The Accommodation


Marcus P. M. Vink*

Traditionally, the Straits of Malacca were the thoroughfare between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea. In fact, it was the shortest and safest channel of communication through which the exchange of products from the Indian and Chinese trading worlds took place. The Portuguese, arriving in Asia at the turn of the fifteenth century, merely adapted themselves to the existing practices, which were determined by the seasonal monsoons or trade winds. During the south-west monsoon (from April to September), Portuguese vessels from places like Goa, Nagapatnam and Hugli passed through the Straits in the month of June, whereas in the north-east monsoon (October-February), westernbound craft from Macao did the same in January.

This flourishing trade was threatened by the arrival of the Dutch at the end of the sixteenth century. Being part of the Spanish empire, the Portuguese became involved in the protracted freedom struggle of the Low Countries against the Hispano-Portuguese double monarchy.

Having concentrated itself first on the spices in the East, in around 1630 the Dutch East India Company or VOC shifted its attention to the Christians in the West. The Company started sending out regular patrols to the Malaccan Straits after 1633, followed three years later by an annual blockade of Goa. The conquest of Malacca on January the 14th, 1641, set a temporary seal on this work and gave the Dutch the keys to open or close the Straits at will. 1

Previous page: Several screens produced on the Coromadel coast during the seventeenth century show European merchants in the Asian seas and their trading activities in Southeast Asia. This fragment from one of the the screens portrays a Dutch galleon arriving on a Chinese port. (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, in La Chine Ancienne, Roger Goepper.)

Apart from replacing Malacca with Macassar (and Nagapatnam), 2 the initial Portuguese reaction was to evade the Goan blockade by using Cochin as a port of transshipment3 and to circumnavigate the patrols in the Malaccan Straits by sailing south of Sumatra to Sunda - or Bali Straits, or to other passages even further east. 4

This, of course, was no real solution, for the Dutch responded by sending vessels to Cochin and the Sunda Straits. More effective and of more impact, however, were the advances made to the English, the commercial rivals of the Dutch who had been thrown out of the spice trade after the "Amboinese massacre" of 1623. To counterbalance Dutch ascendancy, the Portuguese and English decided to join forces. Thus, the various of the Dutch call to arms are echoed in the so-called Anglo-Portuguese entente cordiale.


In January 1635, some years before the successful Portuguese revolt of December 1640 against Castilian rule, William Methwold, the English President of Surat, concluded a non-aggression pact with the Portuguese viceroy, Dom Miguel de Noronha, Conde de Linhares. Soon after the accession of Dom João de Bragança as king, England and Portugal negotiated a formal peace in London in January 1642, which definitely ended hostilities, both in Europe and in Asia.

In doing so, they were way ahead of the Dutch. Indeed, the States-General might well have concluded a Ten Year's Truce at The Hague as early as June the 12th, 1641 (ratified on February the 22nd, 1642), which stipulated that the cease-fire would become valid in Asia no later than one year after ratification, but the VOC had no intention whatsoever of complying with this and simply decided to play for time. 5

In fact, on October the 7th, 1642, the High Government at Batavia pro forma proclaimed the armistice, but six months later, using the division of some cinnamon districts near Galle as an excuse, the mask was dropped. Leaving the Bar of Goa on April the 27th, 1643, the Dutch "negotiator" Councillor Extraordinary Pieter Boreel declared the truce to be null and void - the situation which followed being euphemistically called the "uncertain war peace".6

However, the Company did not have its way altogether, for Governor Jeremias van Vliet of Malacca had already informed the Portuguese mercantile communities on the Coromandel coast, such as Nagapatnam, San Thomé, Porto Novo, Tegenepatnam and Macao of the armistice. Batavia condemned the governor's high-handed behaviour as being "much too premature", especially with regard to Nagapatnam: Van Vliet ought to have known that the city was not included in the truce. In April 1642, the Portuguese inhabitants had bought off the sacking of the town by a Dutch fleet under Commander Cornelis Leendertsz. Blauw, consenting to pay 42,779 reals-of-eight (fl. 102,669.12), but in the aftermath had "forgotten" to keep their promise - instead, they wisely resolved to fortify the city. 7

Still, the High Government grudgingly recognized that it had been presented with a fait accompli. Thus, on June the 30th, 1643, the governor-general and council ordered Van Vliet that henceforth: all the Portuguese vessels from Goa, the Indian coast or Ceylon (which have knowledge of the refusal of our just demands or to whom the truce has not been notified), trying to pass the Straits of Malacca are to be considered as enemies and must subsequently be captured,..., but those coming from San Thomé, Nagapatnam and Macao (where the notification has already been done) are to be well-treated in accordance with the friendly invitation and promise. 8

Platte Grond van Stadt Macao, waer ia aen geweesen wordt de voornaemste Plaetsen der Stadt -- Macao. From the manuscript-Atlas of Johannes Vingboons, c. 1665 (Algemeen Rijkarchief, Haia).

