboyna, a public prosecutor could demand sentence of death only on the confession of the accused.

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The judges therefore, after satisfying themselves by independent proof of the guilt of the accused, had to obtain his confession; without torture if possible, by torture if not. But the Dutch ordinances of 1570 provided safeguards against the abuse of this method, and insisted on indicia sufficientia ad torturam, or a reasonable presumption of guilt before the torture was resorted to.

In England torture, although unrecognized by the common law, was employed in state trials by the Privy Council or High Commission Court in virtue of the royal prerogative. “The rack seldom stood idle in the Tower,” writes Hallam, “for all the latter part of Elizabeth’s reign.” Lord Burleigh defended its use, as the accused “was never so racked but that he was perfectly able to walk and to write;” and “the warders, whose office and act it is to handle the rack, were ever by those that attended the examinations specially charged to use it in so charitable a manner as such a thing might be.” “In the highest cases of treason,” wrote Lord Bacon in 1603, “torture is used for discovery and not for evidence.”

James I had perhaps less right than any other English sovereign to complain of its use by the Dutch. As King of Scotland he had not only sanctioned torture in alleged cases of conspiracy and witchcraft, but had in 1596 authorized even a subordinate court – the provost and baillies of Edinburgh – to try rioters by torture. As King of England he had in 1605 racked Guy Fawkes, per gradus ad ima, and in 1615 the aged Puritan

View of Lucknow

Lucknow, a city now numbering nearly three hundred thousand inhabitants, is one of the largest cities of India, after Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras. It has been the capital of the Province of Oudh since 1775, and the part which it played in the tragic events of the Indian Mutiny, in the following century, rendered the name of Lucknow famous.

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Peacham had been examined “in torture, between tortures, and after torture.” In the same year O’Kennan was put to the rack in Dublin by commission of the king’s deputy. In each one of his three kingdoms James had used torture, and he defended it with his “own princely pen.”

Even such details as the Dutch complaint that John Clarke must be “a devil” or “a witch,” because he stubbornly refused to confess under torment, are reproduced in the English trials. On January 21, 1615, Lord Bacon condoled with his Majesty on the obstinacy of the mangled Peacham, “whose raging devil seems to be turned into a dumb devil.” Lord Burleigh’s defence of the rack on the ground that it was mercifully administered and that the sufferer was always “able to walk and to write” afterwards, is an exact anticipation of the Amboyna judge’s plea of the “civil” character of the water-torture.

Yet if history must allow that the Dutch had jurisdiction, and that under that jurisdiction the use of torture was lawful, it must also declare that a grievous miscarriage of justice had taken place. It is admitted that the record discloses grave irregularities in procedure – irregularities so serious that if an appeal had been allowed they might have sufficed to quash the trial. How far they were due to the careless character of the record itself will ever remain undecided. There was certainly an absence of the indicia sufficientia ad torturam, or reasonable presumption of guilt, which would have justified torture under the Dutch law. The

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confession of the Japanese soldier which formed the ground of the whole proceeding was signed on the day of his torture in defiance of the Dutch ordinances of July 15, 1570, and it was attested by all the judges, although one of them (Wyncoop) was admittedly not in Amboyna on that day. The minutes make no mention of the witnesses being confronted with each other after torture, and of their reaffirming their confessions made under torture, as required by the Dutch law.

Above all, if the English statements on oath are accepted, the whole evidence from first to last was wrung forth by torture or fear of torture. If the Dutch counter-statements be preferred, the great mass of evidence was thus obtained. Of the two witnesses not subjected to torture, according to the Dutch account, one, Edward Collins, swore that he had been tortured, and produced testimony on oath to his dismal outcries. The other, the invalid Beaumont, declared that he had confessed only after he had been tied up for torture, and that he repeated his confession at Batavia to save his own life after the death of the victims had placed them beyond reach of further harm. The survivors consistently affirmed that the only evidence against them at their trial was derived from confessions under torture; confessions which, according to the English depositions on oath, were withdrawn after the torture; and which were solemnly affirmed to be false in the dying declarations of the sufferers.

It is not needful to assume that the Amboyna Council wickedly, and against their conscience, condemned

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the victims to death. Van Speult, as we have seen, was on the lookout for conspiracies, when he and his fellow councillors were suddenly transferred into the judges of men who had been their keen trade-rivals and the great obstacle to the Dutch supremacy in the Archipelago.

The Durbar of an Indian Ruler

Among Eastern races the king or governor was both ruler and judge, and the early European settlements in Asia found themselves compelled firmly to unite all functions, executive and judicial, in the hands of one man or body of men. Cases inevitably occurred in which they were practically judges in their own cause; apt in moments of public danger or fear to bring their passions and preconceptions as governors to their seats on the bench. The Amboyna trial

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was such a case. It stands on the forefront of our history in the East as an example of the danger of combining the executive and the judicial authority in the same hands. That danger the English have striven to guard against by the separation of judicial and executive offices – a process commenced almost from the foundation of their territorial rule in India, yet reaching its final stages only in our own time.

But if we view with charity the cruel blunder of the Amboyna Council as a whole, it is difficult to extend to either the governor or the prosecuting fiscal the benefit of the doubt. The fiscal, Isaac de Bruyne, appears throughout the records in a sinister light. Intent on obtaining a conviction, he constantly urged on Van Speult, and forced incriminating answers upon the witnesses till the council itself had to interpose. His record of the trial was so irregular and incomplete as to render impossible a fair judicial review of the proceedings. On the face of the record as it stands, the accused were improperly condemned. Bruyne’s conduct called forth the reprobation of his superiors at Amboyna, and in the English depositions he appears as “the greatest adversary against the English.” Whatever may have been Van Speult’s own preconception as to their guilt during the first excited days of the prosecution, he can scarcely, after the seizure of the English factory and the perusal of Towerson’s correspondence with the English president at Batavia, have believed in the plot. But by that time he may have felt that he had gone too far to retrace his steps. Or he may have simply

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been one of those commonplace officials who jump to conclusions and then remain obdurate to facts. His interception of the letter from our president at Batavia ordering the withdrawal of the English from Amboyna, was only the last act in the suppression of proof of innocence.

The Dutch authorities themselves felt uneasy lest Van Speult should be examined as to his share in the business. On the expiration of his term of office at Amboyna, he had hardly returned to Batavia when a rumour arrived of a ship in the Straits of Sunda bearing a joint commission from the king and States-General for the despatch of Van Speult to Europe. He was hastily sent off to the western coast of India, whence he proceeded with an expedition to the Red Sea, and he died at Mocha, carrying his secret to the grave.

Meanwhile the English, with their agents drawn in from the Spice Archipelago, and huddled together at Batavia, waited wistfully for redress from home. They waited in vain. News of the Amboyna tragedy reached Batavia on June 20, 1623. At length, having suffered nineteen more months of insults and exactions, their ships dogged by Dutch vessels at sea and cut off from trade on shore, they resolved to quit “this perfidious people,” and, cost what it might, to seek shelter elsewhere. Some of them found refuge on the Indian coast, and in October, 1624, the miserable remnant sailed to the unhealthy Lagundy islets on the southeast of Sumatra.

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There, amid terrible privations, yet stubbornly “affiant of a happy plantation,” they renamed the little group Charles’s Islands, and held out against fever and dysentery for eight months, dying “like sheep infected” under the equatorial sun and rain. In May, 1625, the skeleton survivors were so reduced as to implore the clemency of the Dutch, who in pity fetched them back to Batavia. The commander Verholt, be it recorded, showed them all “care and courtesy,” although he himself and many of his crew caught the disease. Nor did Dutch compassion end with their bare deliverance. They received the rescued men with kindness and granted them a factory house at a moderate price, the Dutch governor-general and our president, in an effusion of good feeling, exchanging chains of gold.

The Dutch had, in fact, accomplished the two fixed purposes of their policy – our expulsion from the Spice Archipelago and our complete subjection at their Batavian headquarters in Java. Their harshness had been deliberately designed to this end, and, with the exception of Van Speult’s judicial slaughter at Amboyna, they had kept fairly within their treaty rights. Their double object being now achieved, they allowed their national good nature free scope. But the excess of cordiality wore off, and the English soon became impatient of the restraints which the Dutch thought themselves entitled to impose. In July, 1627, we find our President Hawley bitterly complaining of the treatment meted out to his countrymen.

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Their position was indeed an impossible one, and the Company at home, sick of King Charles’s fair words, realized this fact. In November, 1626, it proposed to abolish its factory at Batavia and to establish one under the protection of the King of Bantam. In

Javanese Princes

January, 1628, these orders reached Batavia, and the English, putting the relics of their property on board ship, sailed to Bantam, where they were welcomed by the native prince. The sad fortunes of our Bantam factory, its repeated reduction by the London Company to a subordinate post, its blockades by the Dutch, and the gradual but sure withdrawal of its trade to our

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settlements on the Indian coast, belong to a later period. Its history may, however, be summed up in a single sentence. As the executions at Amboyna proclaimed the triumph of the Dutch in the Spice Islands, so the fate of Bantam declared the supremacy of the Dutch in the sea-approaches to the Far East.

By 1631 all hope of judicial redress for the torture and execution of our countrymen at Amboyna had flickered out. In 1633, and again in 1638, Charles, urged by the despairing Company, reverted to feeble attempts at negotiation, with equal unsuccess9. Innocent Englishmen had been tortured and executed under the forms of a foreign law, and for their slaughter redress could not be obtained either by diplomacy or by judicial proceedings. From the first, the Dutch were resolved not to yield, save to force of arms. As they had speedily discovered that James I would not fight, so they gradually found out that Charles I could not fight.

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It was not till the unhappy distractions of the second Stuart’s reign came to their tragic close, and until the Dutch found that a real man again ruled England, that they conceded to Cromwell, after war, what a little firmness might have secured at the outset to James.

At length, in April, 1654, the States-General agreed “that justice be done upon those who were partakers or accomplices in the massacre of the English at Amboyna, as the Republic of England is pleased to term that fact, provided any of them be living.” Cromwell brooked no delay. Within five months all claims and counter-claims arising during forty-one years had been examined. In August the general damages of £85,000 were awarded to the London Company, together with £3615 to the heirs of the men done to death at Amboyna; and Pularoon was restored to English rule.

But this tardy justice failed to efface Amboyna from the English mind. The spectres of the tortured victims stood between the two great Protestant powers during a century. The memory of a great wrong unredressed and of innocent blood unavenged embittered their trade rivalry, intensified each crisis of political strain, and furnished a popular cry for two wars. Dryden’s “Tragedy of Amboyna,” produced in the fiftieth year after the execution, has been not unfairly described as his one literary effort which is wholly worthless except as a curiosity. Yet it serves to show how the story deepened into a darker hue with age.

The opening dialogue between Van Speult and the Dutch fiscal reveals their hatred to the English. Van

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Speult’s son, whom Towerson has rescued at sea, plots with the fiscal against the life of his preserver, and, after again being saved from death by Towerson, ravishes the Englishman’s bride and is thereupon killed by him in a duel. Van Speult, in revenge, invents the story of the plot. The victims are tortured on the stage, fiercely reviled by the governor, and led off to execution. On his way to death Towerson breaks forth in a prophetic strain, foretelling the vengeance of his countrymen and the ruin and downfall of the Dutch. The characters are coarsely drawn from the “True Relation;” the picture presented of the Dutch is grossly unfair. But it struck a chord of popular feeling, and responded to an antipathy which had hardened and set into a national tradition.

That tradition not only affected our internal and dynastic politics, but it profoundly influenced the march of events in Europe. If Holland and England had been friends at heart instead of occasional allies by interest, the aggressions of Louis XIV would have encountered a very different strength of resistance. Our Charles II

would scarcely have dared to remain the dependent of -France. James II would perhaps have shrunk from forcing a Catholic reaction on England. The memory

of Amboyna wrought like a fever on the trade-rivalry of the two Protestant sea powers. The friendship of France might mean court corruption and Popery, but between England and Holland, as long as that bloody memory lived, there could be no real friendship at all. Politicians and poets appealed to the middle-class

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hatred of the Dutch as against the middle-class hatred of Rome. Amboyna is thus disclosed as one of the influences which lured on the Stuarts to the Revolution, and as one of the remote secret springs of the age of Louis XIV.

Nor had Amboyna less important consequences for the Dutch. The overthrow of the English in the Spice Archipelago and their subjection in Java enabled the Holland Company to create a colonial system which, for frank indifference to human suffering, stands out in the history of European settlements across the seas. The fault was not the fault of the Dutch nation, but of the particular period when the chance of a great colonial empire came to it. The Catholic tradition of conversion by conquest, cruel as were its practices, had given place to the industrial idea of conquest for trade.

Neither Spain nor Portugal, with their record of blood in the Eastern and the Western worlds, nor England, with its subsequent slave traffic, can afford to cast stones. But the comparative isolation of Holland in the East, and the absence of any strong native power in the Archipelago like that of the Moghul dynasty in India, enabled the Dutch to work out the industrial idea of conquest to its logical results. The same isolation enabled them to perpetuate that idea, after it had been profoundly modified by a humanitarian awakening in Europe. It survived as a relic of a century when the Protestant nations of the Continent, wearied with religious strife, lost sight for a time of that spiritual brotherhood of man which shot rays across the darkness

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of Portuguese misrule, and which had burned up afresh before the foundation of British territorial sway in India. Jan Pieterszoon Coen, the chief founder of the Dutch colonial system, became governor-general in 1618 – the date taken by European history for the commencement of the Thirty Years’ War.

Tomb of the Moghul official Itmad-ad-Daulah, at Agra

Coen has left in his own words a detailed description of the fabric which he designed. The Dutch charter expired in January, 1623, and on the 21st of that month the great governor-general, as the last act of his first term of office, drew up his political testament for the benefit of his countrymen in the form of instructions left with Peter de Carpentier, governor-general, and the Council of the Indies, and dated Batavia,

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21–31, January, 1623. He realized that the sea-power of Holland in the Archipelago must rest on a territorial basis with a territorial revenue, the absence of which had drawn forth from Cosme Annes, nearly a hundred years earlier (1549), the Portuguese lament: “We sit still, perishing without lands out of which to support ourselves or find shelter.” Albuquerque discerned the same need a century before. But Coen deliberately worked out what Albuquerque had perceived, and, unlike Albuquerque, he was backed by a nation which loyally supported its great servants in the East.

He cherished no illusions as to how such a territorial sea-empire was to be acquired and maintained. It was easy to bring the scattered islands under subjection. The problem was to people them with workers. The idea of settling Dutchmen and Dutchwomen in sufficient numbers, although it had its attractions for Coen as for the other colonizing spirits of that age, he saw to be impracticable. He anticipated the conclusion which some of the European nations are only now reaching after long and cruel experience, that agricultural emigrants from the temperate zone perish in the tropics. The lands of the equator can be tilled only by equatorial races. The heathen whom the Papal Bulls had given to the Portuguese for an inheritance, to be converted with a rod of iron or dashed to pieces like a potter’s vessel, were to Coen merely a cheap labour-force. The “ingathering of a multitude of people from all parts to people our country withall” was

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his first object, and of far more consequence, he declared, than the buying of cloths and goods.

This object he proposed to accomplish by three distinct methods: the enslavement of conquered islands, the purchase of slaves from the African and Asiatic continents, and the seizure of slaves on their coasts. The first method needs but the single comment, that it went much further than the subjection of the native races enforced by the Portuguese. As regards the second, orders for the buying of slaves had been given in 1614; Coen resolved to carry them out on a large scale. “Divers fleets” were now to be sent to the Coromandel coast, to Madagascar, and to the African seaboard, to purchase as many slaves, especially young people, as could be got. This buying of slaves was to go forward before any other work, to the extent of “many thousands, yea, to an infinite number.”

The third method, by seizure, was to be conducted by a squadron on the Chinese coast. The shore-dwellers, especially the women and children, were to be carried away for the peopling of Batavia, Amboyna, and Banda. “Herein will be a great service done for the Company, and by this means will be found all the charge of the war.” The Chinese slaves might be redeemed for sixty reals (£13 10s.) apiece. “But by no means you must not suffer any women to return to China, or any other part out of the Company’s jurisdiction, but with them to people the same.” As the Dutch supremacy firmly established itself, a fourth system

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of recruitment was added, by treaty provisions for a tribute in full-grown slaves.

A typical scene in India

The Dutch industrial system in the East, thus founded on the most rigorous forms of slavery, was eventually softened through successive stages of forced labour. It produced for a time enormous profits. A tropical soil was made to yield as it had never yielded before, and its fruits were monopolized by Holland.

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As respects European rivals, the restrictions which the Anglo-Dutch still imposed on Coen, in January, 1623, were removed by the tragedy of Amboyna in the next month, and by the withdrawal of the English factories from the Spice Archipelago. As regards native competition, the islanders were compelled to root up their clove and nutmeg trees, where they seemed to threaten the profits of the Dutch. The produce of the most fertile regions in the world, cultivated on the severest system of human toil, was secured to the Dutch and to the Dutch alone.

While Coen founded the colonial empire of Holland on the sure basis of the soil, he strengthened it by all the devices of a skilful administration – by a lucrative coasting trade with the African and Asiatic continents, by a great sea commerce with Europe, and by a well-planned system of tolls and local taxation. The rich island empire which he thus projected, he secured by fortresses, built and maintained by the cheap labour of prisoners and slaves. Coen stands out from among all men of European race in the Asia of his day – a statesman of the clearest vision, and an administrator of the firmest hand, half-way between the Portuguese Albuquerque in the sixteenth century and the French Dupleix or the English Warren Hastings, in the eighteenth. But he could not rise above the morals of his time, and his strong personality during a double tenure of office impressed the stamp of a cruel age on the colonial system of his country. His crime, or his misfortune, was that he stereotyped in Dutch India the disregard

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for human suffering which brutalized Europe during the Thirty Years’ War.

Holland was the first European country to send a steady supply of really able men to the East, and she supported them by force of arms. James I would not and Charles I could not fight. The English East India Company was still a body of private adventurers for whose benefit Parliament felt by no means eager to go to war. In spite of the long list of lords and gentlemen who swelled the subscription book of the Company, in spite of the outburst of wrath and indignation which the news of Amboyna aroused in London, England had not yet learned to look upon her Indian trade as a national concern. Holland had, and she was willing to make sacrifices and to screen crimes, in order to maintain her position in Asia.

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7. The chief contemporary pamphlets on the Amboyna tragedy are six in number.

(i) A True Relation of the Unjust, Cruel, and Barbarous Proceedings against the English at Amboyna. This narrative was “taken out of the depositions of six several English factors “who survived the trial, as delivered on oath before Sir Henry Marten, Judge of. the Admiralty, supplemented by the testimony of Welden, the English chief agent in Banda at the time of the tragedy. The Privy Council in September, 1624, gave their opinion that the relation was justified by the statements of the six witnesses. Calendar of State Papers, East Indies, 1622–1624, par. 620.

(ii) A True Declaration of the Newes that came out of the East Indies, with the Pinace called the ‘‘Hare.” A Dutch pamphlet which appeared anonymously, and was thought by some to be the work of Boreel. The Directors of the Dutch Company denied the authorship, and, on complaint of the English ambassador, the States-General issued a proclamation declaring it to be “a scandalous and senseless libel,” and offering a reward of 400 guilders for the discovery of either the author or the printer.

(iii) An Answer to the Dutch Relation touching the pretended Conspiracy of the English at Amboyna in the Indies, being a reply to No. ii. (the libellous Dutch Declaration) drawn up by the English Company and issued under its authority. These three pamphlets were published together by the Company in 1624 with a preface. A third reprint is dated 1632, and there were several subsequent editions.

(iv) A Remonstrance of the Directors of the Netherlands East India Company presented to the Lords States-General … in defence of the said Company touching the bloody Proceedings against the English Merchants executed at Amboyna.

(v) The Acts of the Council of Amboyna. The official Court Record of the Trial and the confessions of the accused, as presented by the Dutch to the East India Company.

(vi) A Reply to the Defence of the Proceedings of the Dutch against the English at Amboyna. An answer to, and criticism of, Nos. iv. and v. These last three pamphlets were published by authority in London in 1632.

8. Captain Gabriel Towerson; Samuel Colson, factor at Hitto; Emanuel Thomson, assistant at Amboyna; Timothy Johnson, assistant at Amboyna; John Wetheral, factor at Cambello; John Clark, assistant at Hitto; William Griggs, factor at Larica; John Fardo, steward of the House; Abel Price (the drunken barber-surgeon); Robert Brown, tailor.

9. An English writer, who is not a lawyer and who has spent most of his life in the practical duties of Indian administration, should speak with diffidence as to the forms of Dutch procedure in the early seventeenth century. I have, therefore, taken the precaution to consult a Dutch jurist, Dr. Bisschop, who combines accurate historical research with a judicial training. He states, and quotes Dutch legal authorities for his opinion, that in extraordinary proceedings, in which the accused were examined without witnesses first being heard, the confessions of the accused were necessary for conviction, and that torture could be legitimately resorted to in order to obtain such confessions. The Amboyna trial came practically under this category, and the evidence from first to last was obtained by torture. But the Dutch law recognized the danger of a miscarriage of justice arising out of confessions thus wrung forth, and it provided safeguards accordingly. These safeguards were explicit in form and essential to the validity of the proceedings. They were disregarded in the Amboyna trial, although the prosecuting fiscal, in the words of the Dutch Governor-General and Council, “calls himself a lawyer, and was taken into the Company’s service as such


Muhammad Ali became the Sultan of Brunei XII until 1660.
 1626: Production of pepper Banjar greatly increased, so the VOC attempted to gain monopoly pepper, and try to eliminate the incidence in 1612 the Dutch invasion of the sultanate of Banjar. The Netherlands also apologized for his actions robbed the Banjar in cruise ship sultanate of Brunei trade to July 4, 1626. Trading empire Banjar still directed to Cochin China (Veitnam) not to Batavia.
 1634: VOC sent six merchant ships headed to Banjarmasin Londensteijn Gijsbert van, then added a few ships under the command of Antonie and Steven Scop Barentsz. [19]
 1635: June 17, 1635 Pearl British ship arrived in Banjarmasin, Tewseling and Gregory.
 1635: 4 September 1635 the Sultan of Banjar is represented by Ratna Syahbandar Goja Babouw Kings held the first commercial contract in Batavia by the Dutch Company is represented by: Hendrik Brouwer, Antonio van Diemen, Jan van der Burgh, Steven Barentszoon. VOCs also helps Banjar to conquer the eastern Kalimantan (Sand). [18]
 1635: Prince Aji ing chances, Duke Sinum Bannerman Martapura Kukar VIII became King until the year 1650. This king conquered the kingdom of Kutai Martadipura.
 1636: Sultanate of Banjar claim areas along the Sambas Karasikan Berau as well as its territory since that time Banjarmasin already has the military capacity to confront the attacks of Mataram.
 1636: The first time the Dutch began to dwell in Banjarmasin as VOC trading office in Banjarmasin established under the leadership of Wollenbrant Gelijnsen. [19]
 1637: Banjarmasin hold peace relations with Mataram. [20]
 1638: Sultan Banjarmasin send envoys to the Sultan of Makassar Makassar and East Kalimantan borrow area as a place of trade. Sultan Muhammad Zainudin moved the capital of the Sultanate Matan Matan kingdoms from the river to the land called the kingdom of Indra Indra Laya Laya.
 1638: Contract Craemer Banjar Sultan refused a request to send pepper to Makassar, came the anti-war Dutch VOC many as 108 people, 21 Japanese were killed, and the lodges were burned and the destruction of VOC VOC ships in Banjarmasin.
 1640: Governor-General Antonio van Diemen VOC ordered that hostilities with the Sultanate of Banjar is stopped and only requires 50,000 as compensation for the real tragedy in 1638.
 1641: Around mid-October 1641 Prince Tapesana and Kiai Narangbaya as Sultan Banjarmasin envoy arrives in Jepara and its escort of 500 people to deliver gifts to the Sultan Agung – the king of Mataram. [20] [19] [21]
 1641: Inayatullah became Sultan Banjar V until the year 1646
 1643: Dutch erected forts and factories on the island of Tatas (now Central Banjarmasin). [22]
 1644: Maulana Aji Anom Lions became the ruler Paser until the year 1667.
 1646: Sultan Banjar VI Saidullah be until the year 1660.
 1648: Dutch get a monopoly of pepper Banjarmasin dipasakan to the Sultan. [23]
 1650: Prince Aji Dipati ing the Great became King Kukar Martapura IX until year 1665. Amiril Pengiran Tidung Maharajalila I served the King until the year 1695.
 1659: Sultan Muhammad Zainuddin I (Marhum Affairs Laya) ruled the Sultanate Sukadana-Matan (1659-1724). Abdul-Jabbar became the Sultan of Brunei Jalilul XI until the year 1660.
 1660: Sultan Rakyatullah be Banjar VII until 1663, he made a treaty with the VOC December 18, 1660. Brunei Sultan Abdul Mubin become XIII until the year 1673.
 1661: Abdul Mubin Hakkul XIII to become the Sultan of Brunei in 1673. Sukadana-imperial envoy arrived in the Sultanate Matan Banjar to report that Sukadana back into the area of ​​the Sultanate of Banjar pegaruh since earlier in 1638.
 1662: According to Barra in 1662 there were only 12 junks a Malay, English, Portuguese and pepper transporting gold to Makassar, while in the Port of Banjarmasin filled with more than 1000 sailboats, both interinsuler trade and inter-continental trade.
 1663: Sultan Sultan Amrullah be Banjar VIII, but he later coup by Sultan Agung to be the Sultan of Banjar IX until year 1679, with the help of tribal Biaju and moved the capital to the River Prince, New York.
 1665: Prince Aji Dipati Maja became King Kusuma ing Martapura Kukar X until the year 1686.
 1766: Sultan of Sulu island Balambangan surrender to the British. [24]
 1667: I to King Solomon Panembahan Paser until the year 1680. He was the first ruler who holds Panembahan Paser.
 January 21, 1668: La Mohang Daeng Mangkona whose inhabitants founded the city of Samarinda is known as the Bugis Samarinda Seberang.
 1670: Sultan Muhammad Tajuddin from Sambas reigned until the year 1708.
 1672: Sultan Muhammad Syamsudin Sa’idul Khairiwaddien Nata, as the first ruler Sintang wear wear a higher degree of Sultan, ruled until 1737.
 1673: Muhyiddin XIV became the Sultan of Brunei until 1690.
 1675: Muhammad Syafeiuddin I to the Sultan of Sambas until 16701675-1685.
 1680: Good Amirullah Kusuma ascended the throne back to Emperor Banjar X until the year 1700. Adam Panembahan I became Panembahan Paser until 1705. King Senggauk be Panembahan Mempawah.
 1686: Queen’s Court, the first woman to lead the Kutai Kingdom in 1700.
 January 18, 1689: Spreader Catholicism, Fr. Antonino Ventimiglia arrives at Banjarmasin from Goa, India. [25]
 June 25, 1689: Portuguese ships under the command of Captain Francesco Luigi Cottigno entering the island area plot in Kapuas district and establishing relationships with the tribe Dayak Ngaju [26].
 1690: Nassaruddin became Sultan of Brunei until the year 1705.
 1695: Amiril Pengiran Tidung Maharajalila II serving ruler until the year 1731.
 1698: Sultan Banjarmasin, Saidilah establish a contract with the UK.
 1699: In April, two of the English Captain Henry Watson and Cotesworth instructed to establish factory / warehouse in Yogyakarta. [27]
 1700: Hamidullah became Sultan Banjar XI until the year 1734. Prince Aji Old Dipati XII became the Sultan of Kutai which until the year 1710. In 1700 the war between the Hedgehog and Matan, because the seizure of diamond inheritance Kobi. Hedgehogs assisted by Bantam and VOC, because it then Bantam expressed Hedgehogs and Matan under the power of the Sultanate of Banten.


 the first British contack with what is indonesia date back to 1601 when Quen Elisabeth I sent an emissary to the sultan of Acheen (Aceh). correspondence from those early contacts is still exant in the british  library in london. World demand for spices had led the european powers to establish route to the indies, the island the today form the indonesia archipelago. Trading post and garrisons were won and lost in the European power struggle, but it was the dutch who came dominate the lucrative trade in spices.




Early history of Christianity in Indonesia is not the same as the dawn of the Protestant Church. In 1605 the Christian religion is no longer a stranger in the archipelago. Mung * kin once the Christian merchants from Arab khalifa or from South India to set foot in Indonesia starting from the 7th century or the 8th AD In 1323-1324 a member of the Franciscan Order, Oderico de Pordenone, visiting Borneo, the palace of Majapahit, and Sumatra. Twenty years later a messenger from the Pope met with a number of Christians in Sumatra [SGA I, 34v]. However, in this era of Christianity has not been rooted in the Earth Indonesia. Congregations that there may not leave scars, and in any case consists only of migrants.
Conversely, the expansion of Christianity that took place in the 16th century laid the foundation of the church that stands today. Around the year 1500 entered the Roman Catholic mission coincided with the soldiers and Portuguese and Spanish traders. In those days people of Spain and Portugal had just managed to repel the Arab rulers of Europe, but the Islamic kingdoms in North Africa remains a security threat to Southern Europe. At that time the Turks launched a great attack in the name of Islam in Southeast Europe. They conquered Christian countries in the Balkan peninsula and in 1529 invaded the country instead of Germany. Europeans feel besieged, and attempting to make a counter-attack by moving the circular. That way they hope to also get direct access to areas of origin of luxury goods as long as it reached Europe through the mediator in the East Indies and Egypt or Turkey. Then they explore the ocean to find a way to “the Indies”, which is located behind the Turkish camp.For them, the Indian was a fairy tale, the source of unimaginable wealth. As he sailed westward, the Spaniards discovered America, which at first they thought were “the Indies” (so-called natives “Indians”). A few years later, the Portuguese managed to reach the “Indies” the truth, namely the Indian Ocean region, and immediately began a military and economic war against the Muslims there, who they view as a ally of the Turks. They are not strong enough to colonize a large area, but only seize or establish a series of fortress along the trade route that stretched from India to Indonesia and China Eastern. Main strongholds is Goa (west coast of India), Malacca (Malaysia area now), Ternate and Solor (off the coast of Flores), as well as the Macao (China offshore). From their base in America, the Spaniards colonize and Christianize the North and Central Philippine region. At a later date, their influence extends to the islands of Sangihe and North Maluku.
It is clear that the activities of Europeans in Indonesia, particularly the Portuguese, religious motives, military motifs, and motifs interwoven trade. So fortresses they have dual functions. In it there is a military barracks, warehouses for merchandise, and a church building. The priests serving the soldiers and merchants in the fort. Sometimes they also came out to bring Christianity to the natives who live around the fort. But in general spread of the gospel does not become their primary goal. Said one high official of the Portuguese era: “They come with a crucifix in one hand and a sword in the other. But when they found wealth, they immediately rule out the cross and fill their pockets “. The most active group mission is to perform the work of the clergy of the order, in particular members of the Society of Jesus (SJ) who worked in Asia since the 1540s. Beside them, the Order of Franciscans and Dominicans also need to be called.
Laying the Basic Christian Church
Here we only give an outline of the history of Catholic missions in the 16th century and the 17th. Who want to know the ropes can find in the work history of the Catholic Church in Indonesia, Volume I, and the Yeast Carita I. We will successively discuss the development of western Indonesian archipelago and in the East.
At the time the Portuguese arrived in the archipelago, the inhabitants of coastal areas of Sumatra and Java had converted to Islam. After all, in terms of politics they are relatively compact, they have formed a powerful kingdom with a relatively large area, such as Aceh, Johor, Banten and Demak. Therefore, the mission did not succeed to get a foothold there. Only in the city of Malacca, which in the 1511-1641 period is the main stronghold in the east of Portuguese Goa, there is a rather large Christian congregation, headed by a bishop. But this congregation is made up of immigrants from Europe and their descendants. Elsewhere in the western part of the archipelago there is never a stable congregation.

in 1612, in Tolucco (Fort Hollandia). The main Dutch base of the  Moluccas remained however the fort of Malayo. In a few years, practically the greater part of the island of Ternate had been lost to the Spanish control. Great aid in this reached to the Dutch from their natural allies the Ternatens. In the same years in which these forts in Ternate were built, the Dutch control extended also to the other islands of the archipelago. Starting from 1608 also all the island of Makian was occupied by the Dutch who constructed to three fortresses long the coasts of the island. Makian was the richer island in absolute than nail of ambita garofano and that more from the Dutch who aimed to control the commerce of the spices. Another fortress, Fort Nassau, was built in 1609 in the island of Moti (Motir), island situated between Tidore and Maquiem (Machian), also this island was rich of cloves. In 1609, also the Spanish fort of Bachan was captured by the Dutch commandants vice admiral Simon Jansz Hoen. Practically after 1606, and between 1607 and 1610, the Dutch with theirs ally succeeded to force the Spanish on the defensive and took the control of great part of the islands. Under the Spanish control only remained the southern side of the island of Ternate (where was the main town of “Nuestra Seńora del Rosario”), the entire island of Tidore and some ports in the islands of Halmahera and Morotai. The Spanish garrisons had their headquarters in the islands of Ternate and Tidore where it’s often difficult to understand by the documents where were situated  the spanish “presidios”, the some “presidio” was sometimes called with different names causing not little difficulties to understand where and which was. In addition to a multitude of fortified places in Ternate and Tidore, the Spaniards maintained sometimes for a few years some garrisons also in the peripheral islands of Halmahera, Morotai and Sulawesi, these places were important  for the maintenance of the garrisons, because those islands were sources of sago and other indispensable food for   the maintenance of the garrisons and of the population of the islands of Ternate and Tidore, islands where because of the conformation of the land and the continuous state of war in which they were did not allow the cultivation of such products. Often the spanish garrisons depended for the refueling of food, dressed and ammunitions nearly exclusively from the so-called fleet of “soccorro” that  was sendt every year from the Philippines. When one of these fleets lacked to the appointment or because it was captured from the Dutch or because the bad weather who provoked frequent shipwrecks, were times of great lack for the Spanish soldiers of the garrisons and for the population of the Spanish city of Ternate. In spite of these deprivations and of the high human and material cost, the Spaniards maintained their own garrisons in Ternate, Tidore and in other islands, until 1663, year in which on order of the governor of the Philippines Manrique de Lara was decided the dismantling and the abandonment of all the garrisons of the Moluccas.

Major VOC posts and forts in the archipelago, 17th century


The Company’s initial interest was in obtaining spices from Maluku for direct shipment to Europe, and it established a fort in Ambon (Amboina) in 1605. Under the third Governor-General, J.P. Coen, however, the Company’s ambitions began to extend to taking part in trade within Asia. Coen decided that the Company needed a more central base and in 1619 founded a new headquarters, which he called Batavia, in the small trading city of Jayakarta on the northwestern coast of Java. In developing this so-called inter-Asian trade, the VOC made the most both of its capital reserves, which gave it disproportionate power in the market place, and its naval strength, which enabled it to sweep from the seas both pirates and Asian traders it now classified as smugglers because they infringed its monopolies.


The VOC’s interests in Indonesia were only part of its Asian empire. The Company had major trading operations in India and was the only European power permitted to trade in Japan. It came to control the islands of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and Formosa (now Taiwan), as well as a significant territory at the Cape of Good Hope. Most of the Company’s territories were ruled by governors subordinate to the Governor-General in Batavia; the gouvernement of Java’s Northeast Coast, therefore, was no more directly monitored from Batavia than was the distant Cape settlement. Even within the VOC structure, therefore, the ‘Netherlands Indies’, as a precursor to modern Indonesia, had no formal existence.


Banda under Dutch rule



The british had ben forced out of the cosmopolitan peper trading fort at banten near present day serang in 1648, but the were determinet to break the dutch  monopoly.

VOC territories and trading posts in Asia, 1650


The naval commercial power of the VOC, especially in an island region such as Indonesia, meant that the Company could pursue its interests on many fronts, but its two most important adversaries in the period to 1800 were Makasar and Mataram. Makasar, the main port in southern Sulawesi, became a major centre for the ‘smuggling’ trade which defied the Dutch monopoly until it succumbed to the Dutch and allied indigenous forces in a three-year war ending in 1669.