These fresh instructions could be put to the test at once, for with the start of the southwest monsoon the resumption of the hostilities had already yielded its first profits. On June the 20th 1643, a Portuguese fusta on its way from Goa to Macao, was intercepted north of Malacca at Cabo Rachado (Tanjong Tuan). 9 Unfortunately for the Dutch, however, the vessel had left Goa as early as April the 21st, that is six days before the final break-down of Boreel's mission. Yet, the Company was not convinced so easily and the Portuguese were still considered a rightful prize.

For one thing, Captain Gaspar Cassaon had tried to slip through the Straits without calling at Malacca. 10 As he was told that his ship had to pay a visit to the former Portuguese stronghold, the Jesuit Father Heitor Pereira retorted with a bitter and trembling voice that he would rather burn the ship and all its belongings.

Cassaon and his crew, consisting of fifteen white Portuguese (including two Jesuits), eighteen mestizos (free marinheiros or sailors, and lascars), nine Moors, nine Gentiles and seven Kafirs, had violated the Company's waters by attacking and killing all but two of the seventeen crew members of a Javanese vessel from Grise returning from Asahan, 11 despite the fact it was carrying a pascedul or safe-conduct of the governor-general at Batavia. The ship was seized and the rather poor cargo (all in all valued at fl. 6732.7.2), consisting of four hundred reals in bullion, a few Goan coins, three diamond rings and two pairs of earrings set with diamonds, amber, tin from Perak, catechu, cloth of many sorts, pots of getah rasamala, 12 small barrels of incense, skins of Spanish leather, ammunition, provisions and some baubles, was confiscated. 13 A poor catch indeed.

One week later, however, on June the 27th, 1643, a bigger fish swam straight into the Company's nets with the yaught S. António, carrying on his voyage from Cochin to Macao one iron piece and one hundred and thirty people: fifteen white Portuguese (including nine merchants), seven Jesuits being "natural Portuguese", fifty four mercenaries or free sailors (mestizos), and fifty eight slaves (forty five male and thirteen female). Although the version of the Portuguese merchant Thomas de Sousa, that they had not been aware of the discontinuation of the truce, was finally accepted (the ship had left Cochin on May 14), his statement that the S. António had intended to call at Malacca met with more scepticism. In this instance, the initial reaction of Captain Cosme Cardoso decided the issue. When he was urged to call at Malacca, Cardoso was reported to have answered: But what do we have to look for at Malacca? The city no longer belongs to the Portuguese, but instead is being governed by the people from Holland. On September the 7th, 1643, Governor Van Vliet of Malacca finally decided that the yaught and its accessories would remain the property of the Company. 14

In the short term, however, the effects were counterproductive to Portuguese interests, for it only strengthened the pro-war faction amongst Company circles.

These instances might suggest that the Company's delaying tactics vis-à-vis the implementation of the truce paid off handsomely, but the Portuguese kept up their end as well. In May 1643, the Dutch vessel the Pauw, carrying President Wollebrant Geleynsz, and a cargo of Persian silk worth fl. 435.493.19.15 put into Goa under the false assumption that the truce had gone into effect. Geleynsz, and the ship's officers soon realized that Goa was not a safe place after all, for the Portuguese viceroy, Dom João da Silva Teles de Meneses, Conde de Aveiras, seized this windfall with both hands and resolved to capture the crew and confiscate the cargo in order to strengthen his bargaining position.

The consequences became manifest in the subsequent north-east monsoon. In Macao, where they had received no news from Goa in the preceding trade season, the Portuguese were totally ignorant of the renewal of hostilities, let alone of the seizure of the Pauw. 15

On December the 23rd, 1643, the yaught Nossa Senhora da Conceição de S. Bernardo, on its way from Macao to Goa with a cargo of radix China, 16 spelter, porcelain and several Chinese silk-piece goods, called at Malacca. As was to be expected, Captain António Varella in the first place appealed to the publication of the truce at Batavia and elsewhere in Asia, and in the second place to the missive which Governor Van Twist of Malacca had sent to Dom Sebastião Lobo da Silveira, captain-general of Macao, and still another letter [of Van Vliet] to Domingos de Câmara de Noronha, former captain-general of Macao, that in case he would like to embark, he [Van Vliet] would provide him a safe passage to India. 17 As it happened, De Noronha was one of the passengers aboard the Conceição, together with the fidalgo Gaspar de Validares and, as a prisoner, the Spaniard Don Juan Claudio, general of the Philippine galleys. 18

The Portuguese captain did have a case, but not good enough. The matter was referred to Batavia for trial, where the High Government decided that although the Portuguese had been unaware of the truce, he and his ship were still considered a just prize on account of our richlyladen ship the Pauw, which,..., having had no knowledge of any dispute or difference either, still had been taken by the viceroy. 19

Whereas Varella, the Conceição and the rest of its crew were finally released and furnished with a Company safe-conduct, the cargo worth 69.073 3/8 reals-of-eight (fl. 165.776.2) was sold and the owners provided with bonds which were to be cashed after the restoration of the Pauw. De Noronha, De Validares and the other prominent Portuguese passengers, however, were to remain at Batavia in order to be exchanged against Geleynsz, and the other ship's officers. 20

The same line of conduct was followed with regards to the Nossa Senhora da Boa Esperança de S. Bernardo sailing from Macao to Muscat. On January the 6th, 1644, the naveta, or small ship, commanded by Captain Manuel Jorge da Silva Pereira, carrying coarse porcelain, spelter, radix China and a few silk piece goods worth 15.178 3/8 reals-of-eight or fl. 36.668.2, was intercepted near Cabo Rachado. After the merchandise had been auctioned and the owners given their bonds, the ship was provided with a passport for a return voyage from Macao to Goa. 21 As the Dutch were making things hot for the Portuguese, they began to call upon the English trading potential on an ever-larger scale. 22 In their turn, the hereticos ingleses, for a combination of official and private interests, were highly receptive to the Lusitanian overtures. Always short of cash and cargo, it seems that the English company's servants simply exploited the available empty tonnage to fill their masters' and, last but not least, their own pockets.

Hence, it comes as no surprise that the Dutch were far from impressed by the repeated English promises not to carry any persons or goods other than their masters, or any provisions or ammunition in support of our enemies. 23

That the English were indeed maintaining the hard-pressed Portuguese supply lines became apparent on July the 12th, 1643 when a ship of the "Courteen's Association",24 the Boa Esperança with a cargo of blood coral, agila-wood, cinnamon and elephant's tusks, tried to slip past Malacca but was intercepted at Pulo Pisang. 25 The claim of Captain William Gorle that he was en route from Achin to Canton (in reality he was sailing from Goa26 to Macao) could be reasonably doubted since two "papists' had been spotted on the ship. When Gorle refused inspection and instead resorted to open hostilities, the Englishman was captured and taken to Malacca.

There, Dutch suspicions were more than confirmed, being loaded with many Portuguese parcel goods, carrying the captain-general of Macao, called Luis Carvalho de Sousa and the Padre-Governor [Manuel Fernandes, former vigário-geral of Goa] sent by the spiritual head of Goa with another Portuguese fidalgo named Gomes Fereire, also more priests among which a vicar and a guardian, besides other grey friars and orders of several cowls. 27

Initially, the intention of the High Government was to release the Bona Esperança and its forty English crew after the Portuguese passengers, one hundred altogether, had been disembarked and their goods, valued at fl. 63.462.7.8, unloaded. Governor Van Vliet, however, made such a mess of things that the English and Portuguese goods could no longer be distinguished from one another. Having expressed dissatisfaction with this "unprecedented affair" and Van Vliet's "great negligence", Batavia, in April 1645 predicted: It is apparent that the ships from patria [i. e. the Republic],..., will bring many complaints and specified estimations of the confiscated English and Portuguese goods, which we now both have to reimburse. 28

In fact, the High Government's prophecy proved to be not far from the truth, for in September 1649, the Board of Directors of Heeren XVII (Gentlemen Seventeen) in Middelburg were finally forced into an agreement with Jacob Perkins, procurator of William Courteen and other persons interested in the Boa Esperança, whereby they promised to pay compensation of eighty-five thousand guilders. 29