Coen had placed his headquarters on Java some distance from the rising central Java power of Mataram, but the two quickly came into conflict. In 1628 and 1629 forces from Mataram attacked Batavia but were repulsed. Thereafter, it was the Company which harassed Mataram, both deliberately circumscribing its power and finding itself drawn into civil wars and political conflicts within Mataram to defend its own interests. Following its participation in the defeat of Trunojoyo in 1678–1681, the VOC was a permanent element in Javanese politics and the Company gradually moved from being a maritime trading power to managing a territorial empire on Java. The Company’s administrative structure, however, continued to resemble that of a trading company, with officials below the level of governor holding mercantile titles and retaining principal responsibility for commercial matters along with administration

Sumatra, first half of 17th century

The successors of Sultan Iskandar Muda were unable to maintain the empire he had created and in the middle of the 17th century, the Acehnese empire began to contract. Within Aceh, moreover, royal power dwindled in the hinterland with the rise of powerful regional warlords or uleëbalang. Although Aceh remained independent, it was never again a major power.

Meanwhile, Aceh’s main rival, Johor, was also in decline. From the north, the aggressive Thai kingdom of Ayutthaya had turned Kedah into a vassal, requiring its ruler to send as tribute an intricate gold and silver tree (bunga mas dan perak). Johor was also under pressure from the south. From the middle of the 17th century, the pepper kingdoms of Jambi and Palembang had grown increasingly independent of their Javanese overlords and had begun to develop close relations with the VOC. Palembang soon fell out with the VOC, which sent forces to destroy its capital in 1659, but Jambi continued to prosper, repudiating Mataram’s overlordship in 1663. By 1673, Jambi was powerful enough to attack Johor and to destroy its capital utterly. Johor’s rulers then shifted their court once again into the islands for fifteen years. The final blow to Johor’s standing came in 1699, with the assassination of the brutal Sultan Mahmud, which broke Johor’s dynastic link with the prestige of the Melaka sultanate.

The decline of Aceh and Johor gave new opportunities to the Minangkabau peoples of central Sumatra. Siak on the Sumatra coast opposite Johor, Indrapura on the west coast, and the small Minangkabau communities of Sungai Ujung and Rembau near Melaka all became virtually independent in this era.


The founding of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) on 20 March 1602 marked the worldwide start of share trading. The VOC was the first company to give private citizens the opportunity to participate in its capital, and the documents recording their participation are thought to be the oldest shares in the world. The Amsterdam stock exchange owns one of the few remaining copies of this very rare document, which is seldom seen by the public. This VOC share will also be on display during Visitor’s Day.

VOC share

In 1602,


the English East India Company’s first voyage, commanded by Sir James Lancaster, arrived in Aceh, region of Indonesia, located on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra.  and sailed on to Bantam, where he was allowed to build trading post which becomes the centre of English trade in Indonesia until 1682. In this case, the Prince took the Dutch, arrival seriously as the Dutch had constructed many military. A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats…

 1615 Prince Jayawikarta apparently also had a connection with the English and allowed them to build houses directly across from the Dutch buildings in 1615. When relations between Prince Jayawikarta and the Dutch later deteriorated, his soldiers attacked the Dutch fortress which covered two main buildings, Nassau and Mauritus. But even with the help of 15 ships from the English, Prince Jayawikarta’s army wasn’t able to defeat the Dutch, for Jan Pieterszoon Coen

Jan Pieterszoon Coen

Jan Pieterszoon Coen was a officer of the Dutch East India Company in the early seventeenth century, holding two terms as its Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies….

 (J.P. Coen) came to Jayakarta just in time, drove away the English ships and burned the English trading post.

Things then changed for the Prince, when the Sultan of Banten sent his soldiers and summoned Prince Jayawikarta to establish a close relationship with the English without an approval of the Banten authorities. The relationships between both Prince Jayawikarta and the English with the Banten government then became worse and resulted in the Prince’s decision to move to Tanara, a small place in Banten, until his death. This assisted the Dutch in their efforts to establish a closer relationship with Banten. The Dutch had by then changed the name to “Batavia“, which remained until 1942.


In 1602 the Dutch set up the Dutch East Indies Company, Vereenigde Oostindie Compagnie in Dutch or VOC. In the Moluccas, the Dutch took a first Portuguese fort in 1605.


Maluku people’s resistance against the Portuguese, the Dutch used to set foot in the Moluccas. In 1605, the Dutch managed to force the Portuguese to give up its defenses in Ambon to Steven van der Hagen and the Tidore to Sebastiansz Cornelisz. Similarly, the British fort at Kambelo, Seram Island, destroyed by the Dutch. Since then the Dutch managed to control large parts of Maluku.
The position of the Dutch in the Moluccas strengthened with the establishment of the VOC in 1602, and since then the Dutch became the sole ruler in the Moluccas. Under the leadership of Jan Pieterszoon Coen, Chief Operating VOC, clove trade in the Moluccas sepunuh under the control of VOC for nearly 350 years. For this purpose the VOC did not hesitate to drive out competitors, Portuguese, Spanish, and English. Even tens of thousands of people become victims of brutality VOC Maluku.

Jan Pieterszoon Coen

Jan Pieterszoon Coen was a officer of the Dutch East India Company in the early seventeenth century, holding two terms as its Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies….

 was appointed the VOC governor general for the Moluccas. He too wanted to set up an establishment in Java. He took Jayakarta in 1619. On the ruins of the Javanese town, he founded Batavia, which he named after the ancestors of the Dutch people, the Germanic tribe of the Batavians

The Batavi were an ancient Germanic tribe, originally part of the Chatti, reported by Tacitus to have lived around the Rhine delta, in the area that is currently the Netherlands, “an uninhabited district on the extremity of the coast of Gaul, and also of a neighbouring island, surrounded by the…



Under a tropical sun these almost stagnant waters, soaking into-the soft soil, produced malaria, and the city came to be regarded as the graveyard of Europeans; the wealthy classes took up their residence in the suburbs which formed the new town on the heights of Weltevreden, whither the government offices were removed. Within a few years canals have been filled up and drainage introduced, so that the city is considered tolerably healthy. The thermometer ranges from 65° to 90°. The old town is mainly inhabited by natives and the poorer Chinese. The city has a bank and a newspaper, and has recently been connected with Singapore by a telegraphic cable 600 m. long. Among the principal public buildings are the Lutheran church, military hospital, and exchange. – Batavia occupies the site of the former native city of Jacatra, which was seized in 1619 by the Dutch governor Jan Pieterszoon Koen, the Dutch having a few years before set up a factory here. The capital of the Dutch possessions in India was now removed from Amboyna to this place. In 1628-‘9 the allied sovereigns of Bantam, Jacatra. and Mataram twice besieged the new city, with an army of 100,000 men, but were repulsed.

In 1641 there was a revolt of the Chinese population, of whom 12,000 were massacred by order of the governor, Adriaan Valckenaer. In 1811 it was captured by the English, but was restored to the Dutch after the peace.




When the kingdom was ruled by Raden Sumedang bans Suriadiwangsa, stepchild Geusan Ulun of RTU Harisbaya, Sumedanglarang into Mataram territory since 1620. Since then the status Sumedanglarang any changes from the kingdom into districts under the name Sumedang District. Mataram make Priangan as a region in western defenses against possible attacks Banten forces, and or Company based in Batavia, because of Mataram under Sultan Agung (1613-1645) hostile to the Company and the conflict with the Sultanate of Banten.
To oversee the Priangan, Sultan Agung lift Raden Aria Suradiwangsa be Wedana Regent (Regent Chief) in Priangan (1620-1624), with the title of Prince Rangga Gempol Kusumadinata, known as Rangga Gempol I.
In 1624 the great Emperor ordered Rangga Gempol I to conquer the Sampang (Madura). Therefore, the position represented Regent Wedana Priangan of younger princes Rangga Gempol I Dipati Rangga Gede. Shortly after Prince Dipati Rangga Gede served as Regent Wedana, Sumedang attacked by forces of Banten. Since most forces left Sumedang Sampang, Prince Dipati Rangga Gede unable to cope with the attack. As a result, he received a political sanction of Sultan Agung. Prince Dipati Rangga Gede held in Mataram. Regent Position Wedana Priangan submitted to Dipati Ukur, provided that he should be able to seize power Batavia of the Company.
Sultan Agung in 1628 ordered Dipati Ukur to help troops attacked the Mataram Company in Batavia. But the attack failed. Dipati Ukur realize that as a consequence of the failure that he will receive punishment similar to that received by Prince Dipati Rangga big, or a heavier punishment again. Therefore Dipati Ukur and their followers to rebel against Mataram. After the attacks on the Company fails, they do not come to Mataram report the failure of his duty. Dipati Ukur actions were considered by the party as a rebellion against the rulers of Mataram kingdom of Mataram.

Dipati Ukur occurrence of insubordination and his followers made possible, partly because of the Mataram difficult to monitor directly Priangan region, due to the distance between the center of Mataram Kingdom with regional Priangan. Theoretically, if the area is very far from the centers of power, the power center in the region are very weak. However, thanks to the assistance some areas in Priangan Head, Mataram party to quell the rebellion finally Dipati Ukur. According to Soil History (Chronicle), Dipati Ukur caught on Mount Barn (Bandung district) in the year 1632.

After the “rebellion” Dipati Ukur deemed concluded, Sultan Agung handed back office to the Prince Regent Wedana Priangan Dipati Rangga Gede who has been free from punishment. In addition, reorganization of government in Priangan to stabilize the situation and condition of the area. Priangan area outside Sumedang and Galuh divided into three districts, namely Bandung District, County and District Parakanmuncang Sukapura raised by three regional heads of Priangan which is considered to have contributed to quell the rebellion Dipati Ukur.

Third person referred to is the regional head Astamanggala Ki, was appointed head nurse pennant Cihaurbeuti great (regent) of Bandung with a degree Tumenggung Wiraangunangun, Tanubaya as regent Parakanmuncang and Ngabehi Wirawangsa became regent Sukapura with Wiradadaha Tumenggung title. The three men were sworn in together on the basis “Piagem Sultan Agung”, issued on Saturday the 9th of Muharam Year Alip (Javanese calendar). Thus, on 9 Muharam Taun Alip not just an anniversary of Bandung Kabupagten but at the same time as the anniversary Sukapura District and County Parakanmuncang.

Bandung 1800
The establishment of Bandung regency, means in Bandung area changes occur mainly in the areas of government. The area originally was part (subordinate) of the kingdom (the Kingdom of Sunda-Pajararan then Sumedanglarang) with an unclear status, turned into a region with a clear administrative sttus, namely district.
After the third regent appointed Mataram in central government, they return to their respective regions. Sadjarah Bandung (manuscript) states that the Regent of Bandung Tumeggung Wiraangunangun along with his followers from returning to the Tatar Ukur Mataram. The first time they come to Timbanganten. Where the regent of Bandung get 200 count.
Next Tumenanggung Wiraangunangun together people build Krapyak, a place located on the shores near the mouth of the Citarum River Sungat Cikapundung, (suburb of the southern part of Bandung Regency) as the district capital. As the central area of ​​Bandung regency, Krapyak and the surrounding area called Earth chick Gede.
Bandung District administrative area under the influence of Mataram (until the end of the 17th century), not known for sure, because accurate source that contains data about it is not / has not been found. According to native sources, the early stages of data covering several areas of Bandung regency, among others, Tatar Ukur, including area Timbanganten, Kuripan, Sagaraherang, and partly Tanahmedang.
Perhaps, the area outside the District Priangan Sumedang, Parakanmuncang, Sukapura and Galuh, which originally was Tatar territory Measure (Measure Sasanga) in the reign of Dipati Ukur, an administrative area of ​​Bandung regency at that time. If the allegations are true, then the capital of Bandung regency with Krapyak, its territory includes the area Timbanganten, Gandasoli, Adiarsa, Cabangbungin, Banjaran, Cipeujeuh, Majalaya, Cisondari, cavities, Kopo, Ujungberung and others, including area Kuripan, Sagaraherang and Tanahmedang.
Bandung regency as one of the district which formed the Kingdom of Mataram, and under the influence of royal authority, the system of government in Bandung Regency has a system of government of Mataram. Regent has a variety of symbols greatness, special guards and armed soldiers. Symbol and attributes it adds a big and strong power and influence over his people Bupti.
The amount of power and influence of the regents, among others, indicated by the possession of the privileges normally dmiliki by the king. These rights are the rights referred to inherit the position, only to collect taxes in money and goods, ha obtained a labor (Ngawula), hunting and fishing rights and the right to prosecute.
With very limited direct supervision of the rulers of Mataram, it is no wonder if that time Regent of Bandung in particular and generally Priangan Regents ruling like a king. He ruled over the people and regions. Pemerinatahn System regent and lifestyle is miniature of palace life. In performing its duties, the regent assisted by his subordinate officials, such as governor, prosecutors, rulers, village headman or chief cutak (head of district), district (chief assistant district), patinggi (headman or village leader) and others.
Bandung regency under the influence of the Mataram until the end of 1677. Then Bandung regency in the hands of the Company. This It occurs due to Mataram-VOC agreement (first agreement) December 19 to 20 October 1677. Under the authority of the Company (1677-1799), Regent of Bandung and other Regents Priangan still serves as the supreme ruler of the district, with no bureaucratic ties with the Company.
District government system basically does not have changes, because the Company only demanded that the regents recognize the power of the Company, with a guarantee to sell certain products of the earth to the VOC. In this case, the regents must not engage in political relations and trade with other parties. One thing that changed was the office of regent Wedana removed. Instead, the Company raised Prince Aria Cirebon as a supervisor (opzigter) area of ​​Cirebon-Priangan (Cheribonsche Preangerlandan).
One of the main obligations of the regents of the Company is obliged to carry out the planting of certain crops, especially coffee, and deliver results. The system is called Preangerstelsel compulsory planting. Meanwhile, the regents must maintain security and order in his territory. Regents also must not appoint or dismiss employees without consideration of subordinates regent regent ruler of the Company or the Company in Cirebon. For the regents to implement obligations of the latter well, the influence of the regent in the field of religion, including income from that field, such as the penis nature, are not bothered whether the regents and the people (farmers) get paid upon delivery of a large coffee determined by the Company.
Until the end of the power of VOC-VOC end in 1779, Bandung regency capital is Krapyak. During the Bandung regency ruled for generations by the six regents. Tumenggung Wiraangunangun (the first regent) ankatan Mataram who ruled until 1681. Five other regents are force the regents of the Company namely Tumenggung Ardikusumah who ruled in 1681-1704, Tumenggung Anggadireja I (1704-1747), Tumenggung Anggadireja II (1747-1763), R. Anggadireja III with a degree of RA Wiranatakusumah I (1763-1794) and RA Wiranatakusumah II who ruled from 1794 until 1829. In the reign of regents RA Wiranatakusumah II, moved the capital of Bandung Regency from Karapyak to the city of Bandung.

In 1613,

 prince Rangsang became king of Mataram

Mataram Sultanate

The Sultanate of Mataram was the last major independent Javanese empire on Java before the island was colonized by the Dutch. It was the dominant political force in interior Central Java from the late 16th century until the beginning of the 18th century….

 in Central Java. The following year, he attacked the principality of Surabaya


Surabaya is Indonesia’s second-largest city with a population of over 2.7 million , and the capital of the province of East Java…

 in the east. The man who would be remembered as Sultan Agung had started a series of successful campaigns against rival kingdoms and principalities on Java.

 In 1625,

in addition to Central Java, Mataram was in control of central and eastern parts of the island’s northern coast, called the Pasisir. Now Agung wanted to take on Banten and Batavia.


Agung launched a first offensive on Batavia in 1628. Having suffered heavy losses, he had to retreat. he launched a second offensive in 1629. The Dutch fleet destroyed his supplies and his ships in the harbours of Cirebon


Cirebon is a port city on the north coast of the Indonesian island of Java. It is located in the province of West Java near the provincial border with Central Java, approximately 297 km east of Jakarta, at .The seat of a former Sultanate, the city’s West and Central Java border location have…

 and Tegal

Tegal is the largest city in the Tegal Regency, Indonesia. It is located on the north coast of Central Java about from Cirebon. Slawi, about to the south, is its suburb….

. Mataram troops, starving and decimated by illness, had to retreat again.

However, Agung pursued his conquering ambitions to the east. He attacked Blitar

Blitar is a city and also the capital of the regency of the same name on East Java, Indonesia, about 73 kilometers from Malang and 167 kilometers from Surabaya. The area lies within longitude 111° 40′ – 112° 09′ East and its latitude is 8° 06′ South…

, Panarukan and the Blambangan principality in Java’s eastern salient, a vassal of the Bali

Bali is an Indonesian island located in the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, lying between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. It is one of the country’s 33 provinces with the provincial capital at Denpasar towards the south of the island….

nese kingdom of Gelgel

Gelgel may refer to:*Gelgel, Chad, a city in Chad*Gelgel, Indonesia, a village on the island of Bali, and a former kingdom…

. Agung died in 1646. His son succeeded him under the title of Susuhunan

Sunan (Indonesian title)
Sunan is the shorter version of “Susuhunan”, both used as an honourific in Java Indonesia.According to Hamka in his book Dari Perbendaharaan Lama the word derived from a Javanese word for position of hands in reverential salutation, done with hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers……

 outside the city walls

Makasar empire before 1667

Pre-colonial records are even sparser for eastern Indonesia than they are for Sulawesi, and only the sketchiest outline can be given of the region’s history before the 17th century.

The islands of Maluku had supplied cloves to other parts of the world since at least 1700 B.C., according to archaeological evidence from the Middle East, and they were also the only source of nutmeg. The small islands with their narrow coastal plains, however, could only sustain a relatively small population, and there appear to have been no large polities in the region before the 15th century, when the tiny clove-producing islands of Ternate and Tidore began to emerge as major political centres. Except in Sula, Buru, Ambon and Seram, where Ternatean aristocrats ruled directly, both empires operated as a network of alliances and vassalages, rather than as tightly ruled polities, and there was considerable ebb and flow in the degree of authority that each exercised. Ternate reached the peak of its power in the late 16th century under the warlike Sultan Baabullah.

Traditional kingdoms of Maluku, early 15th century, and the spheres of influence of Ternate and Tidore, early 16th century

As the main reason for European interest in the Indies, the Spice Islands were amongst the first to experience direct European military intervention. Ternate and Tidore were unable to prevent first the Portuguese and Spanish and later the Dutch and English from establishing fortified trading posts in the region, though Ternate had a number of military victories over the Europeans in the course of the sporadic hostilities of the 16th and early 17th centuries.

By the middle of the 17th century, however, Ternate’s need for free trade in spices was fundamentally in conflict with the Dutch aims for monopoly. In 1652, the Dutch extracted a treaty from Ternate giving the Company a monopoly of clove production, and broke the power of local Ternatean lords in a series of bloody campaigns during the next few years. The Company then centred clove production on Ambon and sent out periodic expeditions to destroy clove trees in other regions.

The great island of New Guinea was also a major centre of population, but its people were concentrated in the interior and except on the fringes close to Maluku there is no record at all of political forms before the 17th century.

Imagining the Archipelago

Although trade routes had tied the Indonesian archipelago to China, India and the Middle East since very early times, the region remained relatively unknown to outsiders until five or six centuries ago. Long distances and the hazards of travel, together with the fact that Indonesians themselves carried most of the products of their islands to the outside world, meant that scholars in the major centres of civilization generally relied on sparse and often second hand accounts of Southeast Asia.

In the West, the Egyptian geographer Claudius Ptolemy (c. 85–165 AD) prepared a major geographical work, the Periplus of the Erythrean Sea, containing a compilation of information on the region gathered from traders and seafarers. Ptolemy described a Golden Chersonese, or peninsula, far to the east which is normally identified with the Malay Peninsula and he records the existence of many islands in the vicinity. Ptolemy’s geography formed the basis of most Western conceptions of the Far East until the 16th century, and also influenced some of the Arab geographers. The maps of Idrisi (d. 1165) show a good deal more detail than those based on Ptolemy’s account, but they clearly reflect an attempt to reconcile imprecise and contradictory information originating from several centuries and a wide variety of sources.


In the 1580’s

there was the mission in East Java which is still part of Hindu religion; a century later, an Italian priest named Ventimiglia managed to penetrate into the interior of South Kalimantan. But the effort failed.
Developments in other Eastern Indonesia. As noted above, there the Portuguese could not determine its own direction they wish to travel, but more must react to the actions of others. Similarly with their mission. Christianity was successfully implanted in Eastern Indonesia. Only, unlike the way the expansion of rice or other food crops, grown in a planned, but more like the grasses that grow anywhere seed carried by wind or birds. Society of Jesus tried to spread the Gospel with more regular. But in the midst of storms of war, they had not managed to instill congregations in new areas. Later, in China, Japan, and India, the Jesuits and members of other orders indicates that they are able to build a solid church, so long as they can work in peace.


Kerajaan Sukapura

Kerajaan/ Kadipaten SukapuraMerupakan kerajaan/ kadipaten lama di Jawa Barat. Lokasinya adalah sebagai berikut:
Sumber: Digital Atlas of Indonesian History by Robert Cribb.Raja-raja dan bupati swapraja yang pernah memerintah Sukapura adalah:
• Wiradedaha I (1641-?)
• Wiradedaha II (?-1674)
• Anggadipa Wiradedaha III (1674-1726)


It was on the 12 th july 1685  that ralph ord, the repsentative of the honourable East india company, managed to establish a settlemen at bencoolen, concluding an agreement with the local rulers fort the supply of papper to the company, in return for an undertaking to protect them from the dutch.

Bencoolen was considered to be in a strategic position to control the trade route through the sunda strait. In fact its strategic infortance was never realised as most Europeen  shipping chose to use the starait of malacca, the more direct route from india to china. Bencoolen was to remain the head quarters for the company’s Operations in sumatra. A number of small trading post, or factories as the were called  from the title of factor, (the official responsible for the settlement), were established on the west coast of sumatra from Tapanuli, natal and moko moko in the north, to manna and krui in the south, near the modern border with lampung.



Gouvenor general VOC

View of the city of Batavia, seen from out to sea with many ships in the foreground, including four East Indiamen

View of Batavia, 1730
View of the city of Batavia, seen from out to sea with many ships in the foreground, including four East Indiamen.

After the Dutch arrived in the East Indies in 1596, the VOC (Dutch East India Company) established its headquarters in the city of Jayakarta, on the island of Java.

Later renamed Batavia, the city (now Jakarta) soon became the capital of the East Indies and the principal harbour for Dutch ships sailing to and from Europe.

The Governor-General and Council in Batavia controlled all VOC trade in Asia, and the city reflected the company’s monopolistic approach. Private trade at most of the ports was prohibited, except in Batavia.

View of the city and castle of Batavia in two parts 1650 – 1700

View of the city and castle of Batavia in two parts 1650–1700

The VOC was not the first to use the monopoly approach. But it was the VOC and its appetite for new markets that eventually put Australia on the map.

Soon after the company established its base in the city, Batavia became the launching place for the first of many Dutch voyages of discovery beyond the Spice Islands.

In 1605, VOC headquarters in Amsterdam issued an order to Frederick de Houtman, Governor in Batavia: ‘There must be more charting, mapping and exploring of the lands further east of the Spice Islands and a renewed search for a passage through to the Pacific Ocean’.

The twin objectives of the expeditions to the unknown south were trade and territory: commanders of the voyages were instructed to find new commercial prospects and acquire new land. They were the orders that effectively signalled the beginning of the Dutch discovery of Australia.

Map of the islands in the Banda Sea and the New Guinea region showing the tracks of the Duyfken in 1606

Desepascaert vertoont de wegh, soo int heen als in het weerom seylen, die gehouden is bij het jacht het Duijfien in het besoecken van de landen beoosten Banda, tot aen Nova Guinea.
Map of the islands in the Banda Sea and the New Guinea region showing the tracks of the Duyfken in 1606.
engraving; 61.5 x 56.0 cm
Reproduction: Monumenta cartographica, Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1925
National Library of Australia

Captained by Willem Janszoon, the voyage of the Duyfken in 1606 was the first of several planned voyages to the north of Australia. A secret map, Dese pascaert vertoont, shows the route of the Duyfken and the first European landfall on the Australian continent, at 11°45’S. Most VOC voyages, commercial or explorative, were secret. But maps of their voyages soon revealed to the world the extent of their discoveries. Janszoon’s discoveries were thought to be an extension of New Guinea as the Duyfken had missed Torres Strait.

No second voyage of discovery to the south lands was organised until 1623, though the Dutch did consider it. In 1620, prompted after a series of accidental landfalls on Australia’s west coast, the Seventeen urged closer investigation of the extent of Janszoon’s discoveries.

In 1622, Dutch exploration of the unknown South Land suddenly became urgent. In that year, the English ship the Trial (or Tryall) became the first European ship to come to grief on the Australian coast. The Trial was wrecked off the Montebello Islands, in north-west Australia. Captain John Brookes and 45 of his crew sailed in two boats to Batavia to mount a rescue, but 93 people left behind died.The safety of the VOC ships was paramount. On 29 September, VOC officials in Batavia instructed the captains of the de Haringh and Hasewint to combine the search for new trading opportunities with the pressing need to chart unknown, and possibly dangerous, stretches of coastline.

The main object for which you are dispatched on this occasion is, that for 45° or 50°S, or from the farthest point to which the land shall be found to extend southwards within these latitudes, up to the northernmost extremity of the South Land you will have to discover and survey all capes, forelands, bights, lands, islands, rocks, sandbanks, depths, shallows, roads, winds, currents and all that appertains to the same, so as to be able to map out and duly mark everything in its true latitude, longitude, bearings and conformation. You will moreover go ashore in various places and diligently examine the coast in order to ascertain whether or not it is inhabited, the nature of the land and the people, their towns and inhabited villages, the divisions of their kingdoms, their religion and polity, their wars, their rivers, the shape of their vessels, their fisheries, commodities and manufactures, but especially to inform yourselves what minerals, such as gold, silver, tin, iron, lead, and copper, what precious stones, pearls, vegetables, animals and fruits, these lands yield and produce.

Bonaparte Tasman map

Carten dese landen Zin ontdeckt bij de compangie ontdeckers behaluen het norder deelt van noua guina ende het West Eynde van Java dit Warck aldus
[Bonaparte Tasman map]
‘Map these lands were discovered by the Company’s explorers except for the northern part of New Guinea and the west end of Java.’
manuscript map, hand-coloured; 73.0 x 95.0 cm
State Library of New South Wales

While this project came to nothing, the following year the voyage of discovery of the ships Pera and Arnhem added significantly to Dutch knowledge of the Gulf of Carpentaria, and the discoveries of Jan Carstensz began to appear on regional and world maps.

Twenty years later, the VOC was still probing, and Dutch discoveries reached their climax with Abel Tasman‘s two voyages in 1642–43 and 1644.

In August 1642, Anthonie van Diemen, Governor-General of the East Indies from 1636 to 1645, instructed Abel Tasman to ‘sail to the partly known as well as the undiscovered South and East lands, to discover them and find some important lands, or at the very least some practicable passages to well known rich places, to be used eventually to enhance and enlarge the general welfare of the company’.

New Holland, as the Dutch and for a time the rest of the world would come to know Australia, offered little through trade in the way of spices or precious stones or produce. With only a few exceptions, the Dutch navigators had experienced some of the most desolate and inhospitable of Australia’s coasts. They were confounded by their contact with Indigenous Australians.

After the loss of several ships and with little to show for its effort, the VOC began losing interest in the South Land with each expedition. The last significant voyage commissioned by the company was that of Willem de Vlamingh in 1696.

Some VOC expeditions that left Batavia to explore the South Land

Duyfken, 1606

Captain Willem Janszoon, sailing in the Duyfken, made landfall on the western side of Cape York Peninsula in north Australia and charted about 320 kilometres of coastline. It was Europe’s first recorded contact with Australia.



The wreck Of Batavia Ship

Mutiny on the Batavia

This is the article  of the shipwreck of the Batavia, and the ensuing mutiny and massacre.

Well, despite all the carnage the surviving crew and passengers of the Batavia were lucky in one sense, they were eventually rescued. In 1711 another Dutch ship, the Zuytdorp, also wrecked upon the same remote coast. Actually many Dutch ships had disappeared before along this coast, which was bad news for the Zuytdorp, because when she didn’t make it to Indonesia, no search was made. Presumably becasue of the expense of previous fruitless searches. This was unfortunate for the Zuytdorp,  because some survivors made it ashore. Starting in the 1920s when westerners started penetrating this remote area of coast, many artifacts from a shipwreck were found, some clearly having been carried to cliff tops with unmistakable evidence of habitation found as well. And while the survivors may indeed have tried to signal passing ships, even if they were seen most likely ships simply regarded them as fires set by aborigines.

Both the wreck and the land sites were excavated in a  series of digs over many decades, and many artifacts discovered. Coins dated 1711 very early pegged the site as the Zuytdorp, it was carrying a cargo of said coins, and in fact when the site was first visited by divers, they reported  a “carpet” of silver coins.

The excavation took decades because the location is so treacherous that only a  few days a year is it safe to dive. And even on land the airstrip is extremely windy and dangerous. It was done though, and many artifacts were recovered. The big question, what happened to the survivors, was never answered. Did any of them join with the aborigines? Could there be aborigines with 17th and 18th century Dutch DNA in them? Remember, two of the Batavia mutineers were also marooned on this coast, and no doubt other unknown survivors made it ashore in the centuries that Dutch ships hugged this coast. Alas, a 2002 DNA study concluded, not likely.

As for the wreck of the Batavia, it was discovered in the sixties, and in pretty good shape all things considered. It was excavated in the early seventies, one of the first great underwater shipwreck excavations. It inspired laws to protect such sites, and many further recovery efforts. Much of the stern of the ship was recovered intact, as well as a stone archway intended for a Dutch fort in Indonesia. Both can be seen above, as they are on display in the Fremantle Maritime Museum, in Fremantle Australia. Human remains were recovered as well, and I read that some of them are on display too.

And on the islands where the actual fighting and battles took place, there have been excavations. The remains of the fort and the well built by Wiebbe Hayes and his men are still to be seen, and are in fact the oldest European built structures in Australia. Yes, the “barren” island Wiebbe Hayes and company had been left on actually had an aquifer, and a shallow well provided fresh water. And they had discovered that they could wade at low tide to another nearby island, East Wallabi Island. And on said island,  some sort of small island wallaby lived. They were delicious.

That was one of many details I left out of a fascinating but complicated story. Complicated in and of itself, and complicated by the fact that I had trouble finding good images or even maps of the area. I did find some pictures of Wiebbe Hayes Fort here. Unfortunately the images show two stone structures, with no explanation as to which is what. Still, the fact that the earliest structures built by Europeans in Australia are still intact shows nicely just how remote the Abrolhos Islands, or more properly, the Houtman Abrolhos, really are.

. The wreck of the Batavia happened over 400 years ago, yet multiple threads from this event are still unravelling.

It probably goes without saying that Jeronimus Cornelisz was a psychopath/sociopath.

 The link above says he was a devil worshipper, which may or may not be true, it’s suspected but not proved that he had links with Johannes van der Beeck, a Dutch artist who was executed for atheistic and Satanistic beliefs. I suspect without Jeronimus Cornelisz the mutiny would never have happened or been a much more bloodless thing. A case can be made that many if not most of the murderous mutineers only became murderers because they got trapped on a deserted island with a psychopath. Imagine Gilligan’s Isle if Gilligan had been a psychopath. Yikes. This is why I never get in an elevator with strangers.

Pera and Arnhem, 1623

Carta particolare della costa Australe scoperta dall'Olandesi … d’ Asia Carta

Sir Robert Dudley (1574–1649)
Carta particolare della costa Australe scoperta dall’Olandesi … d’ Asia Carta
Part of the coast of New Holland.
engraving; 47.5 x 37.3 cm
Firenze: Nella stamperia di Francesco Onofri, 1647
Northern Territory Library

Captain Jan Carstenszoon in the Pera and Captain Willem van Coolsteerd in the Arnhem explored the south coast of New Guinea and the western side of Cape York Peninsula. Carstenszoon went on to chart the Gulf of Carpentaria, naming it for Pieter de Carpentier, the Governor-General in Batavia. Meantime, van Coolsteerd charted the northern part of Arnhem Land.





After these initial West African slavesSlave sale notice were brought to the Cape the Dutch East India Company fell into line with agreements with the Dutch West Indian Company to focus its slaving operations on the African territories on Indian Ocean coast and East Indies.
See full size image

In addition to the dedicated Cape based slaver ships, other slaver ships of many nationalities anchored in the Cape with ‘cargoes` destined for Europe and the Americas.


Some from amongst this ‘cargo` ware sent to Indonesia(Dutch Indie)

Heemskerck and Zeehaen, 1642

Abel Tasman, commanding the Heemskerck and Zeehaen, became the first European to sight Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania), Statenlandt (New Zealand) and the islands of Tonga and Fiji. Tasman charted much of Tasmania, but missed Bass Strait and the east coast of the continent, proceeding east to New Zealand.

Zeemeeuw, Limmen and Bracq, 1644

Commanding a second expedition of three ships, the Zeemeeuw, Limmen and Bracq, Tasman charted much of Australia’s north and north-west coasts, from Cape York in the east to Point Cloates in the west.




Dutch travel literature: the account of Wouter Schouten’s adventurous travels in the East Indies in a rare French edition, published in 1708 by Pierre Mortier. The ship surgeon Schouten travelled widely in the East Indies between 1658 and 1665, visiting Colombo (Ceylon), the Malabar coast, Bengal, Arakan, Batavia, Formosa (= Taiwan), Sumatra, the Moluccas and Amboina.View of Nagasaki

Being an observant traveller, his narrative contains much detailed information on life in the East, including an eye-witness report of the Dutch Siege of Makassar, Ceylon.


the Indian Ocean Slave Trade  

As stated in other posts, the first slaves to be brought to the Cape Colony were from West Africa, but that soon changed to a position where slaves almost exclusively came from the Indian Ocean slave trade.

From the 1660s until 1742, a majority, over 57% of slaves, came from India and the Indonesian Archipelago. Thereafter the figures decreased.

After 1767 a combination of official reluctance to bring slaves from the east and, a decrease in the fortunes of Dutch shipping, finally resulted in the import of eastern slaves dwindling to a trickle. During the overall 180 year period of slavery around 51% of new slaves in the Cape came from Africa, Madagascar and the Mascarenes, 26% from India and 22% from the Indonesian Archipelago.

This post deals with the complex roots of the Indian and Indonesian components which dominated the early years of slavery at the Cape and has often been simplistically referred to as the Malay slaves.

South India.bmp South INDIA3.bmp

The heyday of the Dutch dominance in the Indian Ocean Slave Trade is poorly understood in South Africa, in terms of where slaves actually originally came from. The confusion arises out of the ‘shorthand` accounts of ships bringing slaves from slaving ‘stations` or ‘centres` rather than where slaves originally actually were taken. Modern day Indonesia and Malaysia and its attributes are also overlaid on the situation pertaining in the 17th and 18th centuries. In South Africa we have also allowed the local construct of a ‘Cape Malay` Muslim identity cloud our understanding of the roots of eastern slavery.

According to Markus Vink, The World`s Oldest Trade: Dutch Slavery and Slave Trade in the Indian Ocean in the Seventeenth Century, Journal of World History 14, no. 2 (Fall 2003): the Dutch Indian Ocean slave system drew captive labour from three interlocking and overlapping circuits of sub-regions: the westernmost, African circuit of East Africa, Madagascar, and the Mascarene Islands (Mauritius and Réunion); the middle, South Asian circuit of the Indian subcontinent (Malabar, Coromandel, and the Bengal/Arakan coast); and the easternmost, Southeast Asian circuit of Malaysia, Indonesia, New Guinea (Irian Jaya), and the southern Philippines.

Vink goes on to establish that ‘in general, the Dutch slave trade took people from segmented microstates and stateless societies in the East outside the House of Islam to the company`s Asian headquarters, the Chinese colonial city of Batavia (Jakarta), and its regional centre in the western districts of the Indian Ocean, coastal Ceylon (Sri Lanka),` From here slaves were dispersed to strategic footholds in Malacca and Makassar and in eastern Indonesian islands of Maluku, Ambon, and Banda. The Cape Colony was also one of these strategic footholds of Dutch interest.

Markus Vink establishes that the first circuit or sub-region of the Dutch Slave Trade, the Indian subcontinent (Arakan/Bengal, Malabar, and Coromandel), remained the most important source of slave labour until the mid 1660s. Vink says that during the first thirty years of Batavia`s existence, Indian and Arakanese slaves provided the main labour force of the company`s Asian headquarters. The point is further made that until the Dutch seizure of the Portuguese settlements on the Malabar coast (165863), large numbers of slaves were also captured and sent from India`s west coast to Batavia, Ceylon, and elsewhere. After 1663, however, the stream of forced labour from Cochin dried up to a trickle of about 50100 and 80120 slaves per year to Batavia and Ceylon, respectively.