But there was worse to come for the Dutch. In 1644, for instance, no less than three English ships, the William, the Seahorse, and the Hind, sailed from Surat and Goa via the Straits of Malacca to Macao and Manilla and back, quite to the annoyance of the Dutch. 30 As Governor Van Vliet of Malacca saw it: If we allow the English to freely conduct this back-and-forth trade, it would be an inwardly-eating cancer for Malacca [and the Company], since by this smuggling the Portuguese of Goa and Macao would be able to ship anything they want. 31

Yet, while grinding its teeth, the VOC was powerless to suppress this "inwardly-eating cancer": Albion was simply too powerful a nation to fool around with. Or as Batavia put it more graphically: It appears that we cannot always adapt the wordly affairs to our liking; instead, for diplomatic reasons, we have to, as the saying goes, add some water to the wine. 32 As a result, the English had to be treated with all due respect.

Thus, while matters at sea were arriving at a stalemate, things on land were hardly going any better for the Dutch, since Colombo had begun to appear a difficult and expensive conquest. There were, moreover, warnings that Lisbon was exerting the utmost diplomatic pressure on the States-General to bring about a cessation of hostilities imposed from Europe. 33

Hence, the Company finally gave up the extension of the truce and decided to make the best of a bad bargain. The result was a treaty signed at Goa on November the 10th, 1644, between Johan Maetsuyker, councillor-ordinary of the Indies, on behalf of the VOC, and the Portuguese viceroy, Dom João da Silva Teles de Meneses. 34 Besides a provisional agreement on the division of the Ceylonese cinnamon lands, it stipulated that, following the release of the Pauw and its crew, all the Portuguese prisoners and goods taken after February the 22nd, 1643 (valued at 125.000 reals-of-eight or fl. 30,000,-), would be restored. 35 By the publication of the treaty at Goa on January the 25th, 1645, more than three years after Portugal had concluded the truce with the States-General in Europe, the boundaries and cease-fire became effective in the East. 36

Ⅱ. THE TEN YEAR'S TRUCE, 1645-1652

The period of the Ten Year's Truce saw the resurrection of Portuguese independent shipping through the Straits of Malacca, free from English participation. Indeed, when considered at first sight, this development seemed to confirm Portuguese hopes (and Dutch fears) that the cease-fire would be the ultimate weapon against the Dutch. Or as José Pinto Pereira, an influential member of the Overseas Council, expressed it in March 1644 to King João IV: the best war, I hold, will be to put them at peace. 37 As it was, these high expectations were built on quicksand, for by 1645 Portuguese Asia had already sunk into a state virtually beyond repair. For one thing, Goa and Macao, the two termini of the shipping route through the Malacca Straits, had been deeply affected by the phantom of war. On the one hand, the protracted struggle with the Dutch and especially the nine consecutive blockading fleets (1636-1645) had taken its toll of the seat of the Portuguese viceroys and governors: the economy of Golden Goa was ruined. 38 It was a situation aggravated by the notorious selfishness and greed of the Portuguese governing élite in Asia. 39 On the other hand, the Amoy district and the region round Macao became the main war stage for the civil strife in China between the invading Manchus or Tartars, and Ming-loyalists like Cheng Ch'eng-kung or Coxinga, which blocked trade and supply routes inland. 40 The outcome was obvious: Macao, Batavia wrote in December 1643, is in a bad condition because of the continuation of the war. 41

The Straits of Malacca, 17th century (ARA [National Archives] The Hague, Map Department, VEHL 167, scale ca. 1:800,000)

Portuguese Asia was not given much room to remedy its "bad condition". Firstly, it was left almost totally to its own devices by Lisbon. With Spanish troops still knocking at its borders and the outbreak of the Pernambuco revolt in June 1645, 42 the needs of Asia were simply pushed in to the background. As the much-tormented monarch, King João IV, explained in April 1746 to Viceroy Felipe Mascarenhas: The expense involved in the outfitting of [Villa-Pouca's] armada [to Brazil], very considerable in light of our predicament with Castile, was the reason we were unable to send such powerful aid to India as necessity demands. 43 The scarce supplies of men and matériel that eventually did reach Goa, were moreover exhausted in fruitless campaigns, such as the recapture of Muscat or the defence of the Kanara fortresses. 44

Secondly, while being denied any substantial support from Europe, Portuguese Asia was not permitted to put its affairs back in order - however slight that chance might be. The Dutch simply would not let this happen. It is ironic to note that whereas the Company previously had shown itself a strong opponent of the truce, it was now fervently in favour of it. By adhering to a narrow interpretation of articles 6 and 7, the VOC tried to forestall the possibility that Portuguese Asia would rise like a 'Phoenix from its ashes'.