Amongst the Cape Colony slaves, Bengal, coast of Coromandel, Saloor (Ceylon), Cochin, Palicatte, Devanampatnam and other places of origin listed in slave inventories feature strongly in the last three decades of the 1600s. Vink makes the point that in contrast with other areas of the Indian subcontinent, Coromandel remained the centre of a spasmodic slave trade throughout the seventeenth century. In various short-lived booms accompanying natural and human-induced calamities, the Dutch exported thousands of slaves from the east coast of India. South African history does little to acknowledge these Indian roots of slaves in the Cape. Generally it projects that Indians first came to South Africa as indentured labourers and merchants in the late 1800s. That this migration occurred is absolutely true as the large KwaZulu-Natal Indian population has its roots therein. But it is not the only truth.

In the Cape Colony the much earlier forced Indian migration has left very little of a distinct Indian character amongst the population. The dubbing over of Indian roots with the ‘Cape Malay` construct whereby all eastern slaves got lumped together as a constructed ethnic identity, resulted in wiping out historical facts. This had more to do with dividing slave descendants who had the same roots, into Christian and Muslim entities as though distinct ethnic differences existed. The irony was that many who had been enslaved and sold to the Dutch were often the ‘heathen` victims of conquering Muslim religious armies in South-Indian wars. In the Cape many of these ‘hindu` or ‘heathen` slaves converted to Islam, while others converted to Christianity. When war and religious conquest was not the reason for enslavement, then famine facilitated enslavement. Markus Vink makes the point elsewhere that between 1620 and 1830, Hindu Bali, internally divided among various rival states after the collapse of the kingdom of Gelgel, exported at least 100,000 members of its own population and neighboring Lombok, Sumbawa, Sumba, and elsewhere as slaves.

Masters & Slaves1.JPG

Markus Vink in his study provides the following information: ‘A third short-lived boom in slaving took place between 1659 and 1661 due to the devastation of Tanjavur resulting from a series of successive Bijapuri raids, creating the usual famine-slave cycle. At Nagapatnam, Pulicat, and elsewhere, the company purchased 8,00010,000 slaves, the bulk of whom were sent to Ceylon while a small portion were shipped to Batavia and Malacca. A fourth boom (167377) was initiated by a long drought in
Madurai and southern Coromandel starting in 1673, exacerbated by the prolonged Madurai-Maratha struggle over Tanjavur and resulting oppressive fiscal practices. Between 1673 and 1677, the VOC exported 1,839 slaves from the Madurai coast alone. A fifth boom occurred in 1688, caused by a combination of poor harvests and the Mughal advance into the Karnatak. Reportedly thousands of people from Tanjavur, mostly girls and little boys, were sold into slavery and exported by Asian traders from Nagapattinam to Aceh, Johor, and other slave markets’.

In September 1687, 665 slaves were exported by the English from Fort St. George, Madras. The Dutch decision to participate was belated for the boom ended as abruptly as it had started as a result of the abundant rice harvest in early 1689. Finally, in 169496, when warfare once more ravaged South India, a total of 3,859 slaves were imported from Coromandel by private individuals into Ceylon.`

Vink goes on to elaborate that ‘after 1660 relatively more slaves came from the second circuit or sub-region, Southeast Asia. Warfare and endemic raiding expeditions provided a steady supply of slaves from the region`s stateless societies and microstates, especially after the collapse of the powerful sultanate of Makassar (Goa) in Southwest Sulawesi (1667/1669). The slave trade network in the archipelago revolved around the dual axis of Makassar and Bali. Makassar was the main transit port for slaves from Borneo (Kalimantan), Sulawesi, Buton (Butung), and the northeastern islands, as well as the eastern Tenggara islands (Lombok, Sumbawa, Bima, Manggarai, and Solor). The kingdoms of Bali were not only independent slave exporters, but also re-exported slaves from eastern Indonesia as far as New Guinea (Irian Jaya). Of almost 10,000 Indonesian slaves brought to Batavia by Asian vessels between 1653 and 1682, 41.66% (4,086) came from South Sulawesi, 23.98% (2,352) from Bali, 12.07% (1,184) from Buton, 6.92% (679) from the Tenggara islands, and 6.79% (646) from Maluku (Ambon and Banda).`

This post shows just the surface of the complexity of roots that exist behind those who were labelled Cape Malays in the Cape Colony, a term that has been accepted by some and rejected by others. Both Christian Coloured people and Muslim Coloured people have these roots that were dubbed ‘Cape Malay`, but which have a very strong Indian Hindu background as well as roots amongst islanders practicing animist beliefs and even Catholic converts of the Portuguese. Conversion to Islam largely took place in Cape Town when Muslim rebellious nobles, political and religious leaders captured in the East were exiled to the Cape. They had a profound and positive influence on the enslaved and offered social coherence and comfort in dire circumstances. The ‘Cape Malay` construct is here to stay but we should ensure that the historical distortions are cleared up so that all Coloured people may celebrate the hidden layers of cultures that are part of who we were and are. The Indian and multifaceted Indonesian Archipelago roots can be celebrated by us all and should not be allowed to be ghettoised .


Why they signed on for the VOC 1)

Reading the Journael of the Ongeluckige Voyagie van ‘t Jacht de Sperwer (the unhappy voyage of the jaght the Sperwer) makes one wonder what made people throw themselves in an adventure like this. One may consider the shipwrecking of the Sperwer and the involuntary stay of the surviving crew as a company accident, but who enlisted as a sailor on a VOC ship, should have known that one exposed himself at a considerable risk.

Though the Heeren XVII did everything in their power to make these risks as small as possible. And not totally without success. The health conditions of the crew for instance became little by little better. Around the middle of the seventeenth century contagious diseases like cholera, didn’t occur more on board of the ships than in contemporary Amsterdam.

From the records which have been kept, we know that he, who survived the first journey, made statistically a good chance to keep up for years. According to present standards these ships would have been hardly called seaworthy. Nevertheless it appeared from the ‘daghregisters‘ (daily records) in which the departures and arrivals of the ships were written down, that from the so-called return ships on route to the Indies in two centuries only two percent perished. From the ships on their way home only four percent didn’t return. So it is well possible that the perspective of being separated for a long time from family and acquaintances was a bigger drawback for signing on then the fear of possible dangers. But maybe was the desire for adventure sometimes bigger than the family ties. According to Arthur van Schendel the scent of pepper and nutmeg, which floated around the warehouses of the VOC, turned into many a young man’s head, and they let themselves seduce by the exiting stories which old seamen told, while sitting on their “lie benches”. This might have played a role. But the most important reason to take service with the VOC, will have been poverty.

A research done by the Department of Agricultural History of the former Agricultural Academy of Wageningen, shows that in the period, which is called in the History books of the Netherlands: the Golden Age, many civilians suffered from hunger. And for these people a VOC-contract meant a living. In the 17th century the social lower classes in Holland were better fed then in the rest of Europe, but hunger amongst them was not a rare occurrence.

 In 1653,

 the year in which the unhappy voyage of the Sperwer took place, many failed grain harvests in the East-Sea countries and war violence on the North-Sea (first English War) led in many cities of the Republic to severe shortage of food. J.A. Faber, Death and Famine in Pre-Industrial Netherlands (1980).

It appeared that when life circumstances of the lower class improved little by little, less and less Hollanders seemed to be willing to sign in as a sailor at the VOC. In the beginning of the 18th century only the officers on most VOC-ships were still Hollanders. The rest of the crew members were Scottish, Scandinavian or other immigrant workers. And already in the 17th century conjunctural fluctuations caused problems with getting people to sign on. Sometimes the shipbuilding industry of the VOC competed with the shipping industry. When many ships had to be built, there was much employment and this created a lack of sailors.

Then some coercion had to be practiced. Everywhere recruiters were active. With fine words and empty promises they appeased the doubters and irresolutes. A contract was signed easily. Illiterate, and those were the most, could suffice with putting a cross. How much would be known to them of the contents of the contract? Who signed once, stayed usually loyal to the VOC. Who was strong and didn’t drown, because the sea demanded its toll as well, completed his tour of duty and signed on for the next period. Because it was not easy to find a job ashore, and who had been at sea for a long time could not thrive well as a landlubber.

Few happy ones made a career, and became eventually a skipper. Ex-captains of the VOC sometimes had beautiful dwellings build in their place of birth. They had made it, but the rest just remained a motley crew.

How a jaght was designed.

In the course of the 16th century the appearance of the newly build ships changed somewhat. It became fashionable to build a new-built ship as a Spiegelschip (a ship with a straight stern, a transom). The types themselves didn’t change though, and it was quite possible to see two ships that were of the same type, but nonetheless were different, since only the newer ship would have a transom  

By the end of the 16th century smaller, fast, but usually completely rigged, transomships, whatever their type, are indicated by the merchant navy with the word “jaght” (yacht, which is derived from the Dutch word: jacht, it means hunt, hunter, but also speed and in the latter meaning it was used for the ship).


Well-known jaghts are the Duyfken, which partook in a voyage to the Indies under the command of Cornelis Houtman in 1595, the Halve Maen, which Hudson sailed to North America in 1609, and the Sperwer, its voyage being described before, ending in a shipwreck on the coast of Quelpaert in 1653. Since the Sperwer was launched in Amsterdam in 1648, which was the year of the Munster peace treaty, when it shipwrecked, it was only five years old.

By its build the Sperwer should be considered a “Vlieboot” (also called a vliet, a boat that could be sailed through the “Vlie“, i.e.. to open sea). The size of such seaworthy jaghts was between the 15 and 80 last (A last is a: A measure of volume for ships; and b: A measure of cargo/deadweight capacity; a last is 2000 kg), at a maximum length of 135 voet (A voet is a measure of length; a Rijnlandse voet is about 30 cm) and a width of 25 voet. The water replacement was around the 540 tons.

The rigging consisted of three masts; a square rigged jibmast (or mast with a foresail), a big mast, a mizzen with a gallant, a topsail and a Latin sail. Jaghts were designed for the transportation of artillery. 

Jaght” was not an absolute type indication but a relative one. A jaght was built more for speed, where other ships of the same type would be built more for transport. A jaght would therefore have had smaller hold, and less guns. It would still have been armed, though: The jaght the Sperwer had 30 pieces on board, which actually made it for a jaght rather heavily armed.

That “jaght” is not the name of a fixed type is demonstrated by the fact that sometimes the smallest type of warship was called “jaght” as well, though it was more commonly indicated as “pinnace“. Usually, however, the name was limited to the types directly below the warships in size.

Apparently sometimes even the transom was not considered a requirement. At least, this is apparently the only way to explain the occasional mix-ups with the transom-less Flutes [a a narrow type of ship also called a flyship], such as the following one:


  Journael van ‘t geene de overgebleven officierin ende Matroosen van ‘t Jacht de Sperwer ‘t zedert den 16en Augustus A° 1653: dat ‘tselve Jacht aan ‘t quelpaerts eijland (staande onder den Coninck van Coree) hebben verlooren, tot den 14en September A° 1666 dat met haar 8en onvlught, ende tot Nangasackij in Japan aangecomen Zijn, Int selve Rijk van Coree is wedervaeren, mitsgaders den ommeganck van die natie ende gelegentheijt van ‘t land 
  Journal of what happened to the remaining officer(s) and sailors of the jaght the Sperwer, since August 1653. They lost the same ship off the island of Quelpaert (reigned by the King of Coree). Until September 14, 1666, when eight of them have fled and arrived at Nagasaki in Japan. What had happened to them in the same kingdom of Coree, the manners of the country and the circumstances of the country

Then follows, in a third handwriting, the actual Journael. Whether this is the handwriting of Hendrick Hamel or of a clerk, who copied the Journael in Batavia, cannot be retrieved anymore. Hamel starts his Journael as follows:

original manuscript.jpg (117635 bytes)

Naer dat wij bij d’Ed=e. Hr. gouverneur en d’E. H=ren raden van India naer Taijoan waren gedestineert, soo sijn op den 18en Junij 1553 met bovengenoemde Iacht vande rheede van Batavia ‘tzeijl gegaen, op hebbende d’E. Hr. Cornelis Caesar om’t gouvernement van Taijoan, Formosa , met den aencleven van dien te becleden, tot vervangh van d’E

After that we by the honorable Mr. governor-general and the honorable Mr. Councils of the Indies were destined for Tayoan, so did we go under sail on June 18, 1553 on the above mentioned jaght, from the roadstead of Batavia. On board were also honorable Mr. Cornelis Caesar, to take over the government of Tayoan, to hold this office, to replace the honorable.

B. The text editions of the Journael

/ Van de ongeluckighe Voyagie / van ‘t Jacht de Sperwer/ van Batavia ghedestineert na Tayowan/ in ‘t / Jaer 1653. en van daer op Japan; hoe ‘t selve Jacht door storm op het / Quelpaerts Eylandt is gestrant/ ende van 64. personen/ maer 36. / behouden aen het voornoemde Eylant by de Wilden zijn gelant: / Hoe de selve Maets door de Wilden daer van daen naer het / Coninckrijck Coeree zijn vervoert/ by haer genaemt Tyos/cen-koeck; Alwaer sy 13 Jaren en 28 dagen in slaver-/nye onder de Wilden hebben gezworven/ zijnde in die / tijt tot op 16, NA aldaer gestorven/ waer van 8 Per-/sonen in ‘t Jaer 1666, met een kleyn Vaertuych / zijn ontkomen/ latende daer noch 8. Maets /sitten/ende zijn in ‘t Jaer 1668. in het / Vaderlandt gearriveert. / Alles beschreven door de Boeckhouder van ‘t voornoemde / Jacht de Sperwer/ genaemt / HENDRICK HAMEL van Gorcum. / [Schip in woodcut] / Tot Amsterdam/ gedruckt by JACOB VAN VELSEN / in de Kalverstraet/ / aen de Ossesluys/Anno 1668.

8 sheets, sign. A2-A5, 4o alternating Gothic en Roman letter types. On the reverse side of the title on top the Namen van de acht Maets die van ‘t Eylandt Coeree af gekomen zijn. (names of the eight mates coming from the island Coeree) and the “Namen van de acht Maets die daer noch zijn.  (Names of the eight mates who are still there)

JOURNAEL, / Van de ongeluckighe Voyagie / van ‘t Jacht de Sperwer/ van Batavia ghedestineert NA Tayowan/ in ‘t / Jaer 1653. En van daer op Japan; hoe ‘t selve Jacht door storm op het / Quelpaerts Eylandt is gestrant/ ende van 64. personen/ maer 36. / behouden aen het voornoemde Eylant by deWilden zijn gelant: / Hoe de selve Maets door de Wilden daer van daen naer het / Coninckrijck Coeree zijn vervoert/ by haer genaemt Tyo-/cen-koeck; Alwaer zy 13 Jaren en 28 dagen in slaver-/nye onder de Wilden hebben gezworven/ zijnde in die / tijt tot op 16. NA aldaer gestorven / waer van 8 Per-/sonen in ‘t Jaer 1666. met een kleyn Vaertuych / zijn ontkomen/ latende daer noch 8. Maets / sitten/en de zijn in ‘t Jaer 1668 in het / Vaderlandt gearriveert. / Alles beschreven door de Boeckhouder van ‘t voornoemde / Jacht de Sperwer/ genaemt / HENDRICK HAMEL van Gorcum./[Schip in houtsn.] / Tot Amsterdam/ Gedruckt by JACOB VAN [VELSEN / in de Kalverstraet/] / aende Ossesluys/An[no 1668.]

8 sheets, sign. A2-A5, 4o alternating Gothic en Roman letter types. On the reverse side of the title on top the “Namen van de acht Maets die van ‘t Eylandt Coeree AF gekomen zijn.” (Names of the eight mates coming from the island Coeree) and the “Namen van de acht Maets die daer noch zijn.” (Names of the eight mates who are still there)

JOURNAEL, / Van de Ongeluckige Voyagie van ‘t Jacht de Sperwer/ van / Batavia gedestineert NA Tayowan/ in ‘t Jaar 1653

. En van daar op Japan; hoe ‘t selve / Jacht door storm op ‘t Quelpaarts Eylant is ghestrant/ ende van 64. personen / maar 36. / behouden aan ‘t voornoemde Eylant by de Wilden zijn gelant: Hoe de selve Maats door / de Wilden daar van daan naar ‘t Coninckrijck Coeree sijn vervoert/ by haar ghenaamt / Tyocen-koeck; Alwaar zy 13. Jaar en 28. daghen/ in slavernije onder de Wilden hebben / gesworven/ zijnde in die tijt tot op 16, NA aldaar gestorven/ waer van 8. Persoonen in / ‘t Jaar 1666. Met een kleen Vaartuych zijn ontkomen/ latende daar noch acht / Maats sitten/ ende zijn in ‘t Jaar 1668. In ‘t Vaderlandt gearriveert. / Als mede een pertinente Beschrijvinge der Landen/ Provin-/tien/ Steden ende Forten/ leggende in ‘t Coninghrijck Coeree: Hare Rechten/ Justitien / Ordonnantien/ ende Koninglijcke Regeeringe: Alles beschreven door de Boeck-/houder van ‘t voornoemde Jacht de Sperwer/ Ghenaamt / HENDRICK HAMEL van Gorcum. / Verciert met verscheyde figueren. / [houtsnede: de schipbreuk van de Sperwer] / Tot Rotterdam, / Gedruckt by JOHANNES STICHTER / Boeck-drucker: Op de Hoeck / van de Voghele-sangh/ inde Druckery/1668. 
16 sheets, 20 + 12 pages, sign. A – D, 4o Gothic letter type. On the reverse side the name lists (titles and spellings peculiarities as in the last edition-van Velsen ). The journal fills page. 3-20. In the text 7 rather rude woodcuts, which are used on this webiste as well: presenting the capture (page. 5) penal exercise (page. 8), crossing in four Korean ships (page. 9), in front of the King (page. 11), forced labor (page. 13), flight in a ship (page. 18), arrival at the Dutch fleet in Japan (page. 20). After the  Journael a new title: Beschryvinge / Van ‘t Koninghrijck / Coeree, / Met alle hare Rechten, Ordon-/nantien, ende Maximen, soo inde Politie, als / inde Melitie, als vooren verhaelt, / [Ornament woodcut] / Anno M.DC.LXVII J.

‘t Oprechte JOURNAEL, / Van de ongeluckige Reyse van ‘t Jacht de / Sperwer, / Varende van Batavia NA Tyoman NA Fer-/ mosa/ in ‘t Jaer 1653. En van daer NA Japan/ daer / Schipper op was REYNIER EGBERTSZ . van Amsterdam. / Beschrijvende hoe het Jacht door storm en onweer op Quelpaerts Ey-/lant vergaen is/ op
hebbende 64. Man/ daer van 36. aen Lant zijn geraeckt/ en gevan-/gen genomen van den Gouverneur van ‘t Eylant/ die haer als Slaven NA den Coninck / van Coree dede voeren/ alwaer sy 13. Jaren en 28. dagen hebben in Slaverny moeten blij-/ven/ waren in die tijdt tot op 16. nae gestorven: Daer van acht persoonen in ‘t Jaer 1666. / Met een kleyn Vaertuygh zijn ‘t ontkomen/ achterlatende noch acht van haer Maets: / En hoe sy in ‘t Vaderlandt zijn aen gekomen Anno 1668. In de Maent July. / [Schip in houtsnede] / t’ Amsterdam, Gedruckt / By GILLIS JOOSTEN SAAGMAN, in de Nieuwe-straet/ / Ordinaris Drucker van de Zee-Journalen en Landt-Reysen.

20 sheets, 40 numbered pages, sign. A – E, 4o Gothic typeface, 2 columns. On the reverse side of the front is a big woodcutde Faam,” printed by van Sichem, which has been printed in several older Journael editions of Saagman as well. The name on the globe has been replaced with the word d’Atlas. Under the picture is a rhyme of six lines:
Ghy die begeerigh zijt yets Nieuws en vreemts te lesen,
(You, who are desirous to read something new and strange)
Kond’ hier op u gemack, en in u Huys wel wesen,
(Can here, at ease and being well in your house)
En sien wat perijckelen dees Maets zijn over g’komen,
(And see what perils these mates had occurred)
Haer Schip dat blijft door storm, gevangen zijns’ genomen,
(Their ship that stayed, by storm, taken prison)
In een woest Heydens landt; in ‘t kort men u beschrijft
(In a wild heathen country; in short being described to you)
Den handel van het volck, d’Negotie die men drijft.
(The conduct of the people and the trade one does)
Hier nae een Beter.
(Hereafter a better one.)

On Page 3 starts “de Korte Beschrijvinghe van de Reyse.” In some lines the departure from Texel (10 Jan.1653) and the arrival  in Batavia (2nd of June) is told, and after that, like in the manuscript and in other editions, the departure from Batavia and the rest of the journey. In the edition are only slight differences with the manuscript and the other editions. The description of Korea is here, like in the manuscript, in the middle of the Journal. In the margins are dates and short summaries placed and on page 30-31 in the enumeration of the animals, a short description is added, with two big pictures of elephants found in Asia and the crocodiles or caimans of which “in this country” many can be found. A marginal comment indicates that this is a “note to fill these two pages” (Nota tot vervullinghe van dese twee pagiens). The Journal doesn’t end, as with the other printers, with the arrival in Japan, but gives, like the manuscript, in some lines note of the stay there, the interrogation before the departure (without the text itself) of the trip to Batavia, as addition the presentation of the Journal to “Den Generael” and the arrival in Amsterdam on July 20, 1668. Both the name lists follow. In the text 6 prints and 5 engravings and a woodcut from the storage of Saagman: On page 4: a ship wreckage, used before in the journey of the Bontekoe; on page 7: a crowd of armed people a carriage with two horses, and two camels on their way to a reinforcement; on page 13: prisoners in front of an oriental monarch; on page 22Straffe der Hoereerders” (punishment of the whore-hoppers from the 2nd journey of Van Neck; in the filler on page 30 a woodcut of a big elephant, already used by Saagman in his edition of Van Linschoten’s Itinerario, and on page 31 a big engraving, depicting a landscape with crocodiles and casuarisses. Copies are the Royal Library in the Hague and in the Koch in Rotterdam.

JOURNAEL / Van de ongeluckige Reyse ‘t Jacht de / Sperwer, / Varende van Batavia NA Tyowan en Fer-/mosa/ in ‘t Jaer 1653. En van daer NA Japan/ daer /Schipper op was REYNIER EGBERTSZ. van Amsterdam. / Beschrijvende hoe het Jacht door storm en onweer ver:/gaen is/ veele Menschen verdroncken en gevangen sijn: Mitsgaders / wat haer in 16. Jaren tijdt wedervaren is/ en eyndelijck hoe / noch eenighe van haer in ‘t Vaderlandt zijn aen geko-/ men Anno 1668. In de Maendt July. / [woodcut with 2 ships] / t’ Amsterdam, Gedruckt / By GILLIS JOOSTEN SAAGMAN, in de Nieuwe-straet/,/ Ordinaris Drucker van de Zee-Journalen en LandtReysen.

20 sheets, 40 numbered pages, sign. A-E, 4o Gothic typeface, 2 columns. On the reverse side the Faam with the poem as in “‘t Oprechte Journael.” Also the text is similar except some spelling differences, literally the same. On page 7 is another engraving: a fort on the waterside and the filler on page 30/31 is changed. The big crocodile print is replaced by a smaller print of a “krackedil”, the marginal notes which indicated the filler as such, disappeared, and from the elephants is said that they are “hier”(here). Both descriptions have been made bigger to fill the space. A copy is in the collection Mensing in Amsterdam.

JOURNAEL, / Van de ongeluckige Reyse van ‘t Jacht de / Sperwer, / Varende van Batavia NA Tyowan en Fer-/mosa/ in ‘t Jaer 1653. En van daer NA Japan/ daer / Schipper op was REYNIER EGBERTSZ. Van Amsterdam. / Beschrijvende hoe ‘t Jacht door storm en onweer op Quelpaerts Eylant / vergaen is/ op hebbende 64 man/ daer van 36 aen landt zijn geraeckt/ en gevangen ghe:/nomen van den Gouverneur van ‘t Eylandt/ die haer als Slaven NA den Koningh van / Coree dede voeren/ alwaer sy 13 Jaren en 28 daghen hebben in slaverny moeten blijven; / waren in die tijdt tot op 16 NA gestorven: daer van 8 persoonen in ‘t 1666. met een kleyn / Vaertuygh ‘t ontkomen zijn/ achterlatende noch 8 van haer Maets: En hoe sy in ‘t/ Vaderlandt zijn aen-gekomen/ Anno 1668. In de Maent Julij. / [Ship with woodcut.] / t’ Amsterdam, / By GILLIS JOOSTEN ZAAGMAN, in de Nieuwe-straet / Ordinaris Drucker van de Zee-Journalen en Landt- Reysen

20 sheets, 40 numbered pages, sign. AE 4o Gothic letter type 2 columns. On the reverse side the Faam with the poem as in the other two editions Zaagman. Also the text is page by page similar. On page 7 the fort on the waterside; on page 22 the print is disappeared; on page 23, where the worship of the idols is mentioned, a big engraved portrayal is added, borrowed from Van Linschoten en Houtman (see Werken Linsch.-vereniging, VII, page 124); the whole page filling with both the prints (elephant and crocodiles) on page 30/31 has been removed; in it’s place on page 30/32 (4 columns) a “beschrijvinghe van des Konings Gastmael” (description of the kings host-meal) from the”Javaense Reyse gedaen van Batavia over Samarangh NA de Konincklijcke Hoofd-plaets Mataram, in den jare 1656“(Javanese journey done from Batavia via Samarang to the capital Mataram, in the year 1656) printed in Dordrecht in 1666, is added. The host meal “van den Sousouhounan, Grootmachtighste Koninck van ‘t Eyland Java” (of the Susuhan, great mighty king of the isle of Java) is without any clue, transferred to Korea. This copy was in Hoetinks time still in the Prussian State Library (Kgl. Bibliothek) in Berlin.

4. MINUTOLI (1670), ‘Relation du noufrage d’un vaiseau hollandois sur la Coste de l”Isle de Quelparts. Avec la Description de Royaume de Corée’.
Traduit de Flamande, par Monsieur Minutoli. A Paris, chez Thomas Jolly, au Palis, dans la Salle des Merciers, au coin de la Gallerie des prissonniers,   la Palme & aux Armes d’Hollande.

5. MICHAEL UND JOH. FRIEDRICH ENDTERS (1672), ‘Journal, oder Tagregister. Darinnen Alles Dasjenige was sich mit einem Holländischen Schiff das von Batavien aus nach Tayowan, und von dannen ferner nach Japan, reisfertig durch Sturm im 1653 Jahre gestranded, und mit dem Volk darauf so das Knigreich Corea gebracht worden nach begeben ordentlich beschrieben und erzehlt wird: von Heinrich Hamel von Gorkum, damaligem Buchhalter auf denjenigen Schiff SPERBER genannt’, aus dem Niederladischen verteutschet.
Mit. Rom. Kays. Majest. Freyheit. Nurnberg. In Verlegung Michael un Joh. Endters, im Jahre M.DC.LXXII

The daily record of Batavia tell us that December 11, 1667, ‘

Hendrick Hamel, gewesen boeckhouder (*) van het jagt de Sperwer, nevens nog seven 7 personen van gemelte jagt, den 28e November jongsteden met de FLUYT de Spreeuw is aengecomen‘. (Hendrick Hamel, former bookkeeper of the jaght the Sperwer , beside 7 other person of the mentioned jaght, did arrive on last November 28 with the FLUTE the Spreeuw). But in the Hollantsche Mercurius, XIX, 1668, page 113, it is written that ” ‘t JACHT de Spreeuw 20 Julij 1668 in Tessel wel gearriveert” (the jaght de Spreeuw had well arrived). 

The flute itself was derived from the “Vlieboot“, but it was shaped longer, which may account for its name. The first flute was built in 1595 by Pieter Jansz. Liorne. Though Flutes did not have transoms, they were nevertheless built in two styles. Flutes sailing to England or sailing South had an ordinarily shaped deck. However, since Danish taxes were calculated in relation to the size of the deck, flutes sailing North or East were built with a relatively small deck and a bulky trunk, to lower the costs of visiting Norway or passing through the Sont.

It has been established, however, that at least the Sperwer was indeed a jaght. Like any ship in the service of the VOC, jaghts were primarily meant for the transport of merchandise. Furthermore, since they were fast ships, they were used to transport persons and messages, and occasionally ammunition.

The bigger part of the trunk was taken by holds for the cargo. This left little room for the crew, who were accommodated rather tightly. Most of the crew was quartered on the tween deck, an area where one could hardly stand up straight. Here the mates slept and used their meals. There were no beds, inner walls or closets; their personal possessions were kept in chests. In the bow were some primitive toilets, however, in heavy weather when the bow plunged into the waves these sanitary provisions could not be used.


The officers were accommodated slightly more comfortably. They slept in cabins near the stern of the ship. However, most officers had to share a cabin, sleeping in bunks or hammocks, and sharing a common room next to the
galley. The bookkeeper had his own office with a writing desk, where writing was done standing up, and a closet for the ship papers and the money chest, of which chest both bookkeeper and skipper had a key.

The most beautiful cabin on the ship was the cabin for the skipper. This was located on deck at the rear of the ship. It had windows to the front as well as windows that looked out through the transom, to let in as much light as possible. The aft windows also gave the captain the only clear view aft on the whole ship, except for guard in the crow’s nest, and it must have been through those aft windows that skipper Reijnier Egberse of the jaght the Sperwer saw, by coincidence, on August 1, 1653, the island the jaght had drifted precariously close to.

Food and drinks aboard were plainly bad, at least for the common sailors. They ate porridge or grit and prunes cooked in butter in the morning, yellow peas or beans with salted meat, stock fish or bacon covered with a butter sauce or just bread in the afternoon for lunch. Often dinner was was just a concoction of the leftovers. Additionally they received per week half a pound of butter and five pounds of bread or ship’s biscuits. They ate in groups of seven from one bowl or plate. Daily they received a mutsje [=1.5 deciliter] of wine or jenever, and a liter of beer. After about five weeks the beer would go bad and they had to drink water which on it’s turn turned undrinkable very soon as well because of the tropical heat. Sometimes they stirred the water with a hot iron rod to try to kill the vermin, but in order not to eat the worms, bugs or insects, they had to drink the water with their teeth closed.

The officers on the other hand, received daily fresh meat and vegetables. There was life-stock aboard and aft there was a small vegetable garden with herbs and other greens. They ate with pewter tableware in the cabin of the skipper.

The Lords XVII were strict in their orders about the hygiene aboard. The holds had to be aired on a regular base. It had to be fumigated with gunpowder and juniper berries and afterwards sprinkled with vinegar. The bunk linens had to be aired regularly on deck and between decks had to be cleaned with the fire-hose. The rotten keel water under in the ship, the bad hygiene and the fact that people sometimes took a crap anywhere (although heavily fined), was a breeding ground for diseases. Not to forget the fact that people didn’t wash themselves.

The one-sided food and the hygiene were a cause for many diseases. There was a lack of vitamins and scurvy and beriberi were common. The gums rotted and the legs got swollen, often the patient just died, since the barber was most of the times not a good doctor. When the Cape of Good Hope was opened as a refreshing station and also when ships took pots with fresh herbs along, scurvy was not the most important cause of dead and desease anymore, but other diseases like dysentery, spotted fever and typhoid fever were still rampant. Malaria was common in Asia as well.

Irregularities were severely punished. Blasphemy, inebriety and spilling food overboard, were fined, fighting, using dice or making them and gambling in general were usually punished with solitary confinement, flogging and when someone had been fighting, his hand was pinned to the mast with his own knife and he had to figure out how to free himself. Keelhauling was the punishement for insulting an officer. Mutiny and sodomy were considered fit for capital punishment. The culprits were just thrown overboard or hung from the yard. Murder was just punished if there happened to be a witness. There was a system with which there were three kinds of councils responsible for the discipline. The council of naval officers the so-called broad council and the militairy council for the soldiers aboard. Above all this stood the skipper or captain who had a final word in the verdict and could overrule the councils.

In the light of this information one should also read the Journael of Hamel. One should not only look at what he wrote, but also what he didn’t write.

Outside the territorial waters of the Republic, the skipper represented both the Company and the country of which his ship hoisted the flag. That’s why his cabin had a representative function and was furnished distinguishably. The skipper sometimes received highly placed guests over here. Important functionaries of the VOC, who sailed as passengers, used, with their family, this cabin as a day room. That’s why it was relatively spacey. On most of the jaghts there were two big cabinets, in which glassware, crockery and cutlery was stored. In the other the sea charts were stored. These were in brass cases. There was also a list, on which all the charts were mentioned, which was signed by the skipper. Because the skipper paid deposit for the charts, which was refunded when he handed back the undamaged charts after the journey.

Example of a hand-drawn chart like they were used in the 17th century on board of the VOC-ships.
Initially all these charts were made in Amsterdam. Later there was a map manufactory in Batavia. The charts were drawn by hand. They had only the coastlines with all the bays, coves and shoals. Again some time later the professional cartographers also published charts.. Of course these were printed.

They were beautifully decorated with mythological characters, like the sea god Neptune, depictions of existing or legendary animals and of ships. On board there were a limited number of navigational instruments, amongst which a compass, the cross staff, the back staff, and the mariners astrolabe. They formed the set of instruments that 17th century Dutch mariners used to measure altitude of objects and calculate latitude. The longitude could be determined with a clock, based on the determined latitude. The first marine clock however, did not appear until 1735, invented by John Harrison and it was 40 years later that Harrison developed a clock that won the prize from the English Board of Longitude. Marine chronometers were exceedingly rare aboard ships until well into the 19th century. Oceanic sailors used dead reckoning and empirical measures to determine longitude. Dead reckoning was a deductive way of reckoning; estimating location and speed using a variety of different methods including wind, waves, bird sightings, and current. Dutch ships of the 17th century did not carry sextants, which were not invented until about 1760. Even then, it was not practical until mechanical dividing machines were developed about 1775. The octant was more commonly used, with the sextant coming into greater use in the 19th century.

 The octant came into being in the early 18th century (1730s) 1). 

In the 10th century, Abd al-Rahmân b. Umar al-Sufî(d. 986-7) wrote 386 chapters, describing 1000 uses for the astrolabe, including finding latitude. Chaucer wrote the first English technical manual (1391?) on the astrolabe with similar procedures for solar sightings. Altitude readings could be taken with any available instrument and then applied to an astrolabe to use it as an analog calculator rather than a sighting instrument.

The cross-staff in use was a simple device that worked reasonably well for measuring the angle of the sun above the horizon at noon. It was fitted with one movable vane (transversally) that, with the end of the staff placed at the eye of the observer, was positioned so that it appeared to touch both the horizon and the sun. The angle was then read from a scale on the staff.

The mariner’s astrolabe in common use by the Dutch seamen at the time was a wheel-shaped, cast-brass instrument of perhaps 17 to 20 centimeter in diameter with a thumb ring at the top. The ring mount was designed to allow the instrument to hang vertically plumb and to provide for precise rotational control by the user. The disk was divided into four quadrants, two or more of which had scales divided into 90 degrees each. The astrolabe had a rotating sighting arm (alhidada), mounted through the center. Though the astrolabe offered a reliable and accurate method of measuring altitude, the mariner’s ability to read the degree scales along the rim was a limiting factor on the precision of the observation. Since each degree division for a 17 cm diameter instrument was only about one centimeter, the mariner could read the angle only to the nearest half degree. As with the quadrant, the mariner’s ability to make an astrolabe sighting at sea could be completely frustrated by movement of the ship. 

A barometer was neither on board, this instrument was only invented in 1643 by the Italian Toricelli.

 It didn’t belong to the standard equipment of the VOC-ships in the 17th century. A thermometer was missing as well. Celsius made his scale division only in the year 1742. Because these instruments were missing, a hurricane announced itself often, for crew and skipper alike, totally unexpected

 A trip to the Indies of a return convoy

jaghts like the Sperwer made their journey from Holland or Zeeland to the East-Indies only once in their existence.

They stayed there subsequently to maintain the connection between the several factories.

The connection with the mother country was done by the so-called return-ships. These were much bigger than the jaghts, sometimes twice as big. During a trip to and from the East-Indies, they sailed always in convoy. Such a convoy was called a return-fleet.
Most return-fleets had Amsterdam as their home port. The ships from Amsterdam sailed out of the IJ via the Zuiderzee to the roadstead of Texel. There they waited for the ships from Hoorn and Enkhuizen. Then the convoy sailed southward till the mouth of the Meuse. Here the ships from Rotterdam and Delft/Delftshaven joined the convoy. From there they sailed further until the mouth of the Scheldt, where they waited for the ships from Middelburg. Only after all the ships had joined, the journey started.
One of the skippers, most of the time somebody from Amsterdam, was in command of the convoy. He was called the commander and his ship the flagship.