According to the Company, article six ("the one will not violate the treaties and contracts of the other") implied that the Portuguese could be excluded from those quarters where they had made monopolistic treaties with local indigenous rulers, such as the rajahs of the Malaysian "tin districts".45

Also, article seven would be a carte blanche to deny Portuguese navigation "without our previous consent [i. e. safe-conduct]" to Dutch ports like Malacca and Batavia. 46 The same also applied to those places where the Portuguese were not having any commercial dealings at the time of the conclusion of the truce in Europe, such as Java and Sumatra. As a result, the only regions to remain free were Macassar, Larantuka47 and the the Solor - and Timor islands in the South, and Cochin China, Tonkin, Cambodia and Siam round the North, except to those places with which the Company will be at war, which will be subjected to the right of war common among the nations. 48

The result of all this was that although Portuguese navigation through the Straits of Malacca itself remained unmolested, pre-conditions were so disadvantageous that it would never re-establish itself at the level prior to the Dutch patrolling in the region - that is, except for the first trading seasons when an arrears in supplies led to a short-lived boom in Portuguese east-west shipping.

Nevertheless, Portuguese ships navigating the Straits were still expected to pay the Malaccan tolls. On May the 29th, 1645, the Portuguese ambassador, Frei Gonçalo Veloso de São José and the Batavia Council came to provisional terms about the exact burden of this obligation. It was agreed that all Portuguese vessels passing Malacca had to pay the usual rate of four and a half per cent, until either both our sovereigns in Europe, or we with the viceroy here in Asia, will further decide on the matter. 49 Although still uninformed by Batavia, Governor Van Vliet of Malacca acted in line with the provisional agreement with the arrival of the S. António from Cochin under Captain Diogo do Amaral, and the galleon S. Pedro and brigantine S. Cruz Fieis de Deos from Goa under Dom Francisco de Castelo Branco at Malacca on June the 4th, the 8th, and 12th. Whereas do Amaral requested Van Vliet to be exempted from the ordinary toll until matters between the Company and the Portuguese ambassador had been settled, the Malaccan governor insisted on the four and a half per cent payment. Thereupon, the captain of the S. António without further objections paid - up 254 1/4 reals-of-eight (which makes the total value of the cargo fl. 13,560). On the same condition, the S. Cruz paid 210 3/8 reals-of-eight (or a total value of 11.220 guilders). The S. Pedro, however, on its way to Macao to fetch the king's artillery to Lisbon, was excused payment since it only carried human cargo (five hundred men, including three hundred Kafirs) and provisions. 50

Four months later, on October the 8th, 1645, the collection of the Malaccan duties met with more difficulties. In contrast to Do Amaral and Castelo Branco, Jacomo Cardoso Barreto, captain of the yaught Madre de Deus from Nagapatnam, took many exceptions to the settlement and was not above inventing some stories as well. Although the Portuguese were notorious tax-evaders, bringing Portuguese Asia to the verge of bankruptcy, Barreto, without batting an eyelid, declared to the astonished Dutch, that what had been paid in the time of the Portuguese domination [of Malacca] had been done out of affection to the king of Portugal (our hereditary lord), yet, since Portugal [and subsequently Malacca] had been brought under the Spanish yoke, we were tyrannized and forced to pay heavy dues. But now Portugal [and Malacca] are delivered of the same, we assume to be exempted from everything. 51 The unwilling captain, however, was finally "convinced" to pay the ordinary four and a half per cent toll on his cargo, which consisted of two hundred and fourteen parcels of cloth, amounting to 3.000 reals-of-eight or fl. 7.200, -(making a total value of 1. 160.000, -.52