A critical phase was passing the Iberian peninsula. To limit the chance of meeting a Spanish or Portuguese convoy, a western course was followed via the Cape-Verdian Islands and the Azores Islands. Off these islands, on the African coast there was a Hollands factory called Goree (see part of the map from 1806, nowadays Dakar. Click on it to see the whole map). The convoy anchored here; fresh water, vegetables and fruits were taken in and messages exchanged. But nobody was allowed to leave the ship. Most of the times the convoy sailed on in 24 hours.

Usually the next place where the convoy anchored was the factory Elmina on the Ivory Coast (Jan Boonstra has been in Elmina and says it’s on the Goldcoast, nowadays Ghana). Thus some other factories were frequented and finally the convoy arrived after several months in Cape Town, where it stayed for at least one month. Everybody embarked and before they sailed on, the ships were cleaned thoroughly. There were almost always sick persons who had to stay behind. Sometimes there were so many sick persons that one of the ships had to stay behind as well.

Now the most dangerous part of the journey began: the crossing from Cape of Good Hope to the Island of Java, right across the Indian Ocean. It started already right east of Cape Town, in the area where the treacherous Cape storms raged (The Portuguese called the cape for a while Cape of Storms, but then the sailors didn’t want to go there anymore, so John II renamed it to Cape of Good Hope). When the convoy came into a hurricane, the skippers not rarely stayed on their post for days in a row.

While the mates worked in shifts and were regularly relieved, the skippers didn’t get out of their clothes. A myth had to be kept up. (Think of the myth of the flying Dutchman) If a skipper would hand over his task to his coxswain, the mates might conclude that he was just as well or maybe even better than the skipper. When the convoy had passed the area of the Cape storms, soon the island of Mauritius came into sight.

This island was conquered in 1598 by the Hollanders.

It was called Mauritius after the then Stadtholder Maurits of Nassau. The trip was interrupted for the last time over here. As much fresh water as possible was taken in and furthermore some fresh fruits and fresh vegetables. Damage caused by the storm was repaired over here. After that the journey continued. For several weeks after that, the persons on board didn’t see anything else than sky and water. Especially a lot of water. Sometimes towering waves. Like tiny nutshells the ships of the convoy floated on the immeasurable ocean. In the middle of the day it was often unbearably hot, the pitch ran out the splits. 

To protect themselves against the burning sun, pieces of sails were stretched horizontally over the deck. The mates walked half-naked, but the skipper stood completely dressed on the castle. He even kept on his hat. The decorum demanded that. 

At the end of the journey, there was often lack of certain foods. Cockroaches seemed to have eaten the beans and peas, worms were crawling in the flour and the drinking water started to smell. Though there was a regular hunt at rats, their numbers remained constant. The mates were also troubled by lice and fleas. On top of that they started to become bored, they longed to the end of the journey.

Everybody became overjoyed when the watch at the end of the journey of two months after Mauritius shouted: “Land a shore.”The commander and the other skipper skimmed the horizon with their binoculars. Had they sailed the right course? Or did the convoy go too much to the south and were they in front of the unknown Southland” terra australis?” The coast became clearer and clearer, the charts of street Sunda were taken out of their cases. On these was also a silhouette of the southwestern point of Java and of the south coast of Sumatra, as well as the small islands in-between. Finally the tension was broken. The convoy was in the entrance of Strait Sunda. Cheering went in the air. The mates received a drink. Carefully they sailed on. The first land birds were flying over the ship. On the horizon a dot appeared which became bigger and bigger. It appeared to be a VOC- jaght, which was on the outlook.

Some salute shots were exchanged, after which the jaght turned around and sailed to Batavia as fast as possible to report the arrival of the convoy.

The northwestern point of Java was rounded. They sailed that close to the coast that palm-trees could be seen with the bare eye. Some local ships appeared, fisherman boats and perahus. They passed Bantam. More ships could be seen. And there it was; the roadstead of Batavia. Again salute-shots were exchanged between the convoy and the batteries ashore. Some hours later the ships anchored. Relieved the bookkeeper of the flagship closed his Journael with the following words:

  Heden den 18en Maij, zijn Godtloff, behouden te Batavia gearriveerd, na weijnigh tegenspoet, de Tijger, de Witte Leeuw, de Constantia en de Hollantsche Tuyn uyt Amsterdam, ‘t Wapen van Hoorn en de Westfrysia uyt Hoorn, de Lelie en de Vryheijt uyt Enkhuizen, De Hollandia uyt Rotterdam, De Spreeuw uyt Delft en het Wapen van Middelburg uyt Zeeland..
  Today, May 18, safely arrived at Batavia , praise to the Lord, after little adversity, The Tijger , the Witte Leeuw , the Constantia and the Hollantsche Tuyn from Amsterdam, ‘t Wapen van Hoorn and the Westfrysia from Hoorn, the Lelie and the Vryheijt from Enkhuizen, the Hollandia from Rotterdam, the Spreeuw from Delft and the Wapen van Middelburg from Zeeland.

1) I want to thank William T. (Chip) Reynolds Captain of the Half Moon for some excellent remarks on this page especially about the instruments on board and some of the terminology. Also thanks to Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg who has sent email with corrections and additions. (Back to top)

Click on the image to learn more details about ship rigging and there you can also download the above uncompressed image (4,2Mb)

If you want to have an idea how the size of the sailors related to the size of the ship, follow this link (it also gives a good idea how small a boat like the Sperwer really was

Vink, 1657

The Vink sailed to Batavia with orders to search for survivors of the VOC ship Vergulde Draeck, which had hit a reef and sunk off the coast of Western Australia, about 100 kilometres north of present-day Perth, on 28 April 1656. After 75 survivors managed to struggle ashore, a crew of seven sailed to Batavia to raise the alarm. The Vink‘s rescue mission was unsuccessful.



Batavia 1656

Waeckende Boei and Emeloort, 1658

Joining the search for the Vergulde Draeck were the Waeckende Boei and Emeloort, commanded by Samuel Volkerson and Aucke Pietersz Jonck. They also failed to find any wreckage



A soldier of Amboina

The Macasser soldiers blow the poisons

The habit of Malayan and his Wife of Batavia

The Church of the cross of Batavia

The Fort of Ryswick

Hospital of  Batavia

Fish Market of Batavia

slaughter House Of Batavia





  • FrancoisValentijn (1666-1727): Batavia in ‘t Verschiet. Amsterdam 1726. Ca. 27 x 54cm. (private collection)
  • Arnoldus Montanus: Batavia (detail). From: Gedenkwaerdige Gesantschappen der Oost-Indische Maetschappy in’t Vereenigde Nederland, aen de Kaisaren van Japan [...] Getrokken uit de Geschriften en Reiseaentekeninge der zelver Gesanten, door Arnoldus Montanus, t’ Amsterdam, By Jacob Meurs [...] 1669. (private collection)
  • G. Leti: Waere affbeeldinge wegens het casteel ende stadt Batavia. Amsterdam 1681. Ca. 40 x 51 cm. (private collection)
    After Clement de Jonghe’s map on a smaller scale. Coastline comes to lie farer from the castle.
  • F. Halma: Batavia. Amsterdam 1705. 19 x 27 cm. Copied after Johannes Vingbooms.
  • Reinier & Josua Ottens: Afbeldinge van het casteel en de stadt Batavia [...]. Amsterdam 1740. Ca. 40 x 49 cm, copied after Clement de Jonghe’s map of 1650.
  • Reinier Ottens (1698-1750), Josua Ottens (1704-1765)
  • Academie. Die innere Anssicht des Castells in Batavia. Augsburg 1750. Ca. 29 x 40 cm, handcoloured.


  • G. B. Probst: Vue de L’Hotel de Batavie. Augsburg 1750. Ca. 27 x 40 cm. (private collection)
    Optical print.The headquarter (Raadhuis) of the VOC in the center is nowadays used as the Jakarta Museum. 


 Batavia, circa 1670


. Sejak masa kompeni empat abad lalu hukuman ini telah melayangkan banyak nyawa. Bahkan jauh sebelumnya, di masa masa kerajaan, hukuman mati telah dilaksanakan.

Tapi, siapa yang mulai dihukum mati pada zaman VOC? Yang jelas Gubernur Jenderal JP Coen pernah memancung seorang calon perwira muda VOC bernama Pieter Contenhoef di alun-alun Balai Kota (Stadhuis), kini Museum Sejarah Jakarta.

Pasalnya, pemuda berusia 17 tahun itu tertangkap basah saat ‘bermesraan’ dengan Sara, gadis berusia 13 tahun yang dititipkan di rumah Coen. Sara sendiri, didera dengan badan setengah telanjang di pintu masuk Balai Kota.

Sara adalah puteri Jacquees Speex dari hasil kumpul kebonya dengan wanita Jepang. Pada 29 Juli 1676 di tempat yang sama dilaksanakan hukuman terhadap empat orang pelaut karena membunuh orang Cina. Kemudian, hampir dalam waktu bersamaan enam budak belian dipatahkan tubuhnya dengan roda karena dituduh mencekik majikannya pada malam hari.

Pada masa kompeni hukuman bagi ‘penjahat’ memang berat. Pelaksanaan hukuman mati pada tiang gantungan, dengan pedang atau guillotine primitif, dilaksanakan di depan serambi Balai Kota pada hari-hari tertentu setiap bulan. Seorang mestizo, putra seorang ibu pribumi dan
ayah berkulit putih, digantung hanya karena mencuri. Sementara delapan pelaut dicap dengan lambang VOC yang panas dan membara, karena disersi dan pencurian.

Prajurit VOC wajib memiliki disiplin yang tinggi. Mereka yang melalaikan tugas tidak ampun lagi akan mendapatkan hukuman berat. Pernah dua tentara Belanda digantung karena selama dua malam meninggalkan pos mereka. Perzinaan, apalagi perbuatan serong, mendapat hukuman berat.
Ini dialami oleh seorang wanita Belanda, istri seorang guru, dikalungi besi dan kemudian ditahan dalam penjara wanita selama 12 tahun karena beberapa kali melakukan
.. .. ..
Kalau sekarang ini eksekusi dengan tembak sampai mati tidak akan dilakukan di muka umum, dulu saat guilletin masih berlaku, masyarakat diminta untuk mendatangi tempat eksekusi. Menyaksikan bagaimana kepala terpisah dari badan.

Untung Suropati lolos dari eksekusi karena dibantu oleh Suzanna, puteri majikannya yang menaruh hati pada budak dari Bali ini. Malah Untung berhasil membunuh Kapten Tack, ketika hendak menumpas pemberontakan yang dipimpinnya.

Prasasti Kapten Tack dapat kita saksikan di Museum Prasasti di Jl Tanah Abang I, Jakarta Pusat. Pieter Elberveld dan beberapa orang pengikutnya yang dituduh hendak melakukan
pemberontakan menjelang malam tahun baru 1722 juga dieksekusi secara kejam. Badannya dirobek jadi empat bagian kemudian dilempar keluar kota untuk santapan burung. Kita juga dapat menjumpai prasastinya di Museum Prasasti.

Diposkan dalam Nostalgia, Label Cap Go Meh, ciliwung, imlek pada Februari 16, 2009 | 2 Komentar »

Masyarakat Tionghoa memiliki hari raya cukup banyak. Setelah tahun baru Imlek dengan hidangan khas kue keranjang atawa kue cina, pada malam ke-15 ditutup dengan pesta Cap Go Meh. Masih ada hari raya Cengbeng di mana orang-orang membersihkan makam orangtuanya sebagai tanda bakti pada leluhur. Kemudian disusul dengan Pehcun (hari keseratus setelah Imlek). Pada hari itu [...]

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Diposkan dalam Bandar Jakarta, Label ciliwung, sunda kelapa pada Juli 2, 2008 | Tinggalkan sebuah Komentar »

Foto yang diabadikan oleh Woodbrog & Page pada tahun 1870 memperlihatkan masa kejayaan Kali Besar yang terletak di muara Sungai Ciliwung, bandar Sunda Kalapa. Pemandangan ini diambil dari dekat muara Ciliwung, Kali Besar di mana terdapat Hotel Omni Batavia — hotel berbintang lima yang dibangun akhir 1980-an untuk menarik para wisatawan mancanegara. Terlihat belasan kapal [...]

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Diposkan dalam Bandar Jakarta, Label ciliwung pada Mei 21, 2008 | 2 Komentar »

Pemandangan seperti terlihat dalam foto tahun 1940-an di tepi Sungai Ciliwung sudah tidak akan dijumpai lagi dewasa ini. Puluhan wanita tengah mencuci pakaian di tepi sungai Ciliwung di Molenvliet (kini Jl Hayam Wuruk dan Jl Gajah Mada), Jakarta Kota. Sampai 1950-an, Sungai Ciliwung, airnya masih cukup dalam dan jernih, sehingga digunakan untuk mandi, cuci, dan [...]

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Diposkan dalam Nostalgia, Label Kampung Makassar, voc pada Agustus 4, 2008 | 2 Komentar »

Akhir pekan lalu suasana mencekam terlihat di Kelurahan Pinangranti, Kecamatan Makassar, Jakarta Timur. Sedikitnya 400 personel gabungan polisi berjaga-jaga mengantisipasi terulangnya bentrok antar-kelompok warga. Yakni, antara mahasiswa Sekolah Tinggi Theologi Injili Arastamar dengan warga setempat. Kampung Makassar merupakan kampung tua di Jakarta, karena sejak tahun 1686 telah dijadikan pemukiman orang-orang Makassar. Menurut sejarawan Belanda, De [...]


Batavia 1681

het ommuurde oude Batavia (Benedenstad) in 1681 met het kasteel, inderdaad ligt het Noorden links


Vliegende Swaan, 1678

Captain Jan van der Wall mapped the north-west coast of New Holland in the Vliegende Swaan, from present-day Dampier to the Exmouth Gulf.


Batavia in 1682

Batavia 1683




The Roebuck


Voyage to New Holland

Too late to take his preferred route via Cape Horn, Dampier departed England on January 14th 1699 for the Cape of Good Hope. Trouble had surfaced even before they left at Deptford, however, centring on acrimony between Dampier and his first Lieutenant George Fisher RN. One of his biographers Clennell Wilkinson indicates that from the moment of departure they were apparently;

‘behaving equally as boors without a spark of dignity or self-respect… alternately drinking together, backbiting one another to their confidants, and breaking into personal abuse and even fisticuffs in presence of the crew’

An inevitable state of indiscipline ensued, and en route Fisher was caned by Dampier, clapped in irons and confined to his quarters. The crew were divided on the matter and, concerned at the possibility of mutiny, Dampier had Fisher sent ashore and imprisoned at Bahia in Brazil.

Having regained control of the ship, Dampier then rounded the Cape of Good Hope, first making his landfall on the Australian continent at the place he subsequently named Sharks Bay on the mid-west coast.

Dampier, Australia’s First Natural Historian

There he collected many plants, shells and other specimens, and in full and detailed descriptions of the plant and animal life encountered, he was the first Englishman to do so. In also describing the landscape and soils and in describing the land and marine animals, some in scientific terms that are still in use today, Dampier deservedly earned himself the title Alex George has afforded him—‘Australian’s first natural historian.’ Dampier is not known to have been an artist, however, and the charming drawings in his A Voyage to New Holland are attributed to an unknown member of his crew, a man Dampier himself describes in the preface to his work as a ‘Person skill’d in Drawing’.



Of some importance to this narrative is Dampier’s comment that at;

‘Sharks Bay’ [now Shark Bay], the shore ‘was lined thick with many sorts of very strange and beautiful Shells…I brought away a great many of them…’. He also comments that further north, in what is now known as the Dampier Archipelago, ‘… I gather’d a few strange Shells, chiefly a sort not large, and thick-set all about with Rays or Spikes growing in Rows’.

Coast Views

After calling in to Timor, Dampier sailed around the northern part of New Guinea, naming it Nova Britannia (New Britain). Dampier Strait was subsequently named after him. Concerned at the state of his ship, at the end of March 1700, Dampier abandoned his plan to sail south to explore the eastern Australian coast, leaving these explorations to Lt James Cook RN well over half a century later. His reasons for doing so are evident in the following quote and here also appears the seed of his coming misfortune;

‘In the Afternoon I sent my Boat ashore to the Island, to see what convenience there was to haul our Vessel ashore in order to be mended…but we could not land. .I design’d to have stay’d among these Islands till I had got my pinnace refitted; but having no more than one Man who had skill to work upon her, I saw she would be a long Time in repairing; (which was one great Reason why I could not prosecute my discoveries further:)…’

Intending to touch again at New Holland (the west coast) in 20° latitude, he found himself too far west and then headed off in search of the elusive ‘Tryal Rocks’ scene of the loss of the English East India Company ship Tryal in 1622, the first known European ship lost on the Australian coast. Being sick and unable to continue, Dampier then elected to head for the nearest port Batavia, on west Java.


This vibrant entrepot was the headquarters of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and the centre of a vast trading network with links to China, Japan, India and Europe generally. A vast array of goods, including ceramics passed through this centre. Again this is of particular significance to this narrative.

Arriving at the end of June, Dampier then set about the repair of his vessel and again the cause of his change of plans and the reasons for the imminent demise of his ailing vessel at the hands of what appears to be an inept ship’s carpenter emerge.

‘… I supplied the Carpenter with such Stores as were necessary for refitting the Ship; which prov’d more leaky after he had caulk’d Her then she was before: So that I was obliged to carreen her, for which purpose I hired Vessels to take our guns, Ballast, Provision and Stores.’

WA Passage

A French view of New Holland c.1750. Note ‘Dampier Passage’, showing how close Dampier got to his goal: the exploration of the east coast.

The Loss of the Roebuck

On 17th October 1700, they left Batavia, arriving back at the Cape of Good Hope (another VOC centre) at the end of December, and departed thence on 11th January. On 2nd February, they anchored at St Helena till the 13th and then proceeded to Ascension Island, which they sighted on 21st February 1701.


Dampier’s account of the ensuing events reads thus:

An account of the loss of His Majesty’s Ship Roebuck February 21st 1700/1.

At three aclock in the afternoon being in Sight of the Island Ascension, and not having Light enough to carry us into the Bay where design’d to anchor, …we stood to the Eastward, At half an hour after 8 in the night we sprung a Leake on the larboard bow about four Strakes from the Keele, which oblig’d us to keep our Chain pump constantly going, at twelve at night having a moderate gale, we bore away for the Island and be daylight were close in with it, at nine aclock in the morning anchored in the N.W. bay in ten fathom and half water, sandy ground about half a mile from the shoare, the S. point of the bay bore S.S.W. dist. one mile and a half and the northernmost point, N.E.1/2 N.dist. two mile……

 Aground Roebuck

John Alcott’s impression of HM Ship Roebuck at Shark Bay

Being come to anchor I ordered the Gunner to clear his Powder roome, that we might there search for the Leake, and endeavour to stop it within board if possible, for we could not heele the Ship so low, neither was there any convenient place to haul her ashoare….

I ordered the Carpenter’s Mate…with the Boatswain and some others to goe downe and search for the Leake, the Carpenter’s Mate and the Boatswain told me that they could not come at it unless they cut the Ceiling, which I bid them doe, which done they found the Leake against one of the foothook timbers, it was very large, and the water gushed in with great violence… after the cutt the timber… the leake so increased…

I ordered a bulkhead to be cutt open to give passage to the water, and withall ordered to cleare away abaft the bulkhead, that we might beale…But about 11 aclock at night the Boatswain came to me, told me… that the Plank was quite rotten, and that it was now impossible to save the Ship…I therefore hoysted out the boate, and next morning, being the 23rd, we weigh’d anchor and warped in nearer the shoare, but to little purpose till in the afternoon we had a Sea breeze by which we gott in within a Cable’s length of the Shoare, then made a Raft to carry men’s chests and bedding ashoare., and before Eight at night most of them were gott ashoare, She struck not before nine aclock at night, and so continued, I ordered some sailes to be cut from the yards to make us some tents, etc, and the next morning being the 24th myself and Officers went ashoare…

(Additional information and details of events significant to the loss of the ship appeared in Dampier’s published account entitled A Voyage to New Holland that appeared a few years later, in 1703:)

…In the Afternoon, with the help of a Sea-breeze, I ran into 7 Fathom, and anchored; Then carried a small Anchor ashore, and warp’d in till I came into 3 Fathom and a half. Where having fastnd her, I made a Raft….

On the 26th following, we, to our great Comfort, found a Spring of fresh water, about 8 Miles from our Tents, beyond a very high Mountain, which we must pass over: So that now we were, by God’s Providence, in a Condition of subsisting some Time; having Plenty of very good Turtle by our Tents….The next Day I went up to see the Watering-place…where we found a very fine Spring on the South-East-side of the high mountain, about half a Mile from its top:…About 2 Mile South-East from the Spring, we found 3 or 4 shrubby Trees, upon which was cut an Anchor and Cable, and the year 1642….

[on 3 April] …appear’d 4 Sail, which came to anchor in this Bay. They were his Majesty’s Ships, the Anglesey, Hastings and Lizard; and the Cantebury East-India Ship. I went on board the Anglesey with about 35 of my Men; and the rest were dispos’d of into the other Men of War.

We sail’d from Ascension, the 8th…

From: William Dampier’s unpublished account of the loss of the “Roebuck.” (Public Record Office, Admiralty 1/5262) Dated 29 September, 1701


Kaempfer, Engelbert, 1651-1716

The History of Japan, giving an account of the ancient and present state and government of that empire; … Together with a description of the Kingdom of Siam(London, 1727) [Facsimile edition, Kyoto, Koseikaku, 1929]

Kaempfer was the physician to the Dutch Embassy at the Japanese Emperor’s court. He travelled to the East in 1688, and spent 1688 and 1689 visiting India, Ceylon, and the East Indies.

 In 1690

 Kaempfer left Batavia as physician in the Embassy being sent by the Dutch East India Company to Japan. They sailed via Siam, thus enabling Kaempfer to give a description of that country. He stayed for two years in Japan, leaving in November 1692. He had been assiduous in observing and travelling as much as possible while in Japan, and his book is partly history, and partly an account of his own travels in “the last Eastern country”.

Kaempfer describes the post-houses, inns and food establishments a traveller would encounter in Japan. Even “take-aways” were available.

There are innumerable Inns, Cook-shops, Sacki, or Ale-houses, Pastry-cook’s and Confectioner’s shops, all along the road, even in the midst of woods and forests, and at the tops of mountains, where a weary foot-traveller, and the meaner sort of people, find at all times, for a few farthings, something warm to eat, or hot Tea-water, or Sacki, or somewhat else of this kind, wherewithal to refresh themselves. ‘Tis true, these cook-shops are but poor sorry houses, if compar’d to larger Inns, being inhabited only by poor people, who have enough to do to get a livelihood by this trade: and yet even in these, there is always something or other to amuse passengers, and to draw them in; sometimes a garden and orchard behind the house, which is seen from the street looking thro’ the passage, and which by its beautiful flowers, or the agreeable sight of a stream of clear water, falling down from a neighbouring natural or artificial hill, or by some other curious ornaments of this kind, tempts People to come in and to repose themselves in the shadow; at other times a large flower-pot stands in the window, fill’d with flowering branches of trees, (for the flowers of plants, tho’ never so beautiful, are too common to deserve a place in such a pot,) dispos’d in a very curious and singular manner; sometimes a handsom, well-looking house-maid, or a couple of young girls well dress’d, stand under the door, and with great civility invite people to come in, and to buy something. The eatables, such as cakes, or whatever it be, are kept before the fire, in an open room, sticking to skewers of bambous, to the end that passengers, as they go along, may take them, and pursue their journey without stopping. The landladies, cooks and maids, as soon as they see any body coming at a distance blow up the fire, to make it look as if the victuals had just been got ready. Some busy themselves with making tea, others prepare the soop in a cup, others fill cups with Sacki, or other liquors to present them to passengers, all the while talking and chattering, and commending their merchandize with a voice loud enough to be heard by their next neighbours of the same profession (p. 426-127)

The illustration shows acupuncture needles, and a woman who has just undergone the procedure. Perhaps because he was a physician, Kaempfer devotes several pages to this treatment, particularly as a cure for Senki, a certain type of colic, “an endemial distemper of this populous empire



“A Malabar shewing tricks with Serpents,” from Johannes Nieuhof, “Voyages and travels, into Brasil, and the East Indies: containing an exact description of the Dutch Brasil, and divers parts of the East-Indies; their provinces, cities, living creatures, and products; the manners, customs, habits, and religion of the inhabitants: with a most particular account of all the remarkable passages that happened during the author’s stay of nine years in Brasil; especially, in relation to the revolt of the Portuguese, and the intestine war carried on there from 1640 to 1649. As also, a most ample description of the most famous city of Batavia, in the East-Indies,” 1693; in an edition from 1703


Geelvink, Nijptangh and Wieseltje, 1696

Commanded by Willem de Vlamingh, three ships were sent to look for the wreck of the VOC ship Ridderschap van Holland and explore New Holland. No trace of the ship was found but the expedition explored Rottnest Island, the mainland around the Swan River and landed on Dirk Hartog Island. Before heading for Batavia, de Vlamingh retrieved Hartog’s pewter plate and left one of his own in its place.

Dutch East India Company period – 17th to late 18th century

A map of Batavia showing step by step transformation from Jayakarta into Batavia.

The first type of colonial architecture grew from the early Dutch settlements in the 17th century, when settlements were generally within walled defences to protect them from attack by other European trade rivals and native revolt. Following the siege of Jayakarta (previously known as Sunda Kelapa) and its demolition by the Dutch in 1619, it was decided to build the headquarters of the Dutch East India Company on the site. Simon Stevin was commissioned to design a plan for the future settlement based on his concept of the ‘ideal city’. His response was a rectangular, walled town, bisected by the river Ciliwung which was to be channeled into a straight canal (later known as also known as Grote Rivier or Kali Besar or “Big River” in this area). This new city is called Batavia (now Jakarta). In accordance to Stevin’s model, the fortress of Batavia was the most prominent building in the city, symbolizing the center of power, while townhall, markets, and other public buildings were distributed. This layout of Jakarta can still be clearly recognized today in Jakarta Old Town through the layout of the streets and canals, although most of the original 17th structures had been destroyed or replaced with newer early 20th century structures.[2]

The architecture style of this period were the tropical counterparts of 17th century Dutch architecture. Typical features include the typically Dutch high sash windows with split shutters,[2] gable roofs,[2] and white-coral painted wall (as opposed to exposed brick architecture in the Netherlands). This earlier period of Jakarta had many of the buildings solidly built with relatively enclosed structures, a structure that is not very friendly to tropical climate as compared to the architecture of the next period in Jakarta.[2] Best example of these buildings were located along the Tygersgracht (now Jalan Muka Timur), all had been demolished.[2] Best surviving example is Toko Merah.

Several Portuguese colonial architecture also exist, usually outside the walled city of Batavia. Tugu Church and Sion Church, with its plain facade and domed windows, are some surviving examples.

In 1808, Daendels officially moved the city center to south because of the deteriorating condition of the inner town as well as the malaria outbreak. As a result, many buildings and structures from this period were left to deteriorated. Because of financial issues, many buildings were demolished in 19th century and the debris were used to construct newer structure in the south (such as the Palace of Governor-General Daendels (now the Financial Department of Indonesia) from the debris of Batavia Castle, and Batavia Theater (now Gedung Kesenian Jakarta) from the debris of the Spinhuis.

Later, these empty lots in Jakarta Old Town were filled with newer 20th century structures. Surviving 17th–18th structures were later converted as Jakarta’s cultural heritage, e.g. Toko Merah, Gereja Sion and Jakarta History Museum.

Other dominant architecture style from these period were the Chinese merchant houses, many were built during the 18th century.


BONTEKOE, W YZN., Journael, ofte Gedenkwaerdige Beschrijvinge van de Oost-Indische Reyse van Willem Ysbrantsz Bontekoe van Hoorn (1646). Reprinted as Prisma -pocket, Utrecht/Antwerpen 1971.
BOXER, C.R., Jan Compagnie in Japan, 1600-1817 (1936).
BOXER, C.R., The Dutch Seaborne Empire (1965).
COOLHAAS, W. PH., Generale Missiven van gouwerneur-generaal en raden aan de heren XVII der Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (1975).
DAVIDS, K. et al., De Nederlands Geschiedenis als afwijking van het algemeen menselijk patroon (1988).
DEKKER, R., Holland in beroering. Oproeren in de 17e en 18e eeuw (1981).
FABER, J.A., Death and Famine in Pre-Industrial Netherlands , Low Countries Yearbook 13 (1980), pp 51-63.
HART, H., Vasco da Gama und der Seeweg nach Indien (1964).
HONOLKA, K., Magellan (1965).
ISRAEL, J.L., The Dutch Republic and the Hispanic World (1982).
LINSCHOTEN , J.H. VAN , Itinerario, voyage ofte schipvaert van J.H. van Linschoten naar Oost ofte Portugaels Indin, reprinted as Vol. II of the series of the Linschoten-Association (1910).
LINSCHOTEN, J.H. VAN , Reisgheschrift van de Navigatin der Portugaloyers in Orinten , reprinted as Vol. XLIII of the series of the Linschoten-Association (1939).
MANUSCRIPT Hamel, national archives (rijks archief Den Haag) archive number 1265 pages 1155 ~ 1179
MOLLEMA, J., De eerste Schipvaart der Hollanders naar Oost-Indi (1935).
NOORDEGRAAF, L., Hollands welvaren? Levensstandaard in Holland 1450-1650 (1985).
PATER, J. DE, Jan Peterszoon Coen en het Indi van zijn tijd (1952).
PRESTAGE, E. , The Portuguese Pioneers (1943).
REINSMA, R., Jan Compagnie (1974).
SCHAMA, S., The Embarrassment of Riches (1987).
STAPELS, F.W. , Geschiedenis van Nederlands Indi (1939).
TAKASHI HATODA, A History of Korea (1969).)
WITSEN , N. , Noord en Oost Tartarije, ofte bondig ontwerp van eenige dier Landen en Volken in de Noorder- en Oostelijkste Gedeelten van Asia en Europa, 2nd edition (1705).

WOUDE, A.M. VAN DER, The AAG-bijdragen and the study of rural history’ , in: The Journal of European Economic History, 4 (1975).

Many of these structures show eclectic mix of Dutch and Chinese influences.[2]

Last official name Former names Year Architect Location Latest image Oldest image
18th century Dutch mansion at Kali Besar Barat 18th century Dutch mansion at Kali Besar Barat 18th century   6°08′11″S 106°48′41″E / 6.136367°S 106.811372°E / -6.136367; 106.811372 18th house kota.jpg COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Koloniale gevels aan de westzijde van de straat Kali Besar in Batavia TMnr 60030905.jpg
Baijen’s Country House and the Outer Hospital (demolished, replaced by Citadel Prins Frederik) Baijen’s Country House and the Outer Hospital[3] before 1669, later a hospital, from 1743 until 1820.[3]   6°10′13″S 106°49′51″E / 6.170386°S 106.830742°E / -6.170386; 106.830742    
Bastion Amsterdam (demolished) Amsterdam 1632-1635[4] anonymous 6°07′46″S 106°48′54″E / 6.129527°S 106.815078°E / -6.129527; 106.815078    
Bastion Buren (demolished) Buren before 1650[5] anonymous 6°07′41″S 106°48′28″E / 6.128014°S 106.807904°E / -6.128014; 106.807904    
Bastion Cuylenburg (demolished, on its site stands Menara Syahbandar) Bastion Cuylenburg, Bastion Cullenburch,[6] before 1650[5][7] anonymous 6°07′39″S 106°48′33″E / 6.127527°S 106.809071°E / -6.127527; 106.809071    
Bastion Diest (demolished) Diest 1632-1635[4] anonymous 6°08′12″S 106°48′42″E / 6.136733°S 106.811704°E / -6.136733; 106.811704    
Bastion Enkhuizen(demolished) Enkhuizen 1627-1632[4] anonymous 6°08′05″S 106°48′59″E / 6.134680°S 106.816474°E / -6.134680; 106.816474   Stadsmuren-Batavia1709.jpg
Bastion Friesland (demolished) Friesland 1632-1635[5] anonymous 6°07′55″S 106°48′22″E / 6.131831°S 106.806058°E / -6.131831; 106.806058    
Bastion Gelderland (demolished) Punt Gelderland 1627-1632[4] anonymous 6°08′15″S 106°49′00″E / 6.137472°S 106.816785°E / -6.137472; 106.816785   Stadsmuren-Batavia1709.jpg
Bastion Grimbergen (demolished) Grimbergen 1635-1650[4] anonymous      
Bastion Groningen (demolished) Groningen 1632-1635 (replacing the older Buren fortification)[4] anonymous 6°07′37″S 106°48′17″E / 6.126864°S 106.804796°E / -6.126864; 106.804796    
Bastion Hollandia (demolished) Hollandia 1627-1632[4] anonymous 6°08′19″S 106°48′46″E / 6.138544°S 106.812822°E / -6.138544; 106.812822   Nieuwepoort1682.jpg
Bastion Middelburg (demolished) Middelburg 1627-1632[4] anonymous 6°07′51″S 106°48′55″E / 6.130719°S 106.815397°E / -6.130719; 106.815397    
Bastion Nassau (demolished) Nassau 1632-1635[4] anonymous      
Bastion Oranje (demolished) Oranje 1627-1632[4] anonymous 6°08′15″S 106°48′52″E / 6.137377°S 106.814514°E / -6.137377; 106.814514   Stadsmuren-Batavia1709.jpg
Bastion Overrijsel (demolished) Overrijsel 1632-1635[4] anonymous 6°07′47″S 106°48′20″E / 6.129746°S 106.805465°E / -6.129746; 106.805465    
Bastion Rotterdam (demolished) Rotterdam 1627-1632[4] anonymous 6°07′58″S 106°48′57″E / 6.132779°S 106.815928°E / -6.132779; 106.815928   Stadsmuren-Batavia1709.jpg
Bastion Utrecht and portal(demolished) Utrecht Poort 1635-1650[4] anonymous 6°08′07″S 106°48′25″E / 6.135285°S 106.806872°E / -6.135285; 106.806872    
Bastion Vierkant (demolished) Vierkant 1627-1632[nb 1] anonymous 6°07′36″S 106°48′28″E / 6.126775°S 106.807857°E / -6.126775; 106.807857    
Bastion Zeeburch (demolished) Zeeburch poort 1632-1635[4] anonymous 6°07′34″S 106°48′28″E / 6.126119°S 106.807639°E / -6.126119; 106.807639    
Bastion Zeeland (demolished) Zeeland poort 1627-1632[4] anonymous 6°08′16″S 106°48′28″E / 6.137890°S 106.807708°E / -6.137890; 106.807708    
Batavia City Hall (1st) and church (demolished between 1622 and 1627.) Kerk en Stadhuis 1619-1622[4] anonymous 6°07′57″S 106°48′42″E / 6.132411°S 106.811770°E / -6.132411; 106.811770    
Batavia City Hall (2nd) (replaced with Batavia City Hall (3rd)) Batavia Stadhuis 1627   6°08′07″S 106°48′48″E / 6.135348°S 106.813372°E / -6.135348; 106.813372   Batavia-stadthuys.jpg
Binnen Hospital, “Inner Hospital” (demolished) Binnen Hospital[3] 1635-1650[4]   6°08′14″S 106°48′46″E / 6.137185°S 106.812856°E / -6.137185; 106.812856    
De Middelpunt, “the middle point” De Middelpunt 1650-1667[4] anonymous 6°08′03″S 106°48′40″E / 6.134163°S 106.811096°E / -6.134163; 106.811096[4]   COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM De stad Batavia in 1709 TMnr 3440-8.jpg
De Portugese Stadskerk (burned down in 1808)[8] De Portugese Stadskerk 1650-1667[4]   6°08′02″S 106°48′37″E / 6.133806°S 106.810358°E / -6.133806; 106.810358[4]   Algr001disp04ill55.gif
Fort Ancol (demolished) Fort Ancol, Fort Ansjol[6]   anonymous 6°07′36″S 106°50′43″E / 6.126605°S 106.845150°E / -6.126605; 106.845150    
Fort Angke(demolished) Fort Angke 1657[9] anonymous      
Fort Batavia (dismantled in 1890–1910) Kasteel Batavia 1619 (project started)[4] anonymous 6°07′40″S 106°48′41″E / 6.127854°S 106.811338°E / -6.127854; 106.811338 COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Het Kasteel van Batavia TMnr 3440-11.jpg Andries Beeckman - The Castle of Batavia.jpg
Fort Jacatra (Nassau and Mauritius) (dismantled between 1627–1632)[4] Fort Jacatra before 1619[4]   6°07′43″S 106°48′36″E / 6.128640°S 106.809979°E / -6.128640; 106.809979    
Fort Jacarta Buiten Batavia (demolished) Fort Jacarta Buiten Batavia   anonymous 6°08′43″S 106°49′50″E / 6.145389°S 106.830442°E / -6.145389; 106.830442   17Het-fort-Jacatra-buiten-Batavia-in-1709.jpg
Fort Noordwijk (demolished in 1808) Fort Noordwijk[6] 1658 anonymous 6°10′04″S 106°49′51″E / 6.167773°S 106.830801°E / -6.167773; 106.830801   Vue du fort noortwyck.jpg
Fort Zevenhoek (demolished) Fort Zevenhoek 1657[9] anonymous      
Fort Rijswijk (demolished) Fort Rijswijk[6]   anonymous      
Fort Zouteland (demolished) Fort Zouteland 1656[10] anonymous Ancol    
Galangan VOC Restaurant and Ta San Yen Carpenter’s shop of the Dutch East Indies 1627-1632[4] or before 1650[5] or 1727[11] anonymous 6°07′42″S 106°48′32″E / 6.128344°S 106.808937°E / -6.128344; 106.808937 Galangan-voc-restaurant.jpg  
Gedung Candranaya (1957)[12] Landhuis Kroet / Landhuis Van Majoor der Chinezen Khouw Kim An or “residence of Chinese Mayor Khouw Kim An”[13] 18th century[13] Khouw Tjoen (first resident)[13] 6°08′50″S 106°48′55″E / 6.147337°S 106.815284°E / -6.147337; 106.815284    
Gerbang Amsterdam or “Amsterdam Gate” (demolished in 1950s) Amsterdamsepoort, Pinangpoort, Kasteelpoort 1622-1627[4]   6°07′51″S 106°48′43″E / 6.130834°S 106.812062°E / -6.130834; 106.812062 1947 COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM De Amsterdamse Poort te Batavia TMnr 60004991.jpg
Gereja Sion De Portugese Buitenkerk 1695 E. Ewout Verhagen 6°08′17″S 106°49′05″E / 6.138009°S 106.817920°E / -6.138009; 106.817920 PintuGerejaSion hariadhi.jpg Algr001disp04ill55.gif
Gereja Tugu Portuguese Church 1676–1678, rebuilt in 1737–1738 Melchior Leidecker, later rebuilt by Julius Vinck[14] 6°07′26″S 106°55′27″E / 6.123844°S 106.924070°E / -6.123844; 106.924070    
Government House or a ‘Play House’ (demolished) Huis van de Generaal/Speelhuis 1632-1650[4][5]   6°08′31″S 106°48′55″E / 6.141976°S 106.815156°E / -6.141976; 106.815156    
Great Palace of Weltevreden (demolished in 1820, now Rumah Sakit Pusat AD Gatot Subroto or Army Main Hospital)[15][16] Great Palace of Weltevreden / Landhuis Weltevreden[16] 1761[15] for Jacob Mossel[15][nb 2] 6°10′36″S 106°50′12″E / 6.176726°S 106.836608°E / -6.176726; 106.836608   Weltevreden country house.jpg
Jembatan Gantung Kota Intan Engelse Brug[18] / Het Middelpuntbrug[19] / Grote Boom or “Large Tree Bridge”[19] / Djembatan Hoenderpasser Kali Besar or Hoenderpasserbrug or “Chicken Market Bridge” (1900s)[18][19][20] / Ophaalbrug Juliana (1938)[19] 1655 (after the demolition of earlier English Bridge, located 100 meter to the south),[4][18] 1937 (renovated)[19]   6°07′53″S 106°48′38″E / 6.131259°S 106.810579°E / -6.131259; 106.810579 Jembatan kota intan JKT.jpg COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Dubbele ophaalbrug (Hoenderpasarbrug) Batavia TMnr 10014923.jpg
Mesjid Luar Batang, Luar Batang Mosque Mesjid Luar Batang 1739 (established)[21] Sayid Husein bin Abubakar Alaydrus (founder)[21] 6°07′26″S 106°48′24″E / 6.123765°S 106.806533°E / -6.123765; 106.806533   COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Moskee Luar Batang (Batavia) TMnr 60046455.jpg
Mohr Observatory (demolished in 1812) Mohr Observatory 1765 Johan Maurits Mohr 6°08′38″S 106°48′46″E / 6.143863°S 106.812911°E / -6.143863; 106.812911 Observatory-of-Mohr-Chinese-temple-1770.jpg Mohr2.jpg
Museum Bahari Warehouse 1652–1771   6°07′36″S 106°48′30″E / 6.126753°S 106.808279°E / -6.126753; 106.808279 Abandon sampan.jpg  
Museum Sejarah Jakarta Batavia City Hall (3rd) 1710 W.J. van der Velde 6°08′07″S 106°48′48″E / 6.135348°S 106.813372°E / -6.135348; 106.813372 Museum fatahillah.jpg Batavia - Townhall 1770.jpg
Nieuwe Hollandse Kerk, “New Church of Holland” (destroyed by earthquake in 1808, Wayang Museum is now on its site) Nieuwe Hollandse Kerk, Groote Hollandse Kerk 1736   6°08′06″S 106°48′45″E / 6.134882°S 106.812603°E / -6.134882; 106.812603 COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Houten model van de Nieuwe Hollandse Kerk in het museum van de Stichting Oud Batavia TMnr 10001344.jpg Batavia - Townhall 1770.jpg
Nieuwe Poort, “New Gate” (demolished) Nieuwe Poort 1627-1632[4] anonymous 6°08′18″S 106°48′50″E / 6.138424°S 106.813777°E / -6.138424; 106.813777   Nieuwepoort1682.jpg
Old Gelderland defence works (demolished after 1667)[4] Oud Gelderland 1622-1627[4]   6°08′06″S 106°48′56″E / 6.135031°S 106.815689°E / -6.135031; 106.815689    
Oude Hollandse Kerk, “Old Holland Church” (demolished in 1732, bottom part still viewable)[nb 3] Oude Hollandse Kerk / Kruiskerk, “Cross Church” 1640   6°08′06″S 106°48′45″E / 6.134882°S 106.812603°E / -6.134882; 106.812603 Gereja Tua Belanda.jpg De-Kruis-Kerk-op-Batavia-1682.jpg
Oude Utrechtse Poort, “Old Utrecht Gate” (demolished) Oude Utrechtse Poort[nb 4] 1632-1650[4] anonymous 6°08′10″S 106°48′26″E / 6.136034°S 106.807207°E / -6.136034; 106.807207    
Pasar Ikan, “Fish Market” Vismarkt   anonymous   Ciliwung 080710-0799 mb.JPG COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Het Havenkanaal met de Boom en zeilschepen op de rede Batavia TMnr 60004893.jpg
Raja Kuring Restaurant Carpenter’s shop of the Chinese 1632-1635[4]   6°07′48″S 106°48′35″E / 6.130012°S 106.809692°E / -6.130012; 106.809692[5]    
Sinees Sieken Huys, Chinese hospital and home for the aged (demolished) Sinees Sieken Huys 1646   6°08′05″S 106°48′27″E / 6.134812°S 106.807577°E / -6.134812; 106.807577[5]   Batavia-sineessiekenhuys.png
Spinhuis, “spinning-house for single women” (demolished) Spinhuis, Spinhuys 1635-1650[4]   6°08′04″S 106°48′27″E / 6.134435°S 106.807492°E / -6.134435; 106.807492   SPINHUYS-1682.jpg
The Latin and Greek School (demolished)[2] The Latin and Greek School 1622-1627[4] anonymous 6°07′55″S 106°48′48″E / 6.131917°S 106.813228°E / -6.131917; 106.813228[4]    
Toko Merah, “Red Shop” Residence of Gustaaf Willem, Baron van Imhoff / Residence of other Governor General of Batavia, Jacob Mossel (1750–1761), Petrus Albertus van der Parra (1761–1775), Reinier de Klerk (1777–1780), Nicolaas Hartingh, Baron van Hohendorf / Academie de Marine (1734)[23][24] / Kantoor van de Bank voor Indië / Hotel[24] / Shop of Oey Liauw Kong (1851)[23] 1730[nb 5] for Gustaaf Willem van Imhoff 6°08′09″S 106°48′41″E / 6.135955°S 106.811285°E / -6.135955; 106.811285 Toko merah Kota Tua.JPG COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Kantoor van de Bank voor Indië Batavia TMnr 10015467.jpg
Vihara Dharma Bhakti Jin De Yuan Klenteng 1650, 1755 (restored)   6°08′38″S 106°48′46″E / 6.143973°S 106.812736°E / -6.143973; 106.812736 Klenteng Jin De Yuan, Glodok, Jakarta.jpg COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Een Chinese tempel in Batavia. TMnr 60007617.jpg
Vismarkt, “Fish Market” (earlier structure) (demolished) Vismarkt, Vischmarkt 1632-1635[4] anonymous 6°07′50″S 106°48′36″E / 6.130653°S 106.80995°E / -6.130653; 106.80995 VIS-MARKT-op-BATAVIA-1682.jpg COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Olieverfschilderij voorstellende het Kasteel Batavia gezien van Kali Besar west met op de voorgrond de vismarkt TMnr 118-167.jpg
Waterkasteel (demolished) Waterkasteel / “Hornwerk”[25] 1741, 1750[26] anonymous 6°06′58″S 106°48′24″E / 6.116205°S 106.806601°E / -6.116205; 106.806601    


The Indonesia Historic Collections 1700-1800


The Indonesia Historic Collections 1700-1800

created by

Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA

Privated Limited Edition E-book In CD-ROM


Batavia in 1682

The Ommelanden fell under the authority of a ‘delegate for native affairs’, responsible to the Governor-General in Batavia, but for the most part they were left to their own devices under a system of private estates (particuliere landerijen), whose landlords had quasi-feudal rights over their tenants. The granting of private estates continued into the early 18th century, by which time they encompassed virtually the whole of the northern coastal plain of West Java. The region was fertile and productive, sugar, rice and cotton being the main crops, but it was also unruly: small-scale landlords and entrepreneurs squeezed their tenants for what they could, and the tenants in turn simmered constantly on the threshold of revolt or brigandage.



Batavia Map 1700

  Jakarta , pianta del 1700. Occorre ricodare che la città fu progettata e costruita dagli olandesi sul modello di Delf




 Three years of confusion in the VOC ensue over the post of Governor-General. Sultan of Banjar tries to eject the British post by force, but fails.



Amangkurat II sends a secret representative to the VOC, hoping for help in the face of court intrigues. Antonio Coelho Guerreiro arrives as the first official governor of Portuguese Timor. The Portuguese on Timor were limited to outposts along the northern coast only.



Amangkurat II dies. Amangkurat III faces opposition from Pangeran Puger.


Teuku Umar


Sultan Aji Muhammad Sultan Alam became Paser I through the year 1726, the first ruler of Paser take a higher degree of Sultan.


 Amangkurat III demands that the VOC return Puger to his custody. VOC refuses, but VOC army takes Demak and other coastal areas on behalf of Pangeran Puger.


Mataram truncated: Amangkurat II and his rivals, 1681-1704

Although Dutch troops had preserved the Mataram dynasty, the kingdom was now a shadow of its former power. Territorial concessions to the Dutch in the west, creeping political influence by the Madurese along the coast, and a full-scale rebellion by Surapati in the east left it sadly truncated. Moreover, when Amangkurat II died in 1703, the Dutch backed his brother, Pangeran Puger, to succeed to the throne over Amangkurat’s son, Amangkurat III. In 1706, in what came to be called the First Javanese War of Succession, VOC forces with numerous indigenous allies marched on Kartasura and installed Puger as Pakubuwana I. Amangkurat III fled to join the former slave, Surapati, whose followers controlled much of Java’s eastern peninsula. Bitter fighting continued in which Surapati was killed and Amangkurat III captured by ruse and sent into exile. In exchange for VOC support, Pakubuwana ceded eastern Madura to the Dutch and gave them the right to build fortifications anywhere in Java.

The six decades which followed were a time of constant turmoil for Java. The descendants of Surapati maintained his kingdom south of the Brantas; further east, they fought with Balinese princes and with remnants of the kingdom of Balambangan for control of the eastern peninsula. The coastal regions from Surabaya to Juana remained under the influence of the powerful Cakraningrat family in western Madura, while the question of whether the VOC was Mataram’s greatest enemy or its best potential ally underpinned incessant factional conflict within the Mataram court


VOC sends reinforcements to Semarang. Surapati offers to make a conditional surrender to the VOC, but the VOC rejects his offer. VOC bribes the commander of the troops at Kartasura, allowing them to take Salatiga and other approaches without significant resistance. VOC recognizes Pangeran Puger as Susuhunan Pakubuwono I. 


 Hussin Kamaluddin became Sultan of Brunei (period I) until the year 1730.

De Vossenbosch, Waaier and Nova Hollandia, 1705

Under the command of Commander Maarten van Delft, the de Vossenbosch, Waaier and Nova Hollandia explored the Gulf of Carpentaria and north coast of New Holland.

October 5:

Pakubuwono I makes a deal with the VOC: Mataram debts to VOC are wiped out; East Madura goes to VOC control; Semarang is officially a VOC city after years of occupation; Cirebon is officially a VOC protectorate; VOC gets extensive trade rights; Javanese sailors must stick to their home waters; Mataram must deliver rice on demand to the VOC at a price set by the VOC. In addition, the two sides agree that no other European nation will be allowed to build factories or fortifications anywhere on Java. October 11: Pakubuwono I signs an agreement to pay the costs of the VOC garrison at Kartasura. 


VOC and Mataram armies take Kediri, and defeat Amangkurat III and Surapati.


 Britain allowed to set up factories in Banjar


VOC and Pakubuwono I of Mataram battle the forces of Amangkurat III at Madiun, and take Pasuruan.

On June 27, 1707,

 the British merchant settlements in Banjarmasin was suddenly attacked by the natives, most British people were killed, and the survivors fled to the ship. EIC company property lost in this place, estimated at $ 50,000. [29] The British were expelled from English-Banjar Banjar War II in 1707, so that Chinese people can be free again to enter into transactions with the merchants pepper Banjar and Biaju. The number of Chinese people who gathered in the area of ​​the Sultanate of Banjar increasingly composed of junk merchants and traders settled.


 Omar Akamuddin I to the Sultan of Sambas until the year 1732


VOC forces land at Surabaya to continue fighting against Amangkurat III. July 17 Amangkurat III surrenders himself at Surabaya, after receiving a false VOC promise of lands and freedom in exchange for surrender. August 24 Amangkurat III, his family and attendants are sent by ship from Surabaya to Batavia. At Batavia, he is told that the VOC representative at Surabaya had no authority to offer him terms of surrender. He is taken as a prisoner of war and sent to exile in Ceylon.


 Batavia  1708. Chinese Qing Ceramic  Export for the Dutch


VOC opens tin mines on Bangka. Around this time, many Bugis, who had been wandering as mercenaries or refugees due to the wars involving Makassar and Bone, began to settle on and around the Malay peninsula


 Pakubuwono I sends repeated requests to the VOC in Batavia for help against continuing unrest in Balambangan and Madura.



In 1712, Joseph Collets wrote mail to the council proposed to build a new garrison in Carrang (probably refers to Ujung Karang). It is about three kilometers far from Fort York.
1714This fort was established in 1714-1719 by Joseph Collet (1712-16). The progress was continued by his successors: Thiophilus Shyllinge (1716-17), Richard Farmer (1717-18), and Thomas Cooke (1718-19).
Gravestone of Cap. James Cuney (moved from British Cemetery in Jitra)


British begin building Fort Marlborough at Bengkulu. Sultan of Tidore cedes claim on Irian Jaya to VOC. After this time (especially after the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, which ended 13 years of war between the European powers and their colonies) the Dutch and the VOC began to lose prominence, and Britain became the dominant colonial and naval power in the world.


The fortification was under contruction for four year and was compled in its firts form in 1718

Due to the lack of  a qualifed engineer the fort gradually fell into a state of decay  and when joseph collet was appointend deputy Fovendor in 1712 he requested permission to abandon yort fort and to contruct a new fort on the ‘carang’, small hill about two mill from york and overlooking the bay. colet was eventually given permission to commace work on this new fotification in 1714. It was to be large enough to provide living accommodation for the factor and writers of the company and their servanst well as the militiary garrison. Joseph colled name his fort ‘marlboroug’  in honour of john Churhill, the firs Duke of marlborough, who wasbeing hailed as a national hero after winning a number of strategic battles in Erouppe against the friench  and their allies. 

Pland of the original fort 1714-1718

Al old print of FortMarlborough looking north towerd Gunung Bungkuk (Sugar loaf Mountain) Showing the lookout tower which was demolished towar the end of 1700s.


 VOC accuses the Adipati of Surabaya of collaborating with the rebels in eastern Java. The son of the Adipati of Surabaya, Jaya Puspita, leads a renewed rebellion against Mataram in the areas around Surabaya, Kediri, Probolinggo, Balambangan, and Madura, with help from Bali. The VOC organizes further reinforcements to counter the threat.


Bali warriors


 VOC takes Surabaya and Madiun from the rebels. Some rebellions continue in east Java. Cakraningrat III of Madura is killed by VOC soldiers while travelling to talks; Cakraningrat IV takes power. 







 Amangkurat IV takes rule in Mataram. Court rebellion breaks out almost immediately; rebel princes flee eastward. A combined VOC and Mataram force drives the rebels back from Kediri to Malang.

Java, 1719

A Second War of Succession followed from 1719 to 1723, after the death of Pakubuwana I. His son, Amangkurat IV, again held his throne against rebel forces thanks only to VOC intervention. During the reign of Amangkurat IV’s son, Pakubuwana II, a further round of fighting broke out, eventually merging into the Third Javanese War of Succession. Although conflict had been endemic in the intervening years,


 Rumors of a conspiracy against the VOC spread in Batavia. Peter Erberfelt and several others are tried and executed.


 VOC receives a monopoly on tin from Bangka and Belitung from the Sultan of Palembang.


 Rebel princes and Surapati’s descendants in East Java are subdued by VOC forces. VOC begins compulsory coffee production in Priangan.


 Government of the Kingdom of Matan / Sukadana by Sultan Ma’aziddin (1724-1762)


• Wiradedaha IV (1726-1745)
• Satjapati (1745-1747)
• Wiradedaha V (1747-1765)
• Jayamenggala (1765-1807)
• Demang Anggadipa (1807-1813)
• Suryalaga (1813-1814)
• Wiradedaha VI (1814-1828)
• Wiratanubaja I (1828-1835)
• Wiratanubaja II (1835-1854)
• Adipati Wiradedaha VII (1854-1874)
• Wirahadiningrat (1874-1906)
• Aria Prawiradiningrat (1906-1908)
• Wiratanudiningrat (1908-1925)
Beberapa peristiwa penting di Sukapura
Abad 17. Priangan Tengah dibagi menjadi empat kadipaten. Salah satunya adalah Sukapura di bawah pimpinan Ki Wirawangsa Umbul Sukakerta bergelar Tumenggung Wiradedaha. Beliau adalah leluhur para adipati/ bupati Sukapura.
1811/ 1813 Raden Demang Anggadipa (1807-1811/1813) dicopot dari kedudukannya oleh pemerintah kolonial Belanda karena menolak penanaman paksa nila sebagai pengganti beras. Beliau keberatan dengan kebijakan Belanda itu karena akan mengakibatkan rakyat kelaparan. Akibat pembangkangan itu, Kadipaten Sukapura sementara waktu dihapuskan dan diserahkan pemerintahannya pada Limbangan di bawah Raden Tumenggung Wangsareja (1805-1811).
Akhir abad ke-19. Belanda menata ulang pemerintahan Priangan dan membaginya menjadi 9 afdeeling (Jerman: Abteilung). Salah satunya adalah Sukapura di bawah Raden Tumenggung Wiratanubaya IV.
Wirahadiningrat (1874-1906) memperoleh penghargaan bintang Oranye Nassau dari Belanda.SOURCE:Cribb, Robert. Digital Atlas of Indonesian History.
Hardjasaputra, Sobana A. Bupati di Priangan: Kedudukan dan Peranannya pada abad ke-17-19 dalam Seri Sundalana, Pusat Studi Sunda, Bandung, 2004.
Sutherland, Heather. Notes on Java’s Regent Family, Cornel University, 1973
Taniputera, Ivan. Kerajaan-kerajaan Nusantara Pascakeruntuhan Majapahit: Hikayat dan Sejarahnya, Arruzzwacana, Jogjakarta (sedang dalam proses penerbitan).

Banjar kINGDOM


SOURCE : An alphabetical enumeration of the former princely states of Indonesia, from the earliest time to the modern period, with simplified genealogies and order of succession by Hans Haegerdal.


 As the daughter of King Paser, La Madukelleng (National Hero) served King Paser until the year 1736. 


 Court intrigues in Kartasura result in Pangeran Mangkunegara being sent into exile by Dutch.




Further north, Acehnese power recovered somewhat, but the more significant power was the sultan of Siak Sri Indrapura, a state founded in 1723, which had extended its hegemony northwards as far as Tamiang by 1780.




West Java: colonial political divisions, 1730-1808

In Cirebon, the Dutch preserved an unusual arrangement in which the heads of two related families, Kanoman and Kesupuhan, both carried the hereditary rank and powers of sultan. The upland regions to the south were incorporated into the Priangan System, but the sultans retained extensive powers in the lowlands, where they farmed their estates out to Chinese entrepreneurs, with miserable consequences for the peasants. Cirebon was the scene of repeated famine and uprising in the late 18th century


 Mohammad Alauddin became the Sultan of Brunei until the year 1745.

Amir Wira Bulungan I became ruler until the year 1777. Amiril Pengiran Dipati II served Tidung ruler until 1765.

Abubakar I to the Sultan of Sambas Kamaluddin until the year 1762. The Sultanate’s capital was moved from the Kutai Kutai Lama to Pemarangan.

 A warlord’s men attacked the La Madukelleng Banjarmasin but failed.
 1733: Puana Dekke Bugis leaders borrowed land to Sultan Banjar Tahlilullah to establish settlements in Pagatan with a population that became known as the Bugis Pagatan. [31]

Sultan Banjar Tamjidillah I to XII until the year 1759.
 1735: Sultan Aji Muhammad Idris Kukar XIV became King until the year 1778. He is the King of Kutai first took the title of Sultan.
 1736: Sultan Alam Sepuh I became Sultan Paser II until the year 1766.

Lyeth Interrd the
Body of
Cap. James Cuney
Who departed this
February 7th 1737
A.Aetatis 36”Explanation:
“A.Aetatis 36”, it stands for “anno aetatis suae 36”,
that means “”in the year of his age 36 years

Gravestone of Henry Stirling (moved from British Cemetery in Jitra)



 – Gov.-Gen. Durven and several other high officials are ordered to return to the Netherlands by the Heeren XVII for financial misdeeds. Malaria epidemic sweeps Batavia in 1732.



– Pakubuwono II agrees to heavier debt service payments to VOC. He has his minister Danureja sent into exile in Ceylon.


– Pakubuwono II transfers his claim to Balambangan to VOC.


– Official VOC archives in Batavia are founded. 


Shipwreck ‘Viegent Hart’ Silver Coin

Shipwreck coin with a certificate for 'Viegent Hart'…

Shipwreck coin ‘Viegent Hart’ shipwrecked 1735, Dutch East Indies on voyage to Batavia, Java


VOC tells Pakubuwono II to exile Pangeran Purbaya.



Arung Singkang attacks Bone and Makassar, but VOC drives him back.


VOC begins a campaign to have “superfluous Chinese” deported to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) or South Africa.


Kapitan Pattimura


 Panembahan Mempawah Manambung Opu Daeng brought mine workers from mainland China.


marked the beginning of an era of cataclysmic violence. The era began with a wholesale massacre of Chinese in Batavia – probably about 10,000 perished – by Dutch citizens resentful of their prosperity and stirred by VOC fears of a Chinese rebellion. Chinese bands fleeing the destruction moved along the north Java coast destroying VOC posts one by one and massacring their inhabitants. Pakubuwana II joined the rebels in attacking Semarang, while the VOC formed an alliance with the Cakraningrats. As the tide turned towards the VOC, Pakubuwana sued for peace, but found himself at once facing a rebellion amongst Javanese and in mid-1742 he was driven out of his capital. VOC troops on the coast, however, and Madurese troops inland were successful in stemming the rebellion and in late 1743, Pakubuwana was formally restored to his throne in exchange for further territorial concessions to the VOC, the guarantee of a perpetual tribute in rice, and the acceptance of a VOC garrison in the Kartasura court. Although the Cakraningrats had been instrumental in the VOC victory, their fate was still less favourable. They were given none of the concessions they wanted on the eastern Java mainland 


Within Batavia’s walls, wealthy Dutch built tall houses and pestilential canals. Commercial opportunities attracted Indonesian and especially Chinese immigrants, the increasing numbers creating burdens on the city. Tensions grew as the colonial government tried to restrict Chinese migration through deportations. On 9 October 1740, 5,000 Chinese were massacred

1740 Batavia massacre
The 1740 Batavia massacre was a pogrom against ethnic Chinese living in the port city of Batavia, the Dutch East Indies. The incident lasted for two weeks in October.Up to 80,000 ethnic Chinese lived in Batavia in the early 18th century…. and the following year, Chinese inhabitants were moved to Glodok
Glodok is a part of the Jakarta Old Town, Indonesia. The area is also known as Pecinan or Chinatown since the Dutch colonial era, and is considered the biggest in Indonesia, as a majority of the traders in Glodok are of Chinese descent


Octob. 1740. –

Afbelding van dat gBATAVIA. TABLEAU DE LA PARTIE BATAVIA, où s’est fait proprement le terrible massacre des Chinois, le 9edeelte van Batavia, alwaar eigentlyk de schrikkelyke slagting der Chinezen geschied is, den 9 Octob. 1740. (Amsterdam, 1755).Engraving by J. van Schley. Ca. 19 x 28 cm. From: A.F. Prevost. Historische beschrijving der reizen. – Striking bird’s eye view of Batavia depicting the massacre of the Chinese by the Dutch in Batavia, October 9, 1749.Feith 74; Cat. 300-jarig bestaan van Batavia 159,1. [Boeknr.: 14562 ]


lies interred
the body
Henry Stirling
Late Council at Fort Marlborough on this coast
He was ninth son of
James Stirling of Key Esq.
And the honourable
Mr. Maron Stewart
of the Kingdom of Scotland and Departed
this life on first day
of April 1744
Aged 25 years

Buitenzorg Palace (1744)

Buitenzorg/Bogor – Indonesia

The original palace was built in 1744 as a country retreat for the Dutch Governors. This building was substantially damaged by an earthquake in 1834, triggered by the volcanic eruption of Mount Salak. The palace was rebuilt into its present form in 1856 – this time with only one story instead of the original three, as a precaution against further earthquakes. Till 1942, Buitenzorg Palace served as the official residence of the Dutch Governors-General. After the Indonesian independence, the palace was used by President Sukarno, but then largely neglected by Suharto when he came to office. The grounds of the estate contain several buildings – the largest of which is the main palace and its two wings.

The Palace is surrounded by the largest and most famous botanical gardens of South-East Asia. An area of 284,000 square metres (28.4 hectares). The garden was built by Governor-General Gustaaf Willem, Baron van Imhoff. The extensive grounds of the presidential palace were later converted into a botanical garden by the German-born Dutch botanist, Professor Casper George Carl Reinwardt. The gardens officially opened in 1817 as ‘s Lands Plantentuin (‘National Botanical Garden’) and were used to research and develop plants and seeds from other parts of the Indonesian archipelago for cultivation during the 19th century. This is a tradition that continues today and contributes to the garden’s reputation as a major center for botanical research.Today the garden contains more than 15,000 species of trees and plants located among streams and lotus ponds. There are 400 types of exceptional palms to be found along the extensive lawns and avenues, helping the gardens create a refuge for more than 50 different varieties of birds and for groups of bats roosting high in the trees.



in 1897

is de loop van de Tjiliwoeng nog min of meer ongewijzigd

Om er voor te zorgen dat Weltevreden een aantrekkelijk gebied zou worden voor de nog in de Benedenstad wonende Europeanen, liet Daendels de later beroemde Societeit De Harmonie bouwen, nummer 29 op onze kaart.
Inderdaad wat moeilijk te vinden :

In het noorden van de kaart, bij de Kleine Boom, loopt de rivier de Tjiliwoeng. Daar waar de Tjiliwoeng naar het Oosten afbuigt, begint een kanaal met Tramway ernaast, het kanaal werd Molenvliet genoemd.
Trambaan en Molenvliet buigen op een gegeven moment naar het Oosten en daar op die hoek lag Societeit De Harmonie. Een klein stukje naar het Noorden aan de Westkant van Molenvliet, links van het woord (wijk) Noordwijk ligt ons nummer 10, Hotel Des Indes. Ten Zuiden van Noordwijk, aan de andere kant van het Molenvliet, lag de wijk Rijswijk met het beroemde Koningsplein en het Waterlooplein, over deze twee pleinen en Societeit De Harmonie zal Aad het ooit ook nog eens gaan hebben…

        We ontvingen, samengevat, deze vragen, allemaal verband houdend met de naam Rijswijk, een chique wijk in Batavia, vooral in de 19e eeuw:
            1. De wijk Rijswijk was oorspronkelijk een gebiedsdeel van het landgoed Rijswijk en is vernoemd naar het fort Rijswijk.
            2. Wanneer en waarom kreeg dit gebied bij Batavia de naam Rijswijk, heeft het iets te maken met Rijswijk bij Den Haag?
            3. Was de stichting van de wijk Rijswijk voor of na de afbraak van Fort Rijswijk.
            4. Hoe dicht was de bewoning toen Daendels er de Harmonie liet bouwen?
            5. Is bekend hoeveel oppervlak het grondgebied, c.q. de bebouwde wijk Rijswijk besloeg en hoeveel mensen er woonden, in verhouding tot de rest van de bovenstad?
            6. Wat is het verschil tussen Paleis Rijswijk en Paleis Koningsplein, die met elkaar verbonden waren ??
            7. Waren beide paleizen, Paleis Rijswijk en Paleis Koningsplein vroeger de residentie van de Gouverneur-Generaal en waarom werden ze zo genoemd: Paleis Rijswijk en Paleis Koningsplein?

We kunnen hierover het volgende vertellen, het is inderdaad een beetje ingewikkeld en soms heel verwarrend……:


Fort Rijswijk ten zuiden van Batavia 

        Ten zuiden van Batavia, een maand na de bouw van het Fort Jacatra, werd in augustus 1656 het vierhoekige redoute

Fort Rijswijk

        gebouwd. Fort Rijswijk werd aan de oostzijde van de rivier de Krokot gebouwd te midden van de


        velden, waarbij Rijs een Oud-Hollands woord is voor Rijs


        Fort Rijswijk werd in 1697 weer ontruimd en in 1729 afgebroken.
        Ten oosten van Fort Rijswijk en Fort



(gebouwd een jaar na Fort Rijswijk en pas afgebroken in 1809)

        verrezen half 18e eeuw de eerste grote, we zouden nu zeggen, Herenhuizen in Weltevreden, een zeer toepasselijke naam !!
        Ongeveer op de oude lokatie van Fort Rijswijk zou Daendels Sociëteit de Harmonie laten bouwen, daarbij werden stenen gebruikt van de oude stadswallen van de Benedenstad van Batavia.
        Weltevreden lag op een behoorlijke afstand van de steeds onhygiënisch wordende Benedenstad en ook het Gouvernement besloot in Weltevreden een buitenverblijf te bouwen. De eerste die dit deed, was Gouverneur-Generaal Jacob Mossel. Ook zijn opvolgers trokken zich geregeld terug in dit fraaie buitenverblijf.
        Gouverneur-Generaal Petrus Albertus van der Parra zou het geheel uiteindelijk zodanig verbouwen dat het paste bij de status van een Gouverneur-Generaal van Nederlands-Indië….

(al werd het toen nog Oost-Indië genoemd)

GG palace weltevreden



Het buitenverblijf van Gouverneur-Generaal Mossel en zijn opvolgers

1741 – Escaping Chinese from Batavia attack Semarang and Rembang; the VOC leaves Demak. Pakubuwono II changes sides, sends a force to attack VOC at Semarang, and destroys the VOC garrison at Kartasura. Cakraningrat IV of Madura declares allegiance with the VOC, and rejects his ties with Mataram and Pakubuwono II.


Forces of Mataram and rebellious Chinese attack many north coast cities of the VOC. Siege of Semarang is unsuccessful. Rival Governor-Generals of the VOC struggle in Batavia: Valckenier arrests Van Imhoff and sends him back to Europe. The Heeren XVII in the Netherlands names Van Imhoff as Governor-General. Valckenier is himself eventually arrested and jailed.


1742 – Negotiations begin between the VOC and Pakubuwono II of Mataram as the VOC and Cakraningrat IV of Madura spread their power. An agreement is reached between the VOC and Pakubuwono II. A popular rebellion under Sunan Kuning, a grandson of Amangkurat III, against the VOC and Mataram takes hold in the countryside. Cakraningrat IV retakes Kartasura from the rebels. The VOC is suspicious, and orders Pakubuwono II to be put back on throne. VOC troops defeat the last of the Chinese forces; a general amnesty is declared.


1743 – November 11 Pakubuwono II gives VOC Surabaya, Rembang, Jepara and claims to easternmost Java and West Madura. VOC receives a say in court appointments. Mixed-Portuguese locals attack VOC post at Kupang on Timor; VOC solidifies control of western part of Timor. VOC takes Bawean island.


1745 –

 Cakraningrat IV wages war with the VOC, attacks Surabaya, and retakes much of Madura and East Java. He is defeated by VOC forces and escapes to Banjarmasin, but the Sultan of Banjar captures him and sends him to Batavia. The VOC exiles him to South Africa. Gov-Gen Van Imhoff founds Buitenzorg (today’s Bogor). Malaria epidemic in Batavia.


Sentot Alibasyah (Prawiradirja)

 in 1745

they went to war against the VOC. The fighting ravaged Madura and much of the north coast, but by the end of the year the Madurese were defeated and West Madura’s status as a VOC vassal was confirmed.

Pakubuwana II’s concessions to the Dutch in 1743 included the right for the VOC to take a narrow strip of land along the entire north coast, as well as along rivers feeding into the Java Sea. The VOC did not take up this option but instead in 1746 pressed the king to lease to the VOC the entire north coastal region. Despite opposition from within the court, the king acquiesced, prompting a further rebellion, led by the capable Pangeran Mangkubumi.

territory of Mataram and the fact that some territories were still held jointly. There was almost constant conflict over land between the three authorities until a more detailed settlement was reached in 1774.

 the Dutch in Yogyakarta City of Fort Tatas built in 1709. [30]
 1710: Prince Aji ing chances, Anum Bannerman Martapura Kukar XIII became King until the year 1735


Hussin Kamaluddin became Sultan of Brunei until the year 1762 for the second time.

 Ship Dragon and pepper in Banjarmasin Onflow load. [32] [33]
 1747: Dutch Company founded the fort on the island of Tatas (Banjarmasin Central) is the first European settlement in Borneo until 1810 and then abandoned by Marshall Daendels accordance with the agreement with the Sultan of Banjar. [17]
 1747 – VOC decrees that native law (“adat”) will be in force in areas under its control outside of Batavia. VOC establishes a presence at Banjarmasin.


1748 – VOC sends Sultan of Banten into exile, makes his wife Ratu Sarifa regent but take direct control.


1749 – December 11 Pakubuwono II, in very ill health, signs a treaty giving full sovereignty in all Mataram to the VOC. (The treaty is widely ignored.) VOC declares Pakubuwono III as heir to throne of Mataram. Mangkubumi claims the title for himself, and rules from Yogya.


By 1749,

the king’s new court at Surakarta was under threat from the rebels and in desperation he signed over his entire domain to the VOC. Upon Pakubuwana’s death a few days later, the VOC installed his son as Pakubuwana III, but Mangkubumi also declared himself king, likewise with the name Pakubuwana. After another six years of war, the VOC and Mangkubumi finally reached an agreement, the 1755 Treaty of Giyanti, which partitioned Mataram between the two royal contenders. Mangkubumi took the title of Sultan and the regnal name Hamengkubuwana, and established his capital in the town of Yogyakarta, while Pakubuwana III remained as Susuhunan in the older city of Surakarta. Both rulers confirmed the VOC’s lease over the north coast and its ownership of the eastern peninsula.


1750 – Rebellion in Banten against Ratu Sarifa and the VOC.


GG mossel

1750 – 1761

Gouverneur-Generaal Jacob Mossel 


DEI Gouvenor’s Old  Batavia palace

        Aan het eind van de 18e eeuw was het buitenverblijf van de Gouverneur-Generaal in Weltevreden weer verouderd.
        Gouverneur-Generaal Van Imhoff was de eerste die al mocht gaan bouwen in een gebied wat Van Imhoff noemde


          , een naam die we in de geschiedenis van Nederlands-Indië nog vaker tegen zullen komen…..


GG Van Imhoff was de man betrokken bij de beruchte moord
op de Chinese bevolking in en rondom Batavia in 1740:



Sumatra, second half of 18th century

The assassination of Sultan Mahmud of Johor led to the disintegration of what remained of Johor’s empire. The Thai state of Ayutthaya invaded Trengganu, most of the east Sumatra coast as well as the Minangkabau settlements west of Melaka threw off Johor’s domination, and in 1718 Johor’s former vassal Siak attacked and occupied its territory. The sultan fled to Trengganu, which enjoyed a brief heyday as the centre of Malay power on the peninsula, though its power never extended beyond the east coast. Johor, meanwhile, came under the control of Bugis adventurers from Sulawesi, who also established the new state of Selangor between Melaka and Perak.


Bugis power drove Siak from the peninsula and the Riau archipelago, re-establishing ‘Johor’ with its capital on Bintan. Siak meanwhile extended its power northward along the Sumatra coast as far as Tamiang. Although Siak was still nominally a vassal of Johor until 1745, when the sultan ceded it to the VOC, in practice it was independent of all outside powers.

The greatest power on the island, however, was Palembang, which grew wealthy from the tin mines on the island of Bangka. Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin (r. 1724–57) kept tight control of the tin trade and delivered reliably to the VOC. Because Bangka and Belitung had been seriously depopulated by the slave-raiding of the previous century, however, the sultan encouraged Chinese miners to settle and work the deposits. By the middle of the century they dominated production


Bugis Sultan Banjar land to borrow to establish settlements in Tanjung Aru (the border area with Paser Land of Spices).

 Age of VOC
The Italians are the first Europeans to visit Borneo in the 14th century, then followed by the Spanish, British, and Dutch. Sambas kingdom is the first area that was under the influence of the Netherlands since the contract with the VOC made by Queen Sapudak (King Sambas) on October 1, 1609. On September 4, 1635, the Sultanate of Banjar make the first trade contract with the VOC and VOC will help conquer Paser Banjar. Since 1636, New York trying to be the center of the mandala to the other kingdoms in West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan and East Kalimantan. Banjar saga noted the delivery of tribute to the Sultan of Sambas Banjarmasin, Sukadana, Paser, Kutai, Berau, Karasikan (Buranun / Sulu), Great Lease (Sawakung), Bunyut and countries in Batang Lawai. Sukadana (formerly named Tanjungpura) is the host for the kingdom Tayan, Meliau, Sanggau and Mempawah. In 1638 in Yogyakarta tragedy occurred a massacre of the Dutch and Japanese so that the Dutch sent punitive expeditions and making threats against the Sultanate of Banjarmasin, the Kingdom and the Kingdom Sukadana Kotawaringin. In 1700 Sukadana (Matan) suffered defeat in the war with the Hedgehog (vazal Bantam). Hedgehogs assisted Bantam and VOCs, so the porcupine and Sukadana Banten claims (mostly West Kalimantan) as its territory. Year 1756 VOC trying to get Lawai, Sintang and Sanggau from Banjarmasin. Initial area in Kalimantan, which claimed to belong to VOCs are areas along the coast from Sukadana until Mempawah given by the Sultanate of Banten on March 26, 1778. VOC had established a factory in Sukadana and Mempawah but 14 years later abandoned due to non-productive (Sir Stamford Rafless, The History of Java). Pontianak Sultanate supported establishment of the VOC in the estuary of the river Hedgehogs Hedgehogs originally protested because it is a territory but eventually loosens the pressure of the VOC. On August 13, 1787, the Sultanate of Banjar a protectorate, VOCs and vazal vazal Banjarmasin submitted to VOCs include East Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, part of South Kalimantan, West Kalimantan and the interior, which reaffirmed the 1826 agreement. Then formed the Dutch East Indies Residency Residency Sambas and Pontianak with the appointment of kings as a regent of the Netherlands Indies colonial administration. Later merged into the Residency Residency Sambas and Pontianak Kalimantan hinterland into Residency West Borneo. Dutch East Indies in 1860 abolished the Sultanate of Banjar, then the last territory to be part of the Residency Afdeeling South and East Borneo.
 1756: On October 20, 1756 Sultan Banjar Tamjidullah I made a pact with the VOC containing pepper trade ban by the Chinese, English and French will help further VOC reconquer the breakaway region such as: Berau, Kutai, Paser, Sanggau, Sintang and Lawai. Tatas fort was built on the island of Tatas, New York.
 1759: Sultan Muhammad Aliuddin Aminullah be Banjar XIII until the year 1761.
 1761: His Majesty Sultan Nata Nature is the Banjar XIV until the year 1801, previously as regent Crown Prince who was a child.
 1762: Omar Akamuddin I to the Sultan of Sambas until 1793. In Brunei, Omar Ali Saifuddin I to the Sultan of Brunei until 1795.
 1765: King Amiril Pengiran Maharajadinda Tidung served until 1782.
 1766: Ibrahim Sultan Alam Shah became Sultan of Sand III until 1786.
 October 23, 1771: City of Pontianak was founded by Abdurrahman Sharif Alkadrie who in 1778 sanctioned the Dutch VOC-I as Sultan of Pontianak in power until 1808. Establishment of a new kingdom at the mouth of the river was originally protested by Hedgehogs Hedgehog Kingdom.
 1772: Sayyid Idrus Alaydrus, son of Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin I of the Sultanate of Palembang was appointed VOC-Dutch became the first camp Pertuan kingdom, ruled until 1795.
 1773: British occupy Balambangan. [34]
 1775: La Pangewa, was sworn in as lieutenant of the Bugis Pagatan Kapitan title by Sultan of Pulo Sea Tahmidullah II, after pounding the Prince Amir (King Kusan I) are out of the way up to Kuala Biaju.
 1777: Republic of Hakka Lanfang a country in West Kalimantan, founded by Mr. Fang Low until finally destroyed by the VOC, the Dutch in 1884.
 1778: According to the deed dated March 26, 1778 Hedgehog and Sukadana submitted to the Dutch Company by the Sultan of Banten. This is the territory that originally belonged to the VOC.
 1778: Sultan Aji Muhammad Aliyeddin be Kukar XIV until the year 1780.
 1780: Sultan Aji Muhammad Muslihuddin be Kukar XV until the year 1816.
 1780: Sultanate Banjarmasin population approaching 9000 people. [35]
 1782: Amiril Pengiran Maharajalila III became King Tidung until 1817.
 28 September 1782: Pemindahkan Kutai Sultanate’s capital of Pemarangan to the Edge of Pandan.
 1785: Prince Amir assisted Whitewater Tarawe Tabaneo attacked by troops Paser 3000 the Bugis-powered boats 60 to demand the throne of the Sultanate of Banjar of Tahmidullah II. [36]
 1786: Queen of the Great became the Sultan of Sand II until 1788.
 May 14, 1787: Prince Amir Dutch Company were arrested, then exiled to Sri Lanka.
 August 13, 1787: Tahmidullah II Sultan of the Sultanate Banjar cede sovereignty to the VOC became the protectorate of the deed of submission in front of the Resident Walbeck, after the VOC, the Dutch managed to get rid of Prince Amir, his rival in the struggle for the throne. Most of Borneo submitted become property of the company VOCs.
 1788: Sultan Anom Dipati Alamsyah became Sultan of Sand III until 1799. Sultan is married to the Queen is the Queen of Diamonds I Tjangtoeng and Batoe Litjin.
 1789: Sultan of Pontianak with Dutch support attacks against Panembahan Mempawah with the objective of winning the region Panembahan Mempawah. Lan Fong partnership then also sent troops to help force the Sultan of Pontianak. Panembahan Mempawah Panembahan Mempawah defeated then King resigned himself to the Authorship and later settled there.
 1790: Abubakar Tajuddin I became Sultan of Sambas until 1814.
 1795: Mohammed Tajuddin became Sultan of Brunei IX until 1807. Ordered Khatib Haji Abdul Latif writes Genealogy of the Kings of Brunei and ordered him to make a home waqf for Brunei pilgrims in Mecca.
 1795: Kingdom of Panembahan Simpang Matan built on the remnants of the Kingdom Sukadana [37]
 1797: Sovereignty of the Sea Island area Paser and VOC handed back to the Sultan of Banjar, Tahmidullah II.
 1799: Sultan Sulaiman Alam II became Sultan of Sand IV until 1811.
Age of British Colonialism

1746 – Pangeran Mangkubumi, disgusted with capitulations to the VOC (and being the target of court intrigues to take away his lands), announces full-scale rebellion. He is joined by Pangeran Mas Said. August 26: First VOC Post Office opened in Jakarta. VOC reestablishes presence in Perak. VOC receives Siak (across the straits from Melaka) from the Sultan of Johore. Bank van Leening founded by VOC to support trade.



Sumatra and the Malay peninsula, first half of 18th century

During the second half of the 18th century, VOC power became increasingly decisive in the international politics of the Melaka Strait region. In 1753, the Company gained sovereignty over Banten, giving it a legal claim to Lampung. It was also engaged in a protracted struggle with the Bugis on the peninsula and in the Riau archipelago during which the Bugis occupied Kedah and the Dutch briefly took Selangor and sacked Bintan yet again. Johor, which still had little presence in the Malay Peninsula, came under Dutch influence and was under effective Dutch rule until 1795.


The west coast of Sumatra, meanwhile, became the scene of sporadic competition between the colonial powers. The vague understanding which gave the north to the VOC and the south to the British broke down when the British established forts at Poncang Kecil and Natal on the Tapanuli coast in 1752, though these posts never grew into a significant colonial presence. In the south, Bencoolen was briefly occupied by French forces in 1760.

In 1759
the fortifications were improved by the addition of a dry dich which can still be seen. The earth  from the ditch was dug out to a depth of six feet and width of twelve feet. The eaeth from this ditch was placed between the original outer wall of the fort and a new wall which had been contructed thus making the fort virtually impregnable from gun fire.This work gave the fort the resemblance that is seen today, with the enlarged gun platforms and ramparts.Shortly after this improvement, a french napal squadron, under the command of comte Charles-henri ‘Estaing’, arrived Bencoolen.Owing toa lack of ammunition and supplies but to surrender to the French Commander.The town  and fort were handed over the intruders withour conflict. The french used the fort as aprison for the East India company garrison, but affer some decimation of his force by a variety of fevers, the french commander abandoned Bencoolen and handed the town and fort back to the Ease town and fort back to the Ease India company representative althoug they too had been severely reduced in number owing to sickness and fevers.
In 1760  the Ease  india company settlement on the west coast of the sumatra were declared a presidency with Bencoolen becoming a presidential town, The garrison had, unfortunately, capitulated to the french before the new of the raise in  status was received. Following the departure of the french maritime force the senior appointtmen was up-granded to that of Governor and the firs to be  appointed was roger carter.

second half of 18th century


The second major geo-political zone to develop in western Indonesia was in Java. In the interior of the island, a combination of rich volcanic soil and abundant rain made the Kedu plain the richest agricultural region of maritime Southeast Asia. Somewhat isolated from the north coast by mountains, the region was less vulnerable than most to sea-borne attack, and its rulers were able to keep the merchant world of the trading cities at bay, with the result that royal authority became more deeply established than elsewhere.

The early history of Kedu is as shadowy as that of the rest of the archipelago. The region may at first have been under the domination of Ho-ling, but in about 732 a king called Sanjaya, a follower of the Hindu god Siva, established a kingdom there which we generally call Mataram. Sanjaya was probably not an absolute ruler in any sense; he is probably best thought of as a local warlord who managed by a combination of careful alliance and calculated warfare with other warlords to establish himself as the most important power-holder in the plain. Within a few decades, moreover, and for reasons still not at all clear, his lineage was eclipsed by other rulers who were followers of Mahayana Buddhism and who acknowledged the suzerainty of the Sailendra dynasty. The Sailendras apparently sponsored the construction of the Borobudur, a massive Buddhist stupa, on the Kedu plain, as well as a number of other major monuments. This era of temple construction, which is paralleled nowhere else in maritime Southeast Asia, is a powerful measure of the ability of rulers in Central Java to mobilize the labour of their people on a massive scale.

The coastal polity of Ho-ling evidently survived the rise to power of Mataram on the other side of the mountains, for its ruler sent an embassy to China as late as 820, announcing that it had resumed the old name Jawa (‘Shepo’), but there are signs that it sent this embassy from eastern Java, having been displaced there by Mataram.

The disappearance of Ho-ling soon after 820 coincides with the overthrow of the Sailendras by a Hindu descendant of Sanjaya named Pikatan who restored Sivaitic Hinduism as the dominant religion. Pikatan or his successors were responsible for the construction of the Hindu temple complex of Prambanan and the century or so which followed is generally recognized as a time of cultural florescence, in which Java absorbed and re-worked new elements of Indian culture to create a distinctive indigenous variant of Indian civilization.

In the middle of the 10th century, for reasons which are still not clear, the centre of Javanese power moved from the Kedu plain to the valley of the Brantas River in eastern Java. There, with easier access to the sea, Javanese rulers may have become more closely involved in trade. They were also more vulnerable, and in 1016 were badly defeated in battle, probably during an attack from Srivijaya.


Rijder and Buis, 1756

The Rijder, commanded by Captain Jean Gonzal, and the Buis, skippered by Captain Lavienne Lodewijk van Asschens, explored the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Java, 1595-1625

Mataram’s overseas empire

Mataram at the height of its power, early 17th century

Mataram’s period of dominance was brief. Sultan Agung’s brutality in eliminating potential opposition was exceeded by that of his successor, Amangkurat I, who soon alienated a large part of the Javanese elite. Full-scale rebellion broke out in 1675, led by a disaffected prince of Madura named Trunojoyo, who was in league both with Makasar refugees from southern Sulawesi and with the crown prince, Amangkurat’s son. The rebellion began in the coastal regions which had felt the brunt of Mataram’s hostility to trade, but quickly found support in the interior after Trunojoyo defeated the Mataram forces at Gogodog in 1676 and, abandoning the crown prince, declared himself king.

Mataram would certainly have fallen but for the fact that the VOC, fearing the rise of a new, assertive dynasty on Java, gave military support to Mataram in exchange for territorial and trading concessions. In 1678, after Amangkurat I had died and the crown prince had been installed as Amangkurat II, Dutch troops marched into eastern Java to begin a three-year campaign alongside Mataram forces which destroyed the rebel armies. The intervention established the VOC as the single most powerful military force in Java, gave it hegemony over a large hinterland south and east of Batavia, as well as control of the enclave of Semarang, and reduced the power and territory of Banten.

Java in turmoil, 1676-1681: the Trunajaya rebellion



VOC civil administration in Indonesia, 1792

VOC civil administration in central and east Java, 1792

VOC civil administration in Ambon, 1792


1751 – VOC forces des

Private estates close to Batavia, about 1750

The city of Batavia, on the other hand, gradually developed into a significant urban settlement. Built at first in Dutch style, with tall buildings facing on to a grid of narrow canals, the city soon spread beyond its old walls. In the newer southern suburbs of the city, called Weltevreden, Dutch architecture was modified to take more account of the needs of life in the tropics.

As far as possible, the VOC preferred not to take a direct hand in the day-to-day administration of the territories they dominated. Rather, they sought to work with established indigenous elites, believing that these elites possessed a political legitimacy as rulers which the Dutch would never have and that Dutch domination thus could be maintained without unduly offending indigenous sensibilities. On Java, they turned for the most part to the bupati who had been regional lords under Mataram and whom they referred to as regenten (regents).

The Dutch maintained the bupati as symbols of traditional authority and each bupati had responsibility for law and order in his district. In most regions, however, the bupati were also deeply involved in Dutch economic programmes. The most important of these programmes was the Priangan System (Preanger-Stelsel), applied in the so-called Priangan Regencies (Preanger Regentschappen). The people of the region farmed coffee estates for the bupati, who received 10% of the produce for their role. The producers were obliged to deliver the remainder of the crop to the Company, which paid them at half the market rate, in exchange for exempting them from land tax and further feudal services to the bupati. In practice, however, the bupati retained wide powers to tax their subjects on top of the official provisions. This lucrative arrangement remained in force from the early 18th century until 1870.

In the early days of the Company’s settlement at Batavia, Banten (which the Dutch called Bantam) had been a major regional power. Because it possessed only a small agricultural hinterland, it was much more vulnerable than Mataram and its military power was decisively broken in 1677. Thereafter, although the Dutch repeatedly nibbled at the boundary with Banten in order to increase the territory around Batavia, and although they forced the sultan to recognize their suzerainty in 1752, the sultanate was left intact. Only in 1808 did the Dutch annex the coastal regions, a prelude to the incorporation of the rest of the territory in 1813.

troy the Banten rebellion; guerilla attacks continue against VOC plantations around Batavia. VOC extends control over Lampung.


1754 – Mangkubumi considers negotiating with VOC, worries about possible disloyalty from Mas Said.


1755 – February 13 Treaty of Gijanti: Sultan Hamengkubuwono gets VOC recognition of title and lands. Treaty requires Sultan Hamengkubuwono to ally himself with the VOC against Mas Said. Mas Said, now without allies, attacks VOC forces.


Java after the Treaty of Giyanti, 1755

The Javanese territories continued to be divided into mancanegara and negara agung, as in the time of Sultan Agung, but areas such as Banyumas and Pacitan were now included in the negara agung. These boundaries remained intact until the end of the century.

By the second half of the 18th century, the VOC controlled more than half of Java. Only Banten and a severely truncated Mataram remained outside their control, and in fact the rulers of both territories had formally acknowledged Dutch suzerainty, Mataram in 1749 and Banten in 1752.

Because Dutch dominion had grown gradually under widely differing political and economic conditions, the character of Dutch rule varied from region to region. The oldest region of Dutch rule – Batavia and its surrounding territories, known as the Ommelanden – had been purged of its indigenous inhabitants soon after the first Dutch settlement and was inhabited in the 18th century by the descendants of immigrants, some free-born, some slaves, drawn from many parts of the archipelago and beyond. Balinese and Chinese were an especially significant component of the ethnic mix on the outskirts of the city

Until 1755,

VOC policy had been to support whichever ruler of Mataram they believed could be bent to their interests. From 1755, their policy was one of divide and rule. The partition of Mataram was repeated in Surakarta in 1757 with the installation of another former rebel as prince Mangkunegara I with a domain which was beneath Surakarta in status but not quite subordinate in practice. The arrangement was made all the more complex by the fact that Surakarta and Yogyakarta territories were scattered across the whole of the remaining former

1756 – VOC signs treaties with chiefs on Savu and Sumba. October: Bugis begin a siege of VOC at Melaka. VOC sends a special ambassador to Banjarmasin. A trade agreement is reached. VOC makes agreements with local chieftains on Timor.

1757 – February: Reinforcements from Batavia force Bugis to end siege of Melaka. Mas Said agrees to negotiations with the VOC.


1758 – January 1: VOC signs treaty with the Bugis. Hostilities between the VOC, Yogya, Surakarta and Pangeran Mas Said end; Mas Said becomes Pangeran Mangkunegara I with his court also at Surakarta. VOC has control of all the north coast provinces.


1759 – VOC abandons fort at Linggi, near Melaka.



August 1760
The France assault from the sea and captured Fort Marlborough under the command of Admiral Comte Charles d’Estaing.

March 1761
The France left the Bencoolen.

July 1761
The British expedition under the command of Captain Vincent was conflicted by native authority. They refused the British arrival in Bencoolen.


GG parra

1761 – 1775

Gouverneur-Generaal Petrus Albertus van der Parra

1781The British in turn occupied Padang from 1781 to 1784, while the French took the settlement briefly in 1793. In 1795, under an agreement between William of Orange and the British during the Napoleonic occupation of the Netherlands, British forces occupied Padang again, along with Melaka, to exclude the French. 


February 1762
The British retake the Fort Marlborough. When the British returned to slip back it to Bengal’s jurisdiction, Bencoolen functioned as separated presidency until 1773.


GG Van Riemsdijk

1775 – 1777

Gouverneur-Generaal Jeremias van Riemsdijk


1765 – VOC abandons fort at Siak.


1768 – VOC expedition to Malang against descendants of Surapati captures Pangeran Singasari, who dies in custody.


1769 – French expedition steals clove and nutmeg plants from Ambon, breaking the VOC monopoly. Portuguese build post at Dili, East Timor.


1770 – English Captain James Cook visits Batavia.


1771 – Last of Surapati’s line is captured by VOC forces in Malang. Malang now falls under VOC control. VOC forces work to push Balinese out of Balambangan. Syarif Abdurrahman from Arabia founds Pontianak, becomes its first Sultan.


1778 – Sultan of Pontianak accepts VOC protectorate in exchange for recognition by the VOC as a Sultan. The Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen is founded. (Its collections would later form the basis of the National Museum and National Library.)



Kuta Besak is the center court Palembang Darussalam Sultanate, as traditional power centers that experienced the change from middle age into a new era in the 19th century. Understanding Kuto here comes from the Sanskrit word, which means: The city, castle, fort, stronghold (see ‘Dictionary of Ancient Java – Indonesia’, L Mardiwarsito, Nusa Indah Flores, 1986).

Melayu Language (Palembang) seems to put more emphasis on the meaning of the castle, fortress, stronghold kuto meaning even more defined in terms of the shape of the high fence wall. While understanding more of the country translated.

The fort was founded in 1780 by Sultan Muhammad Bahauddin (father Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II). This idea comes from the fortress of Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin I (1724-1758), or known by Jayo Wikramo, who founded the Old Palace Kuta in 1737. This castle development process is fully supported by all the people in South Sumatra. They also donated building materials and labor executive.

Who was the architect, is not known with certainty. There is the suggestion that the architect was the Europeans. For monitoring the implementation of the work entrusted to a Chinese, who are experts in their fields.

As a material for the adhesive cement brick limestone is used in rural areas Ogan River. Limestone material landfills are located in the back of the Land of the Kingdom which is now called the Kapuran Village, and creeks are used as a means of transport is Kapuran River.

1781 – British take the Dutch outpost at Perak.


1783 – The VOC, short of cash, asks the Netherlands States-General for financial assistance.


1784 – VOC attacks Riau to prevent the British from taking over. October 29: VOC defeats Bugis forces in Riau. Sultan of Riau dies without a successor; VOC takes complete control of Johore and Riau by treaty. VOC builds fort on Bintan. Treaty of Paris ends the war with Britain, and opens the VOC controlled Indies to free trade.



February 1785
Presidency of Fort Marlborough was set back to Residency administration, and responsible to Calcutta Presidency in India. It ruled until the end of the colony in 1825 on the subject of Anglo-Dutch Treaty 1824.

Fort Marlborough seen from the South
Engraved by Joseph Stadler 1799

Fort Marlborough seen from the South-East
Engraved by Joseph Stadler 1799

1780 – War breaks out between the Netherlands and Britain. Extra troops are sent to Java. Plague in Batavia. Smallpox epidemic on Sumatra. Islamic reform movement grows in Minangkabau.


1786 – British found Penang in Malaya. Sultan of Banjar cedes sovereignty to VOC

1790 – Rumours spread that Pakubuwono IV is planning a massacre of Dutch in Java, and takeovers of the Yogya and Mangkunegara courts. Forces from Yogya and VOC surround Surakarta. Pakubuwono IV orders his advisors to leave court; VOC sends them into exile. Gold rush begins in West Kalimantan.


1791 – VOC withdraws from Pontianak.



An extrack from the East India company record showing the military establishment of Fort Marlborough for 1791

1792 – VOC declares that Mangkunegara title and possessions are hereditary.


VOC civil administration in Banda, 1792

This administrative burden contributed to growing financial difficulties for the VOC during the 18th century. The Company’s monopoly policies, moreover, had contributed to serious impoverishment in the archipelago, diminishing the possibility of large profits. In response, the Dutch sought to drive down the purchase price of produce by various systems of forced delivery which often caused enormous hardship to their Indonesian subjects. A further problem was high levels of corruption amongst Company officials, despite draconian penalties for those who were caught. Another blow were French raids on Ambon in 1769–1772 which obtained clove plants and allowed the French to begin cultivation of cloves in Mauritius. The consequence was that the Company began to borrow money to pay its still-impressive dividends to investors, thereby digging itself into deeper financial problems. Many attempts at reform were begun during the 18th century; some of them tightening systems of control, others proposing some liberalization, but entrenched interests in Batavia were able for the most part to prevent reforms from having long-term effect.

By the end of the century, the VOC could no longer pay its way, and on 31 December 1799 it was formally wound up, its property, debts and interests in the Indies being taken over by the Dutch state. At that moment, however, not just the system of Dutch rule in the archipelago was in the balance. Dutch power itself appeared likely to disappear in the Napoleonic world war between England and France.

The English East India Company (EIC), founded in 1600, was a joint stock company like the VOC formed to exploit the trading opportunities of Asia. Unlike the VOC, it was reconstituted initially after each voyage and then at intervals of four years, so that it did not immediately develop a lasting bureaucratic stucture like that of the Dutch company. The two companies almost immediately came into conflict over trade in the archipelago, with Governor-General Coen unilaterally declaring Maluku closed to the English in 1616. The English established posts on Lontor and Run in the Banda Islands, but were generally outmanoeuvred by the Dutch. The conflict came to a head in 1623, in the so-called Amboyna massacre, when ten English company agents on Ambon were tortured and executed on charges of conspiring against the VOC.

The English briefly established a headquarters at Legundi off the southern tip of Sumatra, but were forced by disease to move first to Batavia and then to Banten. Their interest, however, was moving towards India and they did not attempt to maintain more than a scattering of small posts in Indonesia from this time.

By 1684 the English had lost all their former posts and forts in Indonesia, but in the following year they began to develop interests on the western coast of Sumatra, beginning with Pariaman. These interests grew into control of the southern part of that coast, with a headquarters at Bengkulu (Bencoolen), which became a base, according to Dutch complaints, for private English traders to infringe Dutch monopolies throughout the western archipelago

1795 – January Dutch revolutionaries and French troops declare the Batavian Republic in the Netherlands. The Stadhouder of the Netherlands flees to London. The new Republic finds itself in a state of war with Britain. February 7: The Prince of Orange, stadhouder-in-exile of the Netherlands, issues a letter to all colonial governors telling them to surrender to the British. (The VOC in Batavia do not comply.) August: VOC surrenders Melaka to the British East India Company.



 – March 1 Heeren XVII transfer administration of the VOC to a government Committee for East Indian Affairs. Mangkunegara II inherits court, but much of the treasury is stolen by the VOC resident at Surakarta. British occupy Padang. British occupy Ambon. Riots break out in Maluku between villages. VOC fortress at Ternate refuses to surrender.


Weltevreden Palace (1796)

Batavia/Jakarta – Indonesia

Istana Merdeka is a palace complex in Central Jakarta, Indonesia. At first there was only one building in this complex, the Istana Negara. The Istana Negara was originally built as the residence for a Dutch businessman, J. A. van Braam. Rijswijk and Molenvliet (presently known as Harmonie), the location chosen as the time was the most exclusive neighborhood in Weltevreden area, the New Batavia. During its early years, only the State Palace stood in this complex. The State Palace was built in 1796 facing north toward Ciliwung river bank, during the era of Pieter Gerardus van Overstraten as Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies, and completed in 1804.

The government used this building as the center of all administration and as the official residence of the Governor-General during a stay in Batavia, in occasion of events such as the Indies Council Meeting held every Wednesday. The Governor-Generals preferred to live in Bogor Palace in Bogor, due to the cooler and more adaptable temperatures in the hillsides of Bogor. The mansion of van Braam was bought due because of a need for the Dutch government to centralize power. However, Daendels Palace (currently Ministry of Finance) in Lapangan Banteng (formerly known as Waterloo Square) was not completed yet.

Upon the completion of Daendels Palace, plans to centralize power changed, and the mansion of van Braam officially became the residency of the governor-general, and Daendels Palace housed administrative buildings. Hotel van den Gouverneur-Generaal (Hotel of the Governor-General) became the official name of the van Braam mansion. During the Colonial era, important events took place in this building. Some of which include the declaration of the cultuur stensel system by the Governor Graaf van den Bosch, and the ratification ceremony of the Lingarjati Treaty on March 25, 1947.

During mid-19th century, the palace does not suffice the accommodation of its administrative purposes, and under orders from J.W. van Lansberge, a new building that today become the Merdeka Palace was built within the complex in 1873 during the Governor General Loudon administration, and finished in 1879 during Governor General Johan Willem van Landsberge administration. This neoclasical building, designed by Drossares, was built in southern part of the complex directly facing Koningsplein (now Merdeka Square). The new Governor General palace at Koningsplein was also known as Istana Gambir (Gambir Palace).

            Daendels kocht, na de stichting van Buitenzorg, de vroegere woning van Gouverneur-Generaal Van Riemsdijk aan het Molenvliet, Rijswijk zijde. Dit huis, vanaf 1796 gemoderniseerd, ging dienen als residentie voor de Gouverneurs-Generaal als deze in Batavia waren en werd al s

1797 – Nederlands Zendelinggenootschap or Dutch Missionary Society is founded. This was the beginning of heavy activity by Dutch Protestant missionaries in Indonesia, not only to Java and Sumatra but also to very remote areas, eventually even to Irian Jaya.


In 1797,

the Palembang Darusalam castle was finished, and began formally occupied by the Sultan Muhammad Bahauddin on Monday, 23 Sha’ban 1211 Hijri in the morning or in conjunction with the February 21, 1797 AD. Meanwhile, the oldest son, who became Prince Queen (Crown Prince) occupies the Old Palace Kuta.


1798 – Napoleonic Dutch government revokes charter of VOC, assumes its debts and assets.


1799 –

 April 27 Committee for East Indian Affairs sends a letter of instructions to Batavia, stating that the revolutionary ideas of the Republic (liberty and equality) could not be applied to the Indies. Dutch officers under siege at Ternate mutiny and surrender to the British.




The first papermoney of the Netherlands Indies

At the end of the 18th century, the first kind of papermoney appeared in the Netherlands Indies. The notes were issued by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) that represented the Dutch interests in the East.

Many money transports from the Netherlands got lost and the wars with England twarted these transports regularly. Also the political uncertainty in Europe due to the French revolution and the war between France and England, resulting in the occupation by the English of the Dutch possessions in the East and West, bothered the VOC substantially.  

As a consequence, the decay of the VOC started in the second half of the 18th century. The subsequent scarcity of money and the shortage of precious metals for coinage, led to the issuing of papermoney in 1782. The notes were issued in a period during which France also re-introduced papermoney and a number of other European countries also started using papermoney, like Sweden, Denmark and England.

Initially interest bearing bonds were issued (6%) in denomiations of 25, 50, 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 en 1000 rijksdaalders. In 1873 the interest was not applied anymore. The notes were issued in multiples of rijksdaalders, starting from 1 up to 1000 rijksdaalders.

The exchange rate of these credit notes and the exchange against cash was problematic due to the impoverished situation of the VOC and resulted in substantial depreciation and the notes being sold at exchange rates lower than 15%.

Just before the VOC got bankrupt in 1799, the Netherlands Indies government issued new emissions, even during the French occupation (in the name of King Lodewijk Napoleon) and the English occupation (in the name of the English East India Company EEIC)) until approximately 1810.

Example of this first papermoney, a rijksdaalder from 1799, good for 48 zwaare stuyvers Indish money, issued in t’ Casteel (the Castle) in Batavia. The notes carry authenticity marks with VOC stamps on obverse and reverse, on handmade paper and has signatures by Brongers, Brinkman and Kleijnst


1800 – VOC formally dissolved on January 1; properties revert to Dutch government. Sultan of the Kraton Kanoman in Cirebon is banished to Ambon by the Dutch. A low-level rebellion breaks out under Bagus Rangen.


The VOC was losing money to corruption and political intrigues. By the end of the 1700s, it was fully bankrupt. On January 1st, 1800, it ceased to exist. The British had taken all the former VOC possessions and protectorates in the area, except for Java, Banjarmasin, Palembang, western Timor and Makassar. Most of these were returned to the Dutch in 1802, only to be reconquered by the British a few years later.


And the Struggle continued…


Atche warriors











BATAVIA ALS HANDELS-, INDUSTRIE- EN WOONSTAD samengesteld in opdracht van de stadsgemeente Batavia. Batavia as a commercial, industrial and residential center written for the municipality of Batavia. Batavia, Amsterdam, G. Kolff & Co., (1937). 8vo. Cloth. With many plates and photographic illustrations. 303 pp.


BATAVIA, GELEGEN OP HET EILAND JAVA, EEN BEROEMDE VOLKPLANTING DER BATAVIEREN. – BATAVIA NOVA, KALAPPA & JACATRA PRIUS DICTA, IN INSULA JAVA, BATAVORUM NOBILIS COLONIA. (Amsterdam, 1702).Engraving. Ca. 21 x 25,5 cm. From: P. Schenk. Hecatompolis sive totius orbis terrarum oppida nobiliora centrum. – Fine bird’s-eye view of Batavia with ships in the foreground.Feith 13; Cat. Batavia Tentoonstelling Amsterdam 1919, 19.


BATAVIA. Die innere Aussicht des Castells in Batavia nebst der Schloss Kirche. – Vuë interieure du pallais de Batavie avec l’eglise du chateau. Augsburg, François Xavier Habermann, (ca. 1780).Contemporary handcoloured perspective view (vue d’optique or Guckkastenbild), with descriptive text in German and French. ca 29 x 40 cm. Collection des prospects. – Handsome view, after J.W. Heijdt, inside the castle depicting the parade-ground with on the left side the houses of the Raad van Indië and on the right side the castle-chucrh, the house of the governor-general and the buildings of the government, in the background the sea with ships. – Fine.Feith 78c; Cat. 300-jarig bestaan van Batavia 208,3.


BATAVIA. Die innere Aussicht des Castells in Batavia nebst der Schloss Kirche. – Vuë interieure du pallais de Batavie avec l’eglise du chateau. Augsburg, François Xavier Habermann, (ca. 1780).Contemporary handcoloured perspective view (vue d’optique or Guckkastenbild). ca 29 x 40 cm. Collection des prospects. – Handsome view, after J.W. Heijdt, inside the castle depicting the parade-ground with on the left side the houses of the Raad van Indië and on the right side the castle-chucrh, the house of the governor-general and the buildings of the government, in the background the sea with ships. – (Without printed text at lower side, just printed title on top).Feith 78c; Cat. 300-jarig bestaan van Batavia 208,3.




BATAVIA. BATAVIA. (Hildburghausen, ca. 1850).Steel-engraving after C. Reiss by W. Wallis. Ca. 10 x 15,5 cm. From: J. Meyer. Universum. – Romantic view from the sea with some people in the foreground.Feith 108; Haks & Maris, Lexicon, B 34.


BATAVIA. BATAVIA. (London, 1704). Engraving. Ca. 12,5 x 16 cm. From: Nieuhof. The voyages and travels. – Panoramic view with on the left the Old Dutch Church and the old townhall and on the right the castle. With title on scroll and coat of arms of Batavia.


BATAVIA. CARTE DES ENVIRONS DE BATAVIA avec la vuë de cette ville. Pour servir a l’histoire generale des voyages. 1750. Tirée des Hollandois. (Amst., 1750).Engraved plan by Dheulland, with cartouche and fine view of Batavia from the sea. Ca. 21 x 28 cm. From: A.F. Prévost. Histoire generale des voyages. – Fine plan and profile of Batavia.Cf. Brommer BAT K35; Feith 30; Cf. Cat. 300-jarig bestaan Batavia 36.


BATAVIA. GESIGHT VAN’T SUYKER PAKHUYS, GESIEN OP DE BRUGH VAN’T CASTEEL BATAVIA. (Amst., 1726).Engraving. Ca. 29 x 37 cm. From: François Valentijn. Oud en nieuw Oost-Indiën. – Fine view of the sugar warehouse seen from the castle-moat, with on the right bastion Diamant. The popular name of Kota Inten (Diamond City), still carries the memory of the Diamond Bastion of the old castle. – (Some wormholes restored).Feith 67e; Cat. 300-jarig bestaan van Batavia 154,5.


BATAVIA. THE GOVERNOR OF BATAVIA’S PALACE, IN THE EAST INDIES. (London, 1780). Engraving by J. Lodge. Ca. 15,5 x 27 cm. – Fine view of the palace with people in the foreground. – Feith 101.


BATAVIA. DE NEDERLANDERS VOOR JACATRA. 1618. (Leyden, 1855).Tinted lithographed plate. Ca. 26 x 36 cm. From: J.H. Eichman & H. Altmann. Vaderlandsche historieplaten. – Historical print depicting the taking by the Dutch of Jacatra in 1602.Catalogus 300-jarig bestaan Batavia, 215. [Boeknr.: 30841 ]
€ 65,00


BATAVIA. PLAN DE BATAVIA. (Leiden, Pieter van der Aa, 1729).Engraved plan of Batavia. Ca. 21 x 28 cm. From: Pieter van der Aa. Galérie agréable du monde. – Plan of the town with legend in the lower right corner, numbered 1 – 41, referring to all important buildings. Bastin, Batavia, BAT K40; Feith 24. 
€ 125,00


BATAVIA. PLAN DE LA VILLE ET DU CHATEAU DE BATAVIA EN L’ISLE DE JAVA. Ware afbeeldinge wegens het casteel ende stadt Batavia gelegen opt groot eylant Java. Leide, Pierre van der Aa, (1729).Engraved plan of Batavia with ships lying in the road, with coat of arms, legend and scroll, in the righthand corner a panoramic view of the city. Ca. 26,5 x 35,5 cm. From: Pieter van der Aa. Galérie agréable du monde. – Fine decorative plan of Batavia after Clemendt de Jonghe.Brommer, Batavia, BAT K25; Feith 14; Cat. 300-jarig bestaan Batavia 20. [Boeknr.: 14110 ]
€ 450,00


BATAVIA. PLAN ODER GRUND-RISS, DER STADT BATAVIA, samt der eine Stund Weges umher liegenden Gegend. (Wilhermsdorff, 1744).Engraving after J.W. Heijdt by A. Hoffer. Ca. 24 x 28 cm. From: J.W. Heydt. Allerneuester .. Schau-Platz. – Charming plan of the town with surroundings. Cat. 300-jarig bestaan van Batavia 37; Brommer BAT K34. [Boeknr.: 1296 ]
€ 180,00


BATAVIA. PLAN ODER GRUNDRISS DER STADT UND DERER VORSTÄTTE, wie auch des Castels Batavia. (Wilhermsdorff, 1744).Engraving after J.W. Heijdt by A. Hoffer. Ca. 22,5 x 26,5 cm. From: J.W. Heydt. Allerneuester .. Schau-Platz. – Fine plan of Batavia and surroundings. With street-index on scroll.Feith 70a XXII; Cat. 300-jarig bestaan van Batavia 55; Brommer BAT K44. [Boeknr.: 14537 ]
€ 180,00


BATAVIA. Prospect von der Bastion Gelderland ausserhalb der Stadt Batavia, wie solche nach der Natur gege die aussern portugiesischen Kirche und dem blauen Berg zu gezeichnet worden von Johan Wolffgang Heyd. – Vuë de la Bastion de Gelderland .. Augsburg, François Xavier Habermann, (ca. 1780).Contemporary handcoloured perspective view (vue d’optique or Guckkastenbild), with descriptive text in German and French. ca. 29 x 40 cm. Collection des prospects. – Handsome view, after J.W. Heijdt, depicting the Portuguese Church outside the city walls, the present Gereja Sion on Jl. Jaykarta, with the old belltower and the Jassenbridge. It is the oldest remaining VOC-church in Jakarta. – Fine.Feith 78f; Cat. 300-jarig bestaan van Batavia 208,6. [Boeknr.: 32265 ]
€ 350,00


BATAVIA. Prospect von der Bastion Perl längst der Courtine des Castells Batavia gezeichnet. – Vuë de la Bastion Perl, desine pres de Courtine du Chateau de Batavia. Augsburg, François Xavier Habermann, (ca. 1780).Contemporary handcoloured perspective view (vue d’optique or Guckkastenbild), with descriptive text in German and French. ca. 29 x 40 cm. Collection des prospects. – Handsome view, after J.W. Heijdt, depicting the north-west bastion of the castle of Batavia called Parel or Pearl. – Fine.Feith 78e; Cat. 300-jarig bestaan van Batavia 208,5. [Boeknr.: 32264 ]
€ 350,00

Koleksi taman Prasasti Jakarta(Jakarta Old Tombstone Garden Collections)

Koleksi Taman Prasasti Jakata

Sebuah meriam perunggu cuaca berdiri di depan tanda, menunjuk ke arah jalan yang berlari berdekatan dengan kuburan. Sebuah sekilas dari masa kolonial Batavia, mungkin? Ini harus tempat itu, pikirku.

Aku melihat ke sebelah saya dan serambi tampak besar, dihiasi dengan kolom yang indah di kedua sisi, disambut pandangan saya. Ada gerbang besi yang menjaga pintu masuk, dan di luar gerbang itu, aku bisa melihat lebih dari beberapa batu nisan terpampang pada kolom berdiri di ruang terbuka.

Ada koleksi batu nisan kuno terpampang di dinding serambi bertiang dan ini memberikan seluruh tempat nuansa kuno. Ketika aku mendekati pintu masuk, aku tertarik dengan tanda di atas pintu gerbang, yang memajang kata Latin dalam urutan sebagai berikut:


Setelah sekali tidak memiliki pengetahuan tentang bahasa misterius yang dalam bahasa Latin, aku berhasil potongan kata-kata pada prasasti bersama-sama dan berakhir dengan terjemahan longgar berikut (dan mungkin sangat buruk):

Ini berfungsi sebagai monumen ke rumah relik
candi suci bobrok Batavia lama.

Pada pertengahan abad ke-19, mayoritas orang Belanda di kedua Belanda dan koloni mereka Katolik Roma yang setia. Ditampilkan di atas pintu masuk ke sebuah kuburan yang didominasi Belanda, membuat beberapa arti bahwa tanda itu tertulis dalam bahasa Latin. Hal ini juga mendorong saya untuk menggali lebih dalam sejarah pemakaman.

Taman Prasasti pertama kali didirikan sebagai 5,5 hektar Kerkhoflaan (Pemakaman Lane di Belanda) pada tahun 1795 dan penduduk setempat menyebutnya Kebun Jahe Kober. Salah satu pemakaman tertua di bagian dunia, itu dibangun menyusul wabah penyakit besar yang menewaskan banyak di Batavia. Terlepas dari ini, Kerkhoflaan dimaksudkan untuk melengkapi kuburan dari Nieuw De Hollandsche Kerk (Gereja Baru Belanda, yang saat ini rumah Museum Wayang) yang terletak di Stadhuisplein (City Hall Square), dan De Nieuwe Potugeesche Buitenkerk (sekarang Sion gereja) yang terletak di bagian tenggara Batavia. Kedua kuburan telah diisi dan Pemerintah Belanda harus mencari tanah pemakaman alternatif dalam mengantisipasi pesatnya pertumbuhan penduduk Belanda di Batavia.

Sebuah rouwbord atau berkabung perisai adalah praktek yang umum Belanda. Ini ditampilkan prestasi seumur hidup dari almarhum dan digantung di atas pintu rumah almarhum dan kemudian di dinding gereja di mana ia dikuburkan.

Kerkhoflaan lokasi itu dipilih setelah banyak pertimbangan, dan ditempatkan secara strategis karena kedekatannya dengan sungai Krukut Kali. Di masa lalu, orang-orang mati – bersama dengan keluarga dan teman-teman berduka – diangkut dalam kapal kecil dari Rumah Sakit Binnen (sekarang Bank hari Museum Indonesia) di utara sepanjang Kali Krukut dan pergi ke selatan ke Kerkhoflaan, di mana mobil jenazah akan dipindahkan ke lahan kering untuk kereta kuda di lokasi sekarang dari Departemen Komunikasi dan Informatika. Mobil jenazah akan menempuh jarak pendek di jalan untuk Kerkhoflaan untuk ritual terakhir sebelum tubuh ini akhirnya dimakamkan di pemakaman.

Kerkhoflaan adalah tanah pemakaman untuk bangsawan Belanda dan beberapa pejabat tinggi dari VOC (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie – Belanda Perusahaan India Timur) di mana mereka dimakamkan oleh keluarga dan kerabat. Masyarakat umum diizinkan untuk dikubur di sana banyak kemudian tapi biaya tertentu harus dibayar. Setelah proclaimation kemerdekaan dari Belanda pada tahun 1945, Pemerintah Indonesia menutup pemakaman pada tahun 1975 seperti yang telah kehabisan ruang.

Morbid, tapi itu bagaimana kita semua berakhir satu hari.

Selama waktu ini, semua mayat terkubur di bawah pemakaman entah dipindahkan ke kuburan lain (yaitu pemakaman di Menteng Pulo) atau dibawa kembali ke Belanda oleh kerabat yang tinggal mereka, meninggalkan batu nisan di belakang. Pemakaman asli juga menyusut menjadi 1,3 hektar situs sebagai bagian dari kantor Walikota Jakarta Pusat baru itu dibangun atas dasar pemakaman mantan. Pemakaman itu dibuka kembali untuk umum sebagai museum pada 9 Juli 1977 oleh Gubernur Jakarta saat itu-, Ali Sadikin. Sebuah plak ditampilkan pada monolit kecil yang terletak dekat pintu masuk untuk memperingati ini bergerak oleh Pemerintah.

Monolit di Taman Prasasti pesan bantalan Gubernur Ali Sadikin dan tanda tangan.
Dia tanda-tanda off dengan pangkat militer – Letnan Jenderal TNI * Korps Marinir
TNI – Tentara Nasional Indonesia (Tentara Nasional Indonesia)

Bangunan utama yang saya sedang berdiri di dibangun pada 1844 dengan urutan kolom Doric disukai oleh Dorians, salah satu dari dua ras Yunani. Ini dikenal sebagai Gedung Balairung dan memiliki dua sayap di kedua sisi yang berfungsi sebagai ruang seremonial untuk ritual terakhir sebelum penguburan dilakukan. Aula di sayap kanan digunakan untuk tubuh perempuan, sedangkan yang lain di sebelah kiri digunakan untuk tubuh laki-laki.

Saat aku melangkah melewati gerbang ke pemakaman, aku disambut oleh deretan kolom dihiasi dengan batu nisan tua. Tampaknya bahwa orang-orang di belakang proyek renovasi telah memilih beberapa batu nisan yang akan ditetapkan di pilar-pilar beton. Sebagian besar prasasti dari batu nisan yang ditampilkan pada tiang-tiang itu masih dapat dibaca. Saya diberitahu bahwa orang-orang batu nisan di layar dipilih karena prasasti cerdas mereka dan makna yang lebih dalam di belakang mereka. Salah satu batu nisan seperti itu ditulis dengan baik ayat tertulis dalam bahasa Belanda dengan kata-kata mencolok:


yang diterjemahkan ke

Seperti Anda sekarang, saya sebelumnya. Dan seperti saya sekarang, sehingga Anda akan menjadi salah satu hari

Pilar-pilar di pintu masuk semua nomor dan tertata rapi.
Untuk sebelah kiri pilar batu nisan, saya melihat pemandangan yang aneh. Ada bel duduk di atas tiang logam dan lonceng itu melekat pada tali, yang bisa menarik pengunjung. Namun, saya pikir tidak banyak yang tahu bahwa lonceng ini sebenarnya digunakan di masa lalu oleh para pekerja pemakaman untuk menginformasikan semua staf bahwa sebuah badan baru yang baru saja tiba. Seorang pekerja, bila melihat kedatangan mobil jenazah, akan membunyikan bel dengan menarik tali dan semua staf akan menyiapkan item yang diperlukan untuk ritual akhir dalam masing-masing sayap Gedung Balairung. Aku cukup yakin bahwa banyak pengunjung yang membunyikan bel bercanda akan terkejut untuk mengetahui tujuan sebenarnya dari “lonceng kematian”.

“Kematian bel” dari Taman Prasasti. Berpikir dua kali sebelum Anda menarik tali itu.

Aku bergerak lebih jauh ke dalam, bersemangat untuk menemukan makam Olivia Raffles. Namun, seperti aku melihat sekeliling, saya menyadari bahwa kuburan itu lebih rumit dari yang saya duga. Aku berharap untuk melihat makam diatur dalam rumput rumput yang rapi dengan beberapa makam berbentuk aneh seperti yang ada di Petamburan. Itu akan membuat pencarian saya jauh lebih mudah. Namun, ini tidak terjadi. Taman Prasasti adalah sebuah taman pemakaman luas dengan makam-makam yang ditempatkan sembarangan. Ada makam dari berbagai bentuk dan ukuran di mana-mana. Aku tidak tahu di mana untuk memulai. Itu adalah mimpi buruk total.

Bunga kamboja jatuh, umumnya terkait dengan Pontianak, dapat ditemukan dalam kelimpahan dekat pintu masuk. Tidak ada “Fatimah rocker” dapat ditemukan di sini meskipun.

Sicantik  Menangis

Pergi dengan insting saya, saya memutuskan untuk bergerak dalam arah searah jarum jam untuk menyisir daerah tersebut. Begitu aku memulai pencarian saya, sebuah kuburan khas dengan penutup khas tertangkap mata saya segera. Penutup makam mengambil bentuk seorang wanita sedih tergeletak di tanah dengan kepala terbenam di tangannya, yang menggambarkan saat pedih orang yang dicintai berangkat dari dunia ini. Saya suka menyebutnya wanita itu Kecantikan Menangis.

Rupanya ini adalah kuburan yang sangat terkenal dengan cerita kembali-ke patung Kecantikan Menangis. Dikatakan bahwa makam dibangun untuk menggambarkan rasa sakit dari seorang wanita yang baru menganut yang suaminya meninggal karena malaria. Tidak dapat mengambil rasa sakit, wanita itu bunuh diri. Sayangnya, tidak ada prasasti di atas kuburan untuk memberikan petunjuk tentang identitas sejati Kecantikan Menangis itu.

Makam Roll H.F Dr

Sebuah batu membuang dari Kecantikan Menangis, sebuah buku terbuka yang diukir dari batu terletak di atas makam Dr HF Roll. Dr Gulung adalah pendiri dan direktur STOVIA medis sekolah, yang berkembang menjadi Fakultas Kedokteran di Universitas Indonesia saat ini.

Pada tahun 1851, pemerintah kolonial Belanda memutuskan untuk mendirikan sebuah sekolah untuk melatih asisten medis asli. Pelatihan untuk setiap orang berlangsung selama dua tahun dan lulusan telah disertifikasi untuk menyediakan perawatan medis sederhana dan mendasar. Tingkat diberikan kepada lulusan adalah Dokter Djawa atau “Dokter Jawa” karena mereka disertifikasi hanya berpraktek di Hindia Belanda, terutama jadi di pulau Jawa. Segera, program menjadi lebih komprehensif dan dengan 1875, program ini telah mencapai 7 tahun panjang. Lulusan berhak ke tingkat yang lebih mapan dari Dokter Medis. Kemudian, lompatan kuantum datang pada tahun 1898, ketika pemerintah mendirikan sekolah kedokteran yang sama sekali baru bernama STOVIA untuk melatih dokter medis.

STOVIA berdiri untuk Sekolah Tot Opleiding Van Inlandsche Artsen atau “Sekolah Pelatihan untuk Dokter asli” yang terletak di Hospitaalweg (harfiah Jalan Rumah Sakit) di Batavia. Banyak lulusan STOVIA kemudian memainkan peran penting selama gerakan nasional Indonesia terhadap proclaimation mereka kemerdekaan, serta dalam mengembangkan pendidikan kedokteran di Indonesia secara keseluruhan.

Dr Gulung dapat dilihat melakukan ceramah kepada sekelompok peserta dokter pribumi di foto tua yang diambil pada tahun 1902 (link) di mana dia duduk di sebelah kiri. Dia juga dapat dilihat duduk di tengah-tengah foto ini anggota staf STOVIA (link).

Sesuai dengan akar nya, buku batu di makam Dr Gulung menggambarkan kebijaksanaan dan pengejaran tanpa henti keunggulan akademik medis saat dia masih hidup.

Prasasti berbunyi:

27 MAY 1867 – 20 September 1935

Di bawah prasasti nama Dr HF Gulung, saya menemukan nama orang lain dari keluarga gulung yang dikubur bersamanya. Prasasti (diterjemahkan) di bawah ini mengatakan:

Frits ROLL
Maret 20 1920 – 15 Januari 1940

Saya menduga bahwa ini mungkin anak Dr Gulung itu, melihat bahwa mereka berbagi nama yang sama. Tidak banyak informasi tentang Gulung Frits, kecuali bahwa dia adalah seorang mahasiswa kedokteran dan meninggal sebelum ulang tahunnya yang ke-20. Sebuah chip dari blok lama, mungkin?

Di bagian bawah penutup makam, prasasti Latin berikut dapat ditemukan:

                                                              Ovid CEPAT IV 311

Ini adalah pesan inspiratif yang diterjemahkan menjadi:

                       Sebuah kemenangan hati nurani yang jelas lebih dari kebohongan palsu.
                                                             Ovid kronika IV 311
Ovid adalah seorang penyair Romawi yang hidup pada awal masa pemerintahan Augustus, kaisar pertama Roma. Kutipan ini diambil dari buku keempat dari Ovid kronika, koleksi buku keenam puisi bersifat sajak sedih Latin.

Jar rusak Anda lihat dalam gambar di atas digunakan untuk menghias kaki kuburan. Namun, sayang untuk melihat bahwa ia telah dipecah menjadi dua bagian mungkin melalui pekerjaan dari beberapa perusak.

Memorial Jepang

Karena ini adalah sebuah pemakaman untuk Belanda dan Eropa lainnya, aku paling terkejut melihat sebuah makam Jepang saat aku terus berjalan saya. Saat aku mendekati batu nisan, aku disambut oleh sebuah batu nisan tertulis dalam Kanji.

Nisan itu sebenarnya sebuah monumen untuk 30 tentara Jepang pemberani dari Kota Shibata, Niigata Prefacture, yang berjuang untuk Perusahaan 19, Batalyon 16, Divisi ke-2 dari Tentara Kekaisaran Jepang. Seluruh perusahaan tewas di Sungai Ciantung di Bogor pada tahun 1942 ketika Jepang menyerbu Hindia Belanda. Orang-orang Jepang yang tinggal di Jakarta datang ke monumen ini dua kali setahun untuk melakukan ritual seremonial sebagai tanda menghormati almarhum.

Pangkat dan nama almarhum yang terukir pada plak batu di bawah batu nisan.

Para Carriage mobil jenazah

Kembali di hari-hari ketika Kali Krukut sungai masih digunakan untuk mengangkut mayat-mayat dari Rumah Sakit Binnen, kuda-kereta jenazah yang biasa digunakan untuk mentransfer tubuh dari bank sungai ke Gedung Balairung dalam persiapan untuk pemakaman.

Kekayaan dan status sosial dari orang yang meninggal sering tercermin dalam jumlah kuda menarik kereta ke kuburan. Orang kaya atau terkenal lebih merupakan itu, kuda-kuda lebih akan menarik mobil jenazah mereka. Sebagai mobil jenazah kereta membuat jalan ke gerbang Kerkhoflaan, seorang pekerja pemakaman akan membunyikan lonceng untuk menginformasikan semua orang dari kedatangannya. Administrator pemakaman akan mempersiapkan diri ketika mereka mendengar dering bel, dan orang dering bel akan berlanjut sampai mobil jenazah tiba di gerbang yang tepat.

Hari ini, replika dari mobil jenazah kereta ditampilkan di layar gudang yang terletak di sudut Taman Prasasti.



Mobil jenazah tidak terbungkus dalam gelas di yesteryears. Para panel kaca dipasang
pada replika ini untuk mencegah masyarakat dari memanjat di dalam gerbong.


Sebuah jalan untuk membantu kereta hingga tampilan nya gudang.

Legenda Kapten Jas

Ada sebuah makam tertentu yang diyakini memiliki kekuatan untuk memberikan kemakmuran, kebahagiaan dan kesuburan bagi mereka yang mengunjunginya. Penghuni kuburan ini tampaknya supranatural berjalan dengan nama Kapiten Jas (Kapten Jas). Namun, identitas orang yang dikuburkan di sana tetap menjadi misteri sejati. Makam ini terkenal memiliki aroma yang kuat membakar dupa sekitarnya meskipun ada ternyata tidak ada dupa yang sedang ditawarkan di daerah itu.

Ketika saya pertama stumbled atas makam Kapten Jas, awalnya saya pikir itu adalah tempat penyimpanan untuk “hilang dan ditemukan” item dalam kuburan. Bayangkan keterkejutan saya ketika saya membaca prasasti dan menyadari bahwa aku telah menemukan-Nya “makam”. Saya tidak menangkap bau bau “terkenal” dupa meskipun, dan udara berbau tetap sepanjang waktu aku berada di sana. Waktu yang salah, mungkin? Itu juga cukup tidak biasa untuk melihat bahwa pohon telah tumbuh di atas bagian dari kuburan.

Terlepas dari patung Yesus Kristus, guci dan lintas yang ditemukan tergeletak di atas kubur, piring batu kecil ditempelkan ke sudut makam. Ia mengatakan:

Vader JAS

Bij OL Heer

Dan terjemahan (sangat longgar) berlangsung seperti ini:



Dari prasasti ini, tampaknya bahwa banyak dari mereka yang mengunjungi makam ini benar-benar menempatkan sejumlah besar iman yang benar dalam kekuatan Kapten Jas. Kata-kata yang dipilih untuk tulisan menggambarkan betapa “Bapa Jas” diyakini menjadi pengikut Allah dan satu yang mampu mengirim pesan atas nama orang percaya.

Di sini terletak Kapten Jas.

Nama Kapiten Jas dapat ditelusuri kembali ke Jassenkerk, sebuah gereja Portugis yang terletak dekat kuburan. Pada pertengahan tahun 1600-an, banyak orang yang dimakamkan di sebuah pemakaman di dekat pos jaga yang terletak di sisi timur Jembatan Jassen, sebuah jembatan kayu yang berlari melintasi anak sungai dari Sungai Ciliwung. Sungai ini merupakan bagian penting dari infrastruktur selatan Batavia karena membantu untuk mengarahkan air berlebih ke Stadsbuitengracht, sebuah kanal drainase besar terbuka yang terletak di luar tembok kota.

 Pada 1676, sebuah gereja Katolik Roma, yang dibangun benar-benar keluar dari bambu, didirikan dekat kuburan. Karena kedekatannya dengan Jembatan Jassen, itu hanya bernama Jassenkerk (Jassen Gereja) dan pemakaman telah berasimilasi gereja. Seluruh “Kapten Jas” kegagalan diyakini menjadi sosok sederhana dari pidato di mana orang menggambarkan kematian dan penguburan sebagai “het tanah naar Jaket Kapten von gaan” atau “pergi ke tanah Kapten Jas”.

Kemudian, beberapa mayat dikuburkan di gereja Jassenkerk direlokasi ke Kerkhoflaan. Oleh karena itu, secara luas diyakini bahwa batu nisan bertuliskan nama Kapten Jas di Taman Prasasti adalah benar-benar hanya suatu peringatan akan gereja Jassenkerk sendiri, dan bahwa orang ini imajiner – Kapten Jas – tidak benar-benar ada, juga tidak ada yang benar-benar terkubur di bawah nisan. Rekening orang-orang yang mengaku memiliki pengalaman aneh dengan penciuman bau supernatural membakar dupa di kuburan mungkin bisa menghubungkannya dengan penggunaan dupa selama ibadah di Jassenkerk ketika itu masih ada. Gereja bambu telah dihapus dan diganti dengan Gereja Sion.

Dalam versi lain dari legenda Kapten Jas, dikatakan bahwa kejadian aneh terjadi ketika makam ini digali. Para pekerja menemukan bahwa peti mati yang begitu erat terkait dengan akar pohon yang tumbuh di sampingnya, hal itu tidak mungkin untuk menghapus peti mati. Kata segera menyebar seperti api dan banyak orang mulai mengunjungi makam ini aneh. Banyak yang mengunjungi makam itu mengklaim bahwa mereka mengalami perubahan besar dalam hidup mereka. Mereka yang miskin menjadi kaya secara signifikan, sementara pasangan memiliki anak juga berhasil berhasil hamil setelah mengunjungi kuburan.

Kedua versi dari legenda Kapten Jas tampaknya bertentangan satu sama lain. Satu versi menyatakan bahwa dia tidak ada, sementara yang lain melibatkan penemuan peti mati bawah kuburan. Namun, meskipun awan ketidakpastian yang mengelilingi legenda Kapten Jas, masih banyak berdatangan ke makam, bersemangat untuk mencari kesuburan, keselamatan, kemakmuran atau kebahagiaan.

Ini adalah misteri sejati yang masih harus dipecahkan.

Mungkinkah ini makam Olivia?

Saat aku terus berjalan di sepanjang jalur, aku melihat sebuah makam besar di dekat ke makam Kapten Jas. Makam sedang beristirahat di atas tangga oktagonal dan itu dikelilingi oleh 8 kolom pendek. Hal pertama yang mengejutkan saya adalah tangga hitam dan kolom putih. Ini skema warna jauh lebih mirip dengan kolonial Inggris “hitam & putih” rumah Tudor yang kita miliki di Singapura. Mungkinkah ini makam Olivia Mariamne Raffles?


Aku naik tangga dengan penuh semangat, ingin membaca prasasti di atas kuburan untuk mengkonfirmasi asumsi saya. Namun, prasasti di batu nisan itu sendiri telah buruk cuaca dan itu akan menjadi tantangan nyata untuk membaca prasasti tanpa mengolesi beberapa kapur ke batu nisan. Namun, tidak hanya saya tidak memiliki kapur apapun dengan saya, saya tidak berpikir itu akan sangat bagus untuk mulai menerapkan kapur atas semua makam yang saya hanya diasumsikan milik Lady Raffles!

 Bagian atas nisan mungkin telah memudar dengan waktu, tetapi saya masih bisa melihat tulisan samar di atasnya.


Prasasti itu berbunyi:

ke memori dari
OLIVIA Mariamne
Wakil gubernur
Dan yang dependancies
Siapa yang meninggalkan kehidupan ini
Hari 26 November 1814

BINGO! Keringat, gigitan nyamuk dan kelelahan sia-sia. Ini makam di sini adalah bagian penting dari sejarah tidak hanya untuk orang Jawa, tetapi juga untuk kita sebagai Raffles pergi dari Jawa ke ditemukan Singapura. Setiap kelelahan aku merasa sebelumnya telah menghilang seketika. Di sini, tepat di depan mata saya, sebuah fragmen dari masa kolonial kami.

Aku berkeliling makam dengan semangat baru, memotret saat aku mengelilingi tempat peristirahatan megah akhir Olivia Mariamne Raffles. Pikiran mengisi pikiran saya. Bagaimana jika Olivia Raffles tidak jatuh korban penyakit yang dideritanya selama tinggal di Jawa? Bagaimana jika ia mengikuti Raffles ke Singapura? Perubahan apa yang akan dia telah diimplementasikan sebagai First Lady pendiri Singapura? Begitu banyak bagaimana seandainya muncul di pikiran saya. Hal itu cukup menarik.

Di depan makam, ada sebuah piring kecil yang ditambahkan jauh kemudian (mungkin oleh kurator) untuk membantu mengidentifikasi makam juga.



Saya menemukan prasasti lucu sebagai kata-kata “Keterangan: Bentuk Kijing” pada pelat sebenarnya berarti “Keterangan: Bentuk batu nisan”. Hal ini juga menggambarkan tahun bahwa makam telah selesai (1814), jumlah persediaan (mungkin sebagai rekor museum) dan yang paling penting nama penghuni kubur itu.

Sementara menyiapkan tripod saya untuk menembak di bawah ini, saya perhatikan bahwa kantor Walikota Jakarta Pusat adalah latar belakang foto saya. Makam Olivia Mariamne Raffles adalah salah satu yang paling dekat dengan kantor Walikota. Karena gedung ini baru dibangun atas apa yang awalnya bagian dasar pemakaman mantan, batas pekuburan akan diperpanjang jauh melampaui mencapai Kantor Walikota.

Anda dapat membandingkan makam Olivia Mariamne Raffles dengan peringatan Sir Stamford Raffles dibangun untuknya di dekat istana Letnan-Gubernur di Buitenzorg (sekarang Kebun Raya Bogor) di bawah ini. Anda bisa klik untuk memperbesar foto atau melihat set lengkap di sini.



Ada bernyanyi dan bertepuk tangan riuh datang dari sekelompok orang yang mengenakan pakaian yang sama di lingkungan kantor walikota, memecah kesunyian di kuburan. Sekelompok pegawai pemerintah memiliki semacam membangun tim kegiatan, mungkin?

Saya berdiri kembali dan melihat delapan kolom pendek di sekitar makam. Meskipun mereka terlihat seperti mereka dibangun untuk melambangkan poin kardinal kompas, kolom ini sebenarnya bagian dari church.When Belanda gereja itu dianggap terlalu tua dan tidak aman untuk digunakan lagi, batu dari gereja itu digunakan kembali untuk menghias makam Olivia Mariamne Raffles. Delapan kolom, yang digunakan untuk mendukung atap gereja tua itu, kemudian diperpendek dan ditempatkan di sekitar makam sebagai hiasan.

Makam Yohanes Casper Leiden,

penulis Skotlandia, dokter, penyair dan ahli bahasa oriental brilian yang merupakan teman dekat dari Raffleses, terletak di dekat makam Olivia Raffles juga.

John Leyden dan Raffles Olivia sering berkirim surat dan puisi dengan satu sama lain dan ia dikenal menjadi teman dada Sir Stamford Raffles dan kepercayaan dari pasangan. Keduanya bertemu ketika Leiden, yang meninggalkan India Inggris setelah menghabiskan dua tahun di sana mempelajari bahasa Hindustan mistik timur, Tamil, Sansekerta, Melayu antara lain, berlayar Malaya pada tahun 1805 di mana dia berteman dengan Stamford Raffles muda pada Prince of Wales Island (Pulau Penang). Raffles sekretaris asisten Gubernur Penang, Philip Dundas, pada waktu itu.

Pada 1811, Lord Minto Leiden bergabung dalam ekspedisi ke Jawa. Leiden jatuh ke Batavia Demam terkenal (epidemi pada waktu itu, itu mungkin malaria atau demam berdarah) setelah memasuki sebuah perpustakaan (yang dikatakan telah terkandung Timur banyak manuskrip) tanpa tempat benar ditayangkan pertama. Setelah tiga hari sakit, ia meninggal pada tanggal 28 Agustus 1811.

prasati  Kuburan yang menarik  disekitarnya

Sementara makam Olivia Raffles mungkin lebih penting bagi kita, ada makam yang lebih menarik di sekitar Taman Prasasti yang layak mengambil melihat. Meskipun misi kecil saya selesai, saya bertekad untuk mencari makam biasa lebih untuk kesempatan foto di daerah tersebut.

Makam Dirk Anthonius Varkevisser

Berdiri seperti sebuah monumen besar, makam Dirk Anthonius Varkevisser menara di atas kuburan di sekitarnya.

Dirk Anthonius Varkevisser, seorang pejabat pemerintah Hindia Belanda, lahir di Semarang (sekarang-hari Semarang di Jawa Tengah) pada 11 Juli 1800 dan meninggal pada 4 Januari 1857 di Batavia. Dia adalah mantan residen Belanda Pasuruan (di Jawa Timur, dekat ke kota Surabaya), dan dia juga diberikan gelar dan Ordo Singa Belanda, perintah Belanda diberikan kepada individu-individu terkemuka dari semua lapisan masyarakat, termasuk jenderal , menteri, walikota, para ilmuwan terkemuka, industrialis dan pegawai negeri sipil peringkat tinggi, antara lain.

Batu nisannya memiliki prasasti sebagai berikut:

Dirk Anthonius
DI Leven
VAN DER Ridder orde DEN Neder
Samarang DEN 11DEN Juli 1800
DEN 4DEN Januari 1857


Ke memori
Dirk Anthonius
Meninggal dalam BATAVIA
PADA 4 Januari 1857

Sebuah tinggi-bantuan seperangkat alat-alat pertanian secara jelas ditampilkan pada wajah depan makam Dirk Varkevisser, di antara mereka seorang penggemar menampi digunakan dalam sabit menampi angin, dan sabit untuk tanaman panen, sekop untuk menggali bumi dan banyak alat berbagai macam lain yang digunakan untuk pertanian dan budidaya tanah. Hal ini karena sebagai Residen Belanda Pasuruan, Varkevisser mengawasi budidaya tanaman komersial banyak, yang termasuk tebu sangat menguntungkan, dan dia juga bertanggung jawab atas produksi gula. Tanaman ini, yang secara signifikan lebih murah untuk menanam di Jawa, kemudian diangkut kembali ke Belanda pada kapal-kapal besar untuk memenuhi permintaan dari penduduk Belanda pulang.

Monumen patung batu nisan Varkevisser adalah bagian yang cukup menakjubkan seni yang telah terpelihara dengan baik sejak 1857 sampai hari ini, suatu prestasi besar dan kuat mengingat bahwa makam hampir satu abad dan setengah tua.

Makam Keluarga borjuis Keluarga Delben van

Ini makam yang unik, yang berbentuk seperti rumah kecil, adalah makam keluarga untuk keluarga van kaya kaum borjuis Delben. Kepala keluarga Delben van itu Ambrosius Johannes van Wilbrordus Delben.







Selama transformasi pemakaman ke Taman Prasasti Museum, makam dibuka dan para pekerja menemukan mayat mumi dari keluarga Delben van disimpan di dalam makam. Tubuh telah sejak dihapus dan makam saat ini digunakan sebagai gudang penyimpanan untuk museum.

Tidak ada yang tahu dimana tubuh mumi saat ini. Mereka akan sangat mungkin telah dibawa kembali ke Belanda atau dikubur di pemakaman lain di Jakarta untuk membuat jalan bagi museum.

Kisah Tragis dari Pieter Elberfeld

Kebanyakan orang yang mengunjungi Taman Prasasti Museum akan tertarik dengan melihat sebuah peringatan dihiasi dengan pemandangan yang mengerikan, sebuah tengkorak manusia pearched pada sebuah tombak tegak. Ini peringatan luar biasa milik Pieter Elberfeld, seorang pemberontak yang brutal dipotong oleh pemerintah Belanda karena pengkhianatan tinggi.

Lahir di Jawa pada tahun 1663 dari ayah Jerman dan ibu Jawa, Pieter Elberfeld adalah salah satu yang menempel pada ide-ide asli dan adat istiadat, yang kemudian membawanya menjadi seorang patriot antusias dan berani. Dia membenci Belanda dan semua terhubung dengan mereka dan diselesaikan pada pemusnahan setiap Belanda dari tanah Jawa.

Ketika ayahnya meninggal, Pieter Elberfeld mewarisi perkebunan besar dari ayahnya. Pemerintah VOC, di bawah perintah kemudian Gubernur Jenderal Hendrick Zwaardecroon, menjalankan otoritas superior mereka dengan mengklaim bagian dari warisan. Marah dengan memindahkan mereka, Elberfeld datang dengan sebuah rencana untuk membunuh pejabat tinggi VOC. Sayangnya, sebelum ia bisa melaksanakan rencananya, keponakannya – yang telah jatuh cinta dengan seorang pejabat Belanda dari VOC – tumpah kacang pada pamannya. Pemerintah kemudian menangkapnya basah di tengah-tengah pertemuan rahasia dan memenjarakannya segera. Setelah berjam-jam penyiksaan, Elberfeld mengaku rencananya dan dijatuhi hukuman mati bersama dengan 19 dari budak-budaknya.

Hukuman itu sangat kejam, bahkan untuk standar waktu itu. Dia terikat ke belakang untuk salib, dipenggal dan tubuhnya dipotong dalam empat potong (dan tidak dipotong-potong oleh kuda sebagai populer digambarkan) Empat potongan tubuhnya digantung di empat perempat kota dan hukuman serupa diberikan kepada-Nya kaki. Dia adalah 59 tahun pada waktu itu.

Elberfeld rumah, yang terletak di luar kota itu, dihancurkan dan schandmuur (dinding malu) didirikan di tempatnya. Kepala Elberfeld itu ditetapkan mencolok atas atas tombak untuk melayani sebagai peringatan ke seluruh Batavia. Seiring waktu, hanya tengkorak yang tersisa. Saat itu tebal menempel ke melindunginya dari pengaruh waktu dan cuaca.

Para Schandmuur – Circa 1885
Creative Commons – Tropenmuseum

Langsung di bawah tengkorak terpaku, tablet bantalan prasasti panjang setelah di Belanda bisa ditemukan:

Uik eene verfoeyelyke gedachtenise tegen den gestraften landverrader, Pieter Elberfeld, Zal niemaud vermogen ter dezer plaatse untuk boumen, Simmeren, metselem, planten. IIU, dari tenccurrige, dage. Batavia, den 22 April 1722.

Terjemahan berjalan kira-kira seperti ini:

Sebagai konsekuensi dari memori dibenci Pieter Elberfeld, yang dihukum karena pengkhianatan, tidak seorang pun diizinkan untuk membangun di kayu, atau batu, atau untuk menanam sesuatu apapun di dasar ini, dari waktu sebagainya selama-lamanya. Batavia, 22 April 1722

Jalan tempat eksekusi Pieter Elberfeld itu berlangsung sekarang dikenal sebagai Jalan Pecah Kulit atau “Skin Jalan Ruptur”, nama mengerikan yang paling menggambarkan sejarah tempat itu. Para Schandmuur, bersama-sama dengan tengkorak di tombak besi, kemudian bergeser ke Taman Prasasti sebelum membuka museum. Dari foto lama Schandmuur dan yang terakhir saya mengambil di Taman Prasasti, Anda bisa melihat bahwa langkah-langkah besar dilakukan untuk menghapus dinding asli dari lokasi aslinya ke museum.

Patung Lady lain Menangis

Selain Kecantikan Menangis, patung menangis kedua wanita dapat ditemukan lebih lanjut dalam taman. Serupa dengan Kecantikan Menangis, patung ini dipahat dalam gaya Renaisans juga dan ada juga ada prasasti yang terlihat untuk mengatakan siapa kuburan milik.

 Hal khusus tentang makam ini adalah penggunaan karang di fabrikasi nya. Wanita menangis terlihat bersandar ke sebuah gundukan batu yang terbuat dari batu diplester dan karang. Dapatkah Anda melihat mereka?

Makam dengan The Doric Kolom Patah

Makam ini dihiasi dengan kolom Doric rusak (seperti yang di pintu masuk Taman Prasasti) yang mengingatkan saya dari arsitektur Yunani kuno digunakan untuk Parthenon. Sebuah karangan bunga pahatan di sekitar kolom untuk meminjamkan suasana prestise ke makam. Ini adalah tempat peristirahatan terakhir bagi seorang wanita bernama CM van Os, yang menurut prasasti pada batu nisan itu, adalah istri tercinta dari IHR Goedhart.


Alfa Misterius – Omega Grave

Ada terletak sebuah makam, yang besar lebar tidak terlalu jauh dari Dirk Varkevisser. Makam ini tampak jauh lebih luas daripada makam lain di museum, dan memiliki abjad Yunani yang berbeda A (Alpha) dan Ω (Omega) tertulis di atasnya. Ini adalah huruf pertama dan terakhir dari alfabet Yunani. Dalam Kitab Wahyu, Yesus Kristus menunjukkan dirinya sebagai Alpha dan Omega, melambangkan awal dan akhir dari semua ciptaan.


Di atas alfabet Yunani, Latin Ayat berbunyi:


Ini sebenarnya bagian dari sebuah ayat dari Alkitab, yang diterjemahkan menjadi sebagai berikut:

Ingat orang-orang yang memimpin Anda, yang berbicara firman Allah kepada Anda, dan mempertimbangkan hasil dari perilaku mereka, contohlah iman mereka. – Ibrani 13:07

Dulu ada sebuah bola batu di kedua sisi makam, namun seperti yang Anda lihat pada gambar di bawah, ruang di sebelah kanan telah copot dan sekarang terletak rusak di lantai makam.

Para penghuni (ya, ada 2 penghuni) makam harus telah Katolik memang sangat saleh. Terlepas dari Alpha – Omega referensi dan ayat Alkitab dalam bahasa Latin, simbol religius yang dikenal sebagai Chi Rho Salib juga dapat ditemukan di tengah kuburan.



Dua huruf pertama dari nama Kristus dalam bahasa Yunani adalah X dan P. Dalam X alfabet Yunani diucapkan sebagai Chi dan P adalah diucapkan sebagai Rho, maka nama Chi Rho Cross.


.para pastor batavia


 Pastor van der Grinten adalah pendeta kepala Gereja Katolik Batavia – gereja Katolik pertama di Batavia – yang terletak di sudut Lapangan Banteng (alun-alun terbuka yang luas terletak di daerah kantong Eropa dan sebelumnya dikenal sebagai Waterloopein). Itu dibangun di atas kediaman mantan Hindia Belanda komandan militer Hendrik Merkus de Kock (yang kemudian dibuat Baron untuk kemenangannya atas Pangeran Diponegoro dalam perang Jawa).

Gereja ini diresmikan pada tanggal 6 November 1829 dan diberkati oleh pendeta kepala pada waktu itu, Pastor L. Prinsen, sebagai “Gereja Our Lady of Asumsi”. Ini diukur 35 panjang 17 meter lebar, terdiri dari sebuah aula besar dengan deretan pilar di kedua sisi dalam gaya neo-gothic, gaya arsitektur yang umum untuk gereja-gereja pada saat itu. Pastor van der Grinten tinggal di kediaman pastor di sayap timur gereja, sementara koster tinggal di sayap barat.

Gereja berdiri sampai 9 April 1890 ketika runtuh karena usia tua dan pemeliharaan yang buruk. Sebuah gereja baru dibangun kembali di tempatnya antara 1891 dan 1901 dan hari ini berdiri sebagai Katedral Jakarta. Gereja diakui sebagai alat integral untuk penyebaran Katolik Roma di Jawa selama abad ke-19


In the northwestern corner of Taman Prasasti, I came across a magnificent tomb which could fit right into Transylvania like a glove. This gothic looking tomb belongs to Major General J. J. Perie,  the Commander of the 1st Groote Militaire Afdeeling (literally the Great Military Division) in Java.  During his illustrious career with the military, he was knighted and conferred with the 4th Order of the Militaire Willems-Orde (Military Order of William), the oldest and highest honour of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. This chivalric order was often presented to senior military officers in recognition of their feats of bravery on the battlefield and as a meritorious decoration. The receipient of several awards during his lifetime, Major General Perie was also awarded the Order of the Netherlands Lion.



english version 

A weathered bronze cannon stood in front of the sign, pointing in the direction of the road that ran adjacent to the cemetery. A glimpse of Batavia’s colonial past, perhaps? This had to be the place, I thought to myself.


I looked to my left and a grand looking portico, adorned with beautiful columns on both sides, greeted my sight. There was an iron gate guarding the entrance, and beyond that gate, I could make out more than a handful of headstones plastered on standing columns in an open space.

There was a collection of age-old tombstones plastered on the walls of the colonnaded portico and this gave the entire place an archaic feel. As I got nearer to the entrance, I was intrigued by the sign above the gate, which displayed the Latin words in the following order:



Having absolutely no knowledge of the arcane language that is Latin, I managed to piece the words on the inscription together and ended up with the following loose (and possibly very bad) translation:

This serves as a monument to house the relics
of the dilapidated old sacred temple of Batavia.

In the mid 19th century, the majority of the Dutch people in both the Netherlands and their colonies were staunch Roman Catholics. Displayed above the entrance to a cemetery which was predominantly Dutch, it made some sense that the sign was inscribed in Latin. It also prompted me to dig deeper into the history of the cemetery.

Taman Prasasti was first established as the 5.5 hectare Kerkhoflaan (Cemetery Lane in Dutch) in 1795 and the locals called it Kebun Jahe Kober. One of the oldest cemeteries in this part of the world, it was built following a massive disease outbreak which killed many in Batavia.  Apart from this, Kerkhoflaan was meant to supplement the cemeteries of the De Nieuw Hollandsche Kerk (The New Holland Church, which presently houses the Wayang Museum) located in the Stadhuisplein (City Hall Square), and the De Nieuwe Potugeesche Buitenkerk (now the Zion church) located in the southeastern part of Batavia. Both cemeteries had been filled up and the Dutch Government had to look for an alternate burial ground in anticipation of the rapid growth of the Dutch population in Batavia.


A rouwbord or mourning shield was a common Dutch practice. It displayed the lifetime achievements of the deceased and was hung over the door of the deceased’s house and later on the wall of the church where he or she was buried.

Kerkhoflaan’s location was chosen after much consideration, and it is strategically placed due to its proximity to the Kali Krukut river. In the olden days, the dead were – along with the grieving family and friends – transported in small boats from the Binnen Hospital (present day Bank of Indonesia Museum) in the north along the Kali Krukut and travelled down south to Kerkhoflaan, where the hearse would be transferred onto dry land to a horse-drawn carriage at the present location of the Ministry of Communications and Informatics. The hearse would  travel a short distance on road to Kerkhoflaan for the final rites before the body is finally buried at the cemetery.

Kerkhoflaan was the burial ground for Dutch nobles and several high ranking officials of the VOC (Vereenigde Oostindische CompagnieDutch East India Company) where they were laid to rest by their families and relatives. The general public were allowed to buried there much later but a certain fee had to be paid. Following its proclaimation of independence from the Netherlands in 1945, the Indonesian Government sealed off the cemetery in 1975 as it had ran out of space.

Morbid, but that’s how we all end up one day.

During this time, all the bodies buried underneath the cemetery were either moved to other cemeteries (i.e the cemetery in Menteng Pulo) or brought back to the Netherlands by their living relatives, leaving the tombstones behind. The original cemetery was also shrunk into a 1.3 hectare site as part of the new Central Jakarta Mayor’s office was built on the former cemetery grounds. The cemetery was reopened to the public as a museum on 9 July 1977 by the then-Governor of Jakarta, Ali Sadikin. A plaque is displayed on a small monolith located near to the entrance to commemorate this move by the Government.

The monolith at Taman Prasasti bearing Governor Ali Sadikin’s message and signature.
He signs off with his military rank – Lieutenant General of the TNI* Marine Corps
TNI – Tentara Nasional Indonesia (The Indonesian National Armed Forces)

The main building which I was standing in was built in 1844 with a doric column order favoured by the Dorians, one of two Greek races. It was known as the Balairung Building and it had two wings on either side which functioned as ceremonial halls for the final rites before the burial was carried out. The hall on the right wing was used for female bodies, while the other one on the left was used for male bodies.

As I stepped through the gates to the cemetery, I was greeted by neat rows of columns adorned with old tombstones. It seems that the people behind the refurbishment project had chosen some tombstones to be set in concrete pillars. Most of the inscriptions of the tombstones displayed on these pillars were still legible. I was told that those tombstones on display were selected due to their witty inscriptions and the deeper meanings behind them. One such tombstone had the well written verse inscribed in Dutch with the striking words:


which translates to

Like you are now, I was before. And like I am now, thus you will be one day


The pillars at the entrance are all numbered and arranged neatly.

To the left of the tombstone pillars, i noticed a peculiar sight. There was a bell sitting atop a metal pole and the bell was attached to a rope, which visitors could pull. However, I think not many would know that this bell was in fact used in the past by the cemetery workers to inform all the staff that a new body had just arrived. A worker, upon sighting the arrival of the hearse, would ring the bell by pulling the rope and all the staff would prepare the necessary items for the final rites in the respective wing of the Balairung Building. I’m pretty sure that the many visitors who rang the bell in jest would be shocked to find out the real purpose of this “death bell”.

The “death bell” of Taman Prasasti. Think twice before you pull that rope.

I moved further inward, eager to locate Olivia Raffles’ tomb. However, as I looked around, i realized that the cemetery was more complicated than I had expected. I was hoping to see tombs arranged in neat grass lawns with a couple of odd-shaped tombs like the ones in Petamburan. That would have made my search much easier. However, this was not to be. Taman Prasasti was a sprawling cemetery park with tombs that were haphazardly placed. There were tombs of different shapes and sizes everywhere. I did not know where to start. It was a total nightmare.

Fallen frangipani flowers, commonly associated with the Pontianak, can be found in abundance near to the entrance. There are no “fatimah rockers” to be found here though.

The Weeping Beauty

Going by my instinct, I decided to move in a clockwise direction to comb the area. As soon as I set off on my search, a distinctive grave with a distinctive cover caught my eye almost immediately. The grave cover took the form of a sad lady lying on the ground with her head buried in her hands, depicting the poignant moment of a loved one departing from this world. I like to call this lady the Weeping Beauty.

Apparently this is a very well-known grave with a back-story to the statue of the Weeping Beauty. It is said that the grave was build to illustrate the pain of a newly-wedded lady whose husband succumbed to malaria. Unable to take the pain, the lady committed suicide. Unfortunately, there were no inscriptions on the grave to give any clues to the Weeping Beauty’s true identity.

The Tomb of Dr. H.F Roll

A stone’s throw away from the Weeping Beauty, an open book carved out of stone lies atop the grave of Dr. H.F. Roll. Dr. Roll was the founder and director of the STOVIA medical school, which evolved into the Faculty of Medicine in the University of Indonesia today.

In 1851, the Dutch colonial government decided to establish a school to train native medical assistants. The training for each person lasted for two years and graduates were certified to provide simple and basic medical treatments. The degree conferred to the graduates was Dokter Djawa or “Javanese Doctor” as they were certified to only practice medicine in the Dutch East Indies, especially so on the island of Java. Soon, the program became more comprehensive and by 1875, the program had reached 7 years in length. Graduates were entitled to the more established degree of Medical Doctor. Then, the quantum leap came in 1898, when the government established a entirely new medical school named STOVIA to train medical doctors.

STOVIA stood for the School Tot Opleiding Van Inlandsche Artsen or “Training School for Native Doctors” located in the Hospitaalweg (literally Hospital Road) in Batavia. Many STOVIA graduates later played important roles during Indonesia’s national movement towards their proclaimation of independence, as well as in developing medical education in Indonesia as a whole.

Dr Roll can be seen conducting a lecture to a group of native doctor trainees in this old photo taken in 1902 (link) where he is seated on the left. He can also be seen seated in the middle of this photo of the staff members of STOVIA (link).

True to his roots, the stone book on Dr. Roll’s grave illustrates his wisdom and relentless pursuit of medical academic excellence when he still was alive.

His inscription reads:

27 MAY 1867 – 20 SEPT. 1935



Below the inscription of Dr. H.F Roll’s name, I found the name of another person from the Roll family who was buried with him. The (translated) inscription below says:

20 MAR. 1920 – 15 JAN. 1940
I’m guessing that this was probably Dr. Roll’s son, seeing that they share the same surname. There is not much information about Frits Roll, except that he was a medical student and died before his 20th birthday. A chip off the old block, perhaps?


At the bottom of the grave cover, the following Latin inscription can be found:

                                                              OVID FAST IV 311
This is an inspiring message which translates to:

                       A clear conscience triumphs over false lies.
                                                             Ovid’s Fasti IV 311

Ovid was an early Roman poet who lived during the reign of Augustus, the first emperor of Rome. This quote was taken from the fourth book of Ovid’s Fasti, a six book collection of Latin elegiac poems.

The broken jar you see in the picture above used to decorate the foot of the grave. However, it’s a pity to see that it has been broken into two pieces probably through the work of some vandal.

The Japanese Memorial

As this was a cemetery for the Dutch and other Europeans, I was most surprised to see a Japanese tomb as I continued my stroll. As I approached the tombstone, I was greeted by a headstone inscribed in Kanji.

The tombstone was in fact a monument for the 30 brave Japanese soldiers from Shibata City, Niigata Prefacture, who fought for the 19th Company, 16th Battalion, 2nd Division of the Imperial Japanese Army. The entire company perished in the Ciantung River in Bogor in 1942 when the Japanese invaded the Dutch East Indies. The Japanese people who live in Jakarta come to this monument twice a year to perform a ceremonial ritual as a mark of respect for the deceased.


The ranks and names of the deceased are engraved on a stone plaque below the tombstone.

The Hearse Carriage

Back in the days when the Kali Krukut river was still used to transport dead bodies from the Binnen Hospital, the horse-drawn hearse carriage was commonly used to transfer the bodies from the river bank to the Balairung Building in preparation for the burial.

The wealth and social status of the deceased is often reflected in the number of horses pulling the carriage into the cemetery. The more wealthier or famous a person was, the more horses would be pulling their hearse. As the hearse carriage made its way to the gates of Kerkhoflaan, a cemetery worker would ring the bell to inform everyone of its arrival. The funeral administrators would prepare themselves when they heard the bell ringing, and the person ringing the bell would continue until the hearse arrived at the gate proper.

Today, a replica of the hearse carriage is displayed in a display shed located at a corner of Taman Prasasti.

The hearse was not encased in glass in the yesteryears. The glass panels were installed
on this replica to prevent the public from climbing inside the carriage.


A ramp to help the carriage up to its display shed.

The Legend of Captain Jas

There is a particular tomb which is believed to have the power to grant prosperity, happiness and fertility to those who visit it. The occupant of this seemingly supernatural grave goes by the name Kapiten Jas (Captain Jas). However, the identity of the person who was buried there remains a true mystery. The tomb is well-known for having a strong fragrance of burning incense surrounding it even though there evidently wasn’t any incense that was being offered in the area.

When I first stumbled upon the tomb of Captain Jas, I initially thought it was a storage area for “lost and found” items in the cemetery. Imagine my shock when I read the stone inscription and realised that I had found his “tomb”. I didn’t catch a whiff of the “infamous” incense smell though, and the air remained odorless the whole time I was there. Wrong time, maybe? It was also pretty unusual to see  that a tree has grown on top of a part of the grave.

Apart from the statue of Jesus Christ, jars and cross which were found lying on top of the grave, a small stone plate is affixed to a corner of the tomb. It says:





And the (very loose) translation goes something like this:



From this inscription, it seems that many of those who visit this grave actually place a huge amount of true faith in Captain Jas’s powers. The words chosen for the inscription depicts just how much “Father Jas” is believed to be a vassal of God and one who was able to send messages on behalf of the believer.

Here lies Captain Jas.

The name Kapiten Jas can be traced back to the Jassenkerk, a Portuguese church which was located near to the cemetery.  In the mid 1600s, many people were buried in a cemetery near the guardhouse located on the eastern side of the Jassen Bridge, a wooden drawbridge which ran across a tributary of the Ciliwung River. This tributary was an important part of southern Batavia’s infrastructure as it helped to direct excess water into the Stadsbuitengracht, a large open drainage canal located outside the city walls.

 In 1676, a Roman Catholic church, built completely out of bamboo, was erected near to the cemetery. Due to its proximity to the Jassen Bridge, it was simply named the Jassenkerk (Jassen Church) and the cemetery was assimilated into the churchyard. The whole “Captain Jas” fiasco is believed to be a simple figure of speech where people described death and burial as “naar het land Jackets Captain von gaan” or “going to the land of Captain Jas.

Later on, some of the bodies buried in the Jassenkerk churchyard were relocated to Kerkhoflaan. Therefore, it is widely believed that the headstone bearing the name of Captain Jas in Taman Prasasti was really just a memorial of the Jassenkerk churchyard itself, and that this imaginary person – Captain Jas – did not really exist, nor was anyone really buried beneath the headstone. The accounts of people who claim to have the strange olfactory experience with the supernatural smell of burning incense around the grave can probably relate it to the use of incense during worship in the Jassenkerk when it was still around. The bamboo church has since been removed and replaced by the Zion Church.


In another version of the legend of Captain Jas, it is said that a strange incident happened when this grave was dug. The workers found that coffin that was so tightly intertwined with the roots of the tree growing beside it, it was impossible to remove the coffin. The word soon spread like wildfire and many people began to visit this strange grave. Many who visited the grave claimed that they experienced a big change in their lives. Those who were poor became significantly wealthier, while childless couples also managed to conceive successfully after visiting the grave.

Both versions of Captain Jas’s legend seem to conflict each other. One version states that he does not exist, while the other involves the discovery of his coffin below the grave. However, despite this cloud of uncertainty which surrounds the legend of Captain Jas, many still flock to the tomb, eager to seek fertility, safety, prosperity or happiness.

This is a true mystery which remains to be solved.

Could this be Olivia’s tomb?

As I continued walking along the pathway, I noticed a large tomb near to Captain Jas’s grave. The grave was resting on top of a octagonal staircase and it was surrounded by 8 short columns. The first thing that struck me was the black staircase and white columns. This colour scheme was much akin to the British colonial “black & white” Tudor houses that we have in Singapore. Could this be Olivia Mariamne Raffles’ tomb?



I climbed up the steps eagerly, wanting to read the inscription atop the grave to confirm my assumption. However, the inscriptions on the tombstone itself had been badly weathered and it would be a real challenge to read the inscriptions without smearing some chalk onto the tombstone. However, not only did I not have any chalk with me, I did not think it would be very nice to start applying chalk over all the tombs which I simply assumed belonged to Lady Raffles!


 The top of the gravestone may have faded with time, but i could still make out the faint inscription on it.

The inscription reads:

to the Memory of
Wife of
Lieutenant Governor 
And its Dependancies
Who departed this life
The 26th day of November 1814

BINGO! The sweat, mosquito bites and fatigue was worth it. This tomb here is an important piece of history not only to the Javanese people, but also to us as Raffles went on from Java to found Singapore. Any tiredness I had felt before had instantaneously disappeared. Here it was, right before my eyes, a fragment of our colonial past.

I went around the tomb with renewed vigour, snapping away as I circled the majestic final resting place of Olivia Mariamne Raffles. Thoughts filled up my mind. What if Olivia Raffles did not fall victim to her illness during her stay in Java? What if she had followed Raffles to Singapore? What changes would she have implemented as the First Lady of the founder of Singapore? So many what-ifs popped into my mind. It was simply fascinating.

On the front of the tomb, there was a small plate which was added much later (probably by the curator) to help identify the tomb as well.

I found the inscription amusing as the words “Keterangan: Bentuk Kijing” on the plate actually meant “Description: The Shape of a Gravestone“. It also depicts the year that the grave was completed (1814), the inventory number (probably as a record for the museum) and most importantly the name of the grave’s occupant.

While setting up my tripod for this shot below, I noticed that the Central Jakarta Mayor’s office was the backdrop of my photo. Olivia Mariamne Raffles’ tomb was one of the closest ones in proximity to the Mayor’s office. Since this newer building was built over what was originally part the former cemetery grounds, the cemetery’s boundary would have extended far beyond the reaches of the Mayor’s Office.


You may compare Olivia Mariamne Raffles’s grave with the memorial Sir Stamford Raffles built for her in near the Lieutenant-Governor’s palace in Buitenzorg (present-day Kebun Raya Bogor) below.  You may click to enlarge the photos or view the full set here.

There was boisterous singing and clapping coming from a group of people who were dressed in similar clothing within the grounds of the mayor’s office, breaking the silence in the cemetery. A group of government servants having some sort of team-building activity, maybe?

I stood back and looked at the eight short columns surrounding the tomb. Although they look like they were built to symbolize the cardinal points of the compass, these columns were actually part of a Dutch church.When the church was deemed too old and unsafe to be used anymore, the stone from the church was reused to decorate the tomb of Olivia Mariamne Raffles. The eight columns, which used to support the old church’s roof, were then shortened and placed around the tomb as an ornament.

The tomb of John Casper Leyden, the Scottish writer, doctor, poet and brilliant oriental linguist who was a close friend of the Raffleses, lies in close proximity to Olivia Raffles’s tomb as well.

John Leyden and Olivia Raffles had often exchanged letters and poetry with each other and he was well known to be a bosom friend of Sir Stamford Raffles and a confidant of the couple. The two had met when Leyden, who left British India after spending two years there studying the mystic eastern languages of Hindustani, Tamil, Sanskrit, Malay among others, set sail for Malaya in 1805 where he befriended a young Stamford Raffles on Prince of Wales Island (Pulau Penang). Raffles was the assistant secretary to the Governor of Penang, Philip Dundas, at that time.

In 1811, Leyden joined Lord Minto in the expedition to Java. Leyden fell to the infamous Batavian Fever (an epidemic at that time, it was possibly malaria or dengue) after entering a library (which was said to have contained many Eastern manuscripts) without having the place properly aired first. After three days of illness, he died on 28 August 1811.

More Fascinating Tombs Around Taman Prasasti

While Olivia Raffles’s tomb may be of more significance to us, there are many more interesting tombs around Taman Prasasti which are worth taking a look at. Although my little mission was complete, I was determined to seek out more unusual tombs for photo opportunities in the area.

The Tomb of Dirk Anthonius Varkevisser

Standing like a grand monument, the tomb of Dirk Anthonius Varkevisser towers over the tombs in the vicinity.


Dirk Anthonius Varkevisser, an official of the Dutch East Indies government, was born in Samarang (present-day Semarang in Central Java) on 11th July 1800 and passed away on 4th January 1857 in Batavia. He was the former Dutch resident of Pasuruan (in east Java, near to the city of Surabaya), and he was also knighted and conferred the Order of the Netherlands Lion, a Dutch order awarded to eminent individuals from all walks of life, including generals, ministers, mayors, leading scientists, industrialists and high ranking civil servants, among others.

His tombstone has the following inscription:





A high-relief set of agricultural tools is prominently displayed on the front face of Dirk Varkevisser’s tomb, among them a winnow fan used in wind winnowing, scythes and sickles for harvesting crops, a spade for digging the earth and many other assorted tools used for farming and soil cultivation. This is because as the Dutch Resident of Pasuruan, Varkevisser oversaw the cultivation of many cash crops, which included the highly profitable sugar cane, and he was also in charge of the production of sugar. These crops, which were significantly cheaper to cultivate in Java, were then transported back to the Netherlands in large ships to meet the demand of the Dutch population back home.

The sculptural monument of Varkevisser’s tombstone is a simply stunning piece of art which has been well preserved since 1857 until the present day, a hefty feat considering that the tomb is almost a century and a half old.

The Bourgeois Family Tomb of The van Delben Family

This unique mausoleum, which is shaped like a small house, was a family tomb for the wealthy  bourgeoisie van Delben family. The head of the van Delben family was Ambrosius Johannes Wilbrordus van Delben.

During the transformation of the cemetery into the Taman Prasasti Museum, the mausoleum was opened up and the workers found the mummified bodies of the van Delben family stored inside the crypt. The bodies have since been removed and the mausoleum is currently used as a storage shed for the museum.

No one knows where the mummified bodies are presently. They would have most probably been brought back to the Netherlands or buried in another cemetery in Jakarta to make way for the museum.


The Tragic Story of Pieter Elberfeld

Most people who visit the Taman Prasasti Museum would be intrigued by the sight of a memorial decorated with a macabre sight, a human skull pearched upon an upright spear. This uncanny memorial belongs to Pieter Elberfeld, a rebel who was brutally quartered by the Dutch government for high treason.

Born in Java in the year 1663 to a German father and a Javanese mother, Pieter Elberfeld was one who clung to native ideas and customs, which subsequently led him to become an enthusiastic and daring patriot. He hated the Dutch and all connected with them and resolved on the extermination of every Dutchman from the soil of Java.

When his father died, Pieter Elberfeld inherited a huge estate from his father. The VOC government, under the orders of then Governor-General Hendrick Zwaardecroon, exercised their superior authority by claiming a part of the estate. Incensed by their move, Elberfeld came up with a plan to kill the higher ranking officials of the VOC. Alas, before he could carry out his plan, his niece – who had fell in love with a Dutch official from the VOC – spilled the beans on her uncle. The government then caught him red-handed in the midst of a secret meeting and imprisoned him immediately. After hours of torture, Elberfeld confessed to his plans and was sentenced to death along with 19 of his slaves.

The punishment was very cruel, even for the standards of that time. He was bound backward to a cross, decapitated and his body was cut in four pieces (and not quartered by horses as popularly depicted) The four pieces of his body were hung in the four quarters of the city and the similar punishment was administered to his accomplices. He was 59 years old at that time.

Elberfeld’s house, which was located outside the city then, was demolished and a schandmuur (wall of shame) was erected in its place. Elberfeld’s head was set conspicuously upon a top of a pike to serve as a warning to the rest of Batavia. Over time, only the skull was left. It was then thickly plastered over to protect it from the influence of time and weather.


The Schandmuur – Circa 1885
Creative Commons – Tropenmuseum

Immediately below the transfixed skull, a tablet bearing the following long inscription in the Dutch can be found:

Uik eene verfoeyelyke gedachtenise tegen den gestraften landverrader, Pieter Elberfeld, zal niemaud vermogen ter dezer plaatse to boumen, Simmeren, metselem, planten. iiu, of tenccurrige, dage. Batavia, den 22nd April, 1722.

The translation goes roughly like this:

In consequence of the detested memory of Pieter Elberfeld, who was punished for treason, no one shall be permitted to build in wood, or stone, or to plant anything whatsoever in these grounds, from this time forth for evermore. Batavia, 22nd April, 1722

The street where Pieter Elberfeld’s execution took place is now known as Jalan Pecah Kulit or “Ruptured Skin Street”, a morbid name which best describes the history of the place. The Schandmuur, together with the skull on the iron pike, was then shifted to Taman Prasasti prior to the museum’s opening. From the old photo of the Schandmuur and the recent one I took at Taman Prasasti, you could see that great measures were taken to remove the original wall from its original location to the museum.

Another Weeping Lady Statue

Apart from the Weeping Beauty, a second weeping lady statue can be found further in the park. Similar to the Weeping Beauty, this statue is sculptured in the Renaissance style too and there are also no visible inscriptions to tell us who the grave belongs to.

The special thing about this tomb is the usage of corals in its fabrication. The weeping lady is seen leaning onto a rock mound made out of plastered rocks and corals. Can you spot them?

The Tomb with The Broken Doric Column


This tomb is decorated with a broken doric column (like the ones at the entrance of Taman Prasasti) which reminded me of the ancient Greek architecture used for the Parthenon. A wreath is sculptured around the column to lend an air of prestige to the tomb. It was the final resting place for a lady named C.M van Os, which according to the inscription on the headstone, was the beloved wife of I. H. R. Goedhart.

The Mysterious Alpha – Omega Grave

There lies a large, wide tomb not too far away from Dirk Varkevisser. This tomb is visibly much wider than any other tomb in the museum, and it has the distinct Greek alphabets A (Alpha) and Ω (Omega) inscribed on it. These are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. In the Book of Revelation, Jesus Christ refers to himself as the Alpha and the Omega, symbolizing the beginning and the end of all creation.

Above the Greek alphabets, a Latin Verse reads:


This is in fact a part of a verse from the Bible, which translates into the following:

Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith. – Hebrews 13:7

There used to be a stone sphere on either side of the tomb, but as you can see in the picture below, the sphere on the right had been dislodged and now lies broken on the grave floor.


The occupants (yes,there were 2 occupants) of the tomb must have been very pious Catholics indeed. Apart from the Alpha – Omega reference and the biblical verse in Latin, a religious symbol known as the Chi Rho Cross can also be found in the centre of the grave.

The first two letters of Christ’s name in Greek are X and P. In the Greek alphabet X is pronounced as Chi and P is pronounced as Rho, hence the name Chi Rho Cross. These two letters are usually inscribed as one over the other and enclosed within a circle, thus becoming both a cosmic and a solar symbol. Although not technically a cross, the Chi Rho invokes the crucifixion of Jesus as well as symbolizing his status as the Christ.

The occupants of this grave also happen to be strange bedfellows, in my opinion. On the left, we have the following inscription:


11 SEP 1860
11 SEP 1860

It seems that one of the tomb’s occupants, Mabisa, was a native Javanese lady married to a Dutchman named H. Lastdrager. While I was logically expecting to see the tombstone of Mabisa’s husband on the right side of the tomb, I was totally perplexed to see the following inscription instead:


CEB: te BERN 1830
OVERL: 13 JULI 1886

BORN in BERN 1830
DEC: 13 JULY 1886

Who was this A. Schultheiss? Schultheiss is a last name of German origin, which made sense for this gentleman since he was born in Bern, the capital of Switzerland. How was he related to the Lastdragers, and why is he being buried next to Mabisa instead of her husband? A real puzzle, indeed.

The Pastor of Batavia

The tomb of H. van der Grinten, the head pastor of Batavia between 1847 – 1848, is also located in Taman Prasasti. Among the hundreds of gravestones, his benevolent statue cuts a fine figure.

Father van der Grinten was the head pastor of the Catholic Church of Batavia – the first Catholic church in Batavia – located at the corner of Lapangan Banteng (a large open square situated in an European enclave and formerly known as Waterloopein). It was built over the former residence of the Dutch East Indies military commander General Hendrik Merkus de Kock (who later was made Baron for his triumph over Prince Diponegoro in the Java war).

The church was inaugurated on 6 November 1829 and blessed by the head pastor at that time, Father L. Prinsen,  as “The Church of Our Lady of Assumption”. It measured 35 long by 17 metres wide, consisted of a large hall with rows of pillars on either side in the neo-gothic style, a common architectural style for churches at the time. Father van der Grinten lived in the priest’s residence on the east wing of the church, while the sacristan lived in the west wing.

The church stood until 9 April 1890 when it collapsed due to old age and poor maintenance. A new church was rebuilt in its place between 1891 and 1901 and today it stands as the Jakarta Cathedral. The church is acknowledged as an integral instrument for the spread of Roman Catholicism in Java during the 19th century.

The inscription on Father van der Grinten’s tomb reads:


1 COR. IX v:22



- R . I . P -




“To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some.”

1 Corinthians 9:22

“His memory will not perish”
“And his name will be called”
“From generation to generation”
Ecclesiasticus 39:13

- R . I . P -







Major General J.J Perie’s Gothic Tomb

In the northwestern corner of Taman Prasasti, I came across a magnificent tomb which could fit right into Transylvania like a glove. This gothic looking tomb belongs to Major General J. J. Perie,  the Commander of the 1st Groote Militaire Afdeeling (literally the Great Military Division) in Java.  During his illustrious career with the military, he was knighted and conferred with the 4th Order of the Militaire Willems-Orde (Military Order of William), the oldest and highest honour of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. This chivalric order was often presented to senior military officers in recognition of their feats of bravery on the battlefield and as a meritorious decoration. The receipient of several awards during his lifetime, Major General Perie was also awarded the Order of the Netherlands Lion.


Major General Perie passed away in 1853 in Batavia. Due to his military rank and appointment, he was given a grand and honourable funeral and buried in Batavia itself. The high-relief hatchment on his tomb consists of a Galea (a Roman soldier’s helmet), a Gladius (Roman sword) and a wreath.

Further up, the upper hatchment displays an array of military flags, swords, drums and pistols. From this hatchment, we could tell that Major General Perie was a military man. (Compare this to the hatchment of Dirk Varkevisser – which consisted of agricultural tools – as seen earlier)

For Asians, it is very common to find larger tombs for the wealthy or people who were very important (take O.G Khouw for instance!). I guess the same can be said for the Dutch! From the size and grandeur of his grave, we could see the importance of Major General J. J. Perie’s contributions to the Dutch East Indies government in Batavia.


Apart from my main task of locating Olivia Raffles’s tomb, the discovery of other tombs along the way and the interesting stories behind them were pretty gratifying for me. The many different tombs of Petamburan and Taman Prasasti were bewitching and I had much joy in discovering the tomb of O.G Khouw in the process. The many amazing stories behind each tomb were simply fascinating. I hope that you have enjoyed reading the memoir as much as I had enjoyed carrying out my research and writing it.

As Greg Anderson once said “Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.”, nothing can be further from the truth.

Is he?

As it stands, there are slightly over one thousand tombs in Taman Prasasti, each with their own story to tell. There are several more tombs of significance located in the area, like the tombs of Soe Hok Gie (an Chinese-Indonesian activist who fought for the rights of the Chinese community during the reign of presidents Sukarno and Suharto), Major General Johan Harmen Rudolf Khöler (a Dutch general who died in the Aceh war), Major General Andreas Victor Michiels (a highly successful Dutch general who triumphed over his native opponents in many skirmishes), Ms. Riboet (a hugely popular actress and recording artiste in the 1920s) and many, many others whom I am unable to mention in one breath alone. Perhaps one day I will return to document all these tombs and find out about the magnificent stories behind them. In my opinion, Taman Prasasti deserves a dedicated website of its own, documenting each individual tomb, their unique designs, their inscriptions and of course the back story of the deceased