On January the 14th, 1646, an ad hoc exception to the four and a half per cent rule had to be made, when no less than eight Portuguese vessels dropped their anchor at the roadstead of Malacca: two royal galleons, the S. Pedro and the S. André, one caravelle, the Nossa Senhora de Oliveira, four brigantines, the Nossa Senhora de Concepção de S. Bernardo, the S. Tomé de S. António, the S. Cruz Fiéis de Deos, the S. António, and the junk of António Varella. The Portuguese fleet, on its way from Macao to Goa, was under the command of Admiral António Fialho Ferreira. Because of the late time of the seasonal visitation taxation of every single ship was considered impossible. Instead, it was decided that each ship had to pay four paus (schuitje, or bar) of Chinese gold, valued at one hundred and sixty Spanish reals (200 reals-of-eight) or fl. 480-, a bar. Altogether, the seven vessels produced 5.600 reals-of-eight or 13.440 guilders. Since the burden of four paus was deemed too heavy for Varella's junk, he merely had to give 200 reals-of-eight. 53

This stop-gap solution became regulation after April 1646, when the Company's senior merchant of Wingurla, Cornelis van Sanen, concluded a provisional contract with the Portuguese viceroy, Dom Felipe Mascarenhas at Goa, which read as follows:

[Secondly]... Each vessel, whether large or small, navigating to Macao and not unloading its goods at Malacca will hand over two bars of gold for the journey there and back (voor gaen ende comen) as a deposit, not as tribute, to the merchant of the said fortress until Europe will have given a decisive answer about this matter. The ships and cargoes of His Majesty will be exempted, but they will still be visited by oath in order to establish whether they are carrying private goods or not. In case these will be found, the owners will have to pay 4 1/2 per cent for the journey there and back on everything exceeding the cargo of a patacho [brigantine], and on everything less than a patacho, no more than the same two bars of gold - also as a deposit.

[Thirdly] That the ships passing Malacca and not navigating to China will pay 4 1/2 per cent, regardless of the fact they will unload or sell any goods or not, without any further obligation or imposition... 54

Instead of settling affairs, the immediate effect of this agreement was just to create more confusion, for it was one large enumeration of ambiguous statements. The hidden defects came painfully to the surface in June 1646 with the arrival of two privately-owned patachos, the Nossa Senhora da Conceição de S. Bernardo and the Nossa Senhora de Rosário, and two royal galleons, the S. André and the S. Baptista, all on their way from the Indian coast to Macao. While the two captains of the patachos, António Varella and Luis de Mirado Monteira, claimed that they only owed two bars of gold for the round trip, the Company held the view that the Portuguese masters had to produce four: two for the outward and two for the homeward passage. Varella and Monteiro finally gave way and promised to fulfill the remaining two bars on their return. 55 In their turn, the two galleons, carrying, besides a poor cargo, the new captain-general of Macao, Dom Diogo Coutinho Doçem, produced a meagre 100 reals-of-eight each (fl. 240, -), going only to fetch the remaining artillery in Macao, since as a result of the continuation of the war, trade is very slack there. 56

These proceedings elicited a sharp reaction from the High Government. Apart from approving the four-bar payment, Batavia, in November 1646 expressed its great dissatisfaction with the "defective" contract, especially with the part that private goods aboard royal vessels would pay two bars on an amount equivalent to the loading capacity of a patacho, and 4 1/2 per cent on everything exceeding it: This will always give cause for endless disputes, for who has ever measured the cargo of a patacho or can say that it is the cargo of a patacho? Moreover, in case royal vessels are not carrying the cargo of a patacho, they [the owners] will always pay less than two bars of gold. For all its shortcomings, Batavia still considered the contract, at least for the time being, to be legally binding until we have received the approval or rejection from Europe on this matter."57

No definite answer being received, the Portuguese 1647 consignment to Macao, consisting of five vessels, could still profit from the loop-holes in the agreement. Whereas the only royal vessel, the Nossa Senhora de Nazaré from Goa, under Captain António Galvão was freed from the Malaccan toll, the remaining four private ships, the Bengal yaught Nossa Senhora do Rosário under Captain Francisco Barbosa de Mello, the Goan ship Santíssimo Sacramento under Captain João Ferreira, the Cochin brigantine S. Tomé de S. António under-Captain António Monteiro, and the Coromandel cho of Captain Tristão Gomes, all paid, instead of two bars, 400 reals-of-eight (960 guilders). 58

In October 1647, the Gentlemen Seventeen in patria finally gave their long-awaited verdict on the matter. In short, the Heeren XVII made mincemeat of the "thoughtless" Van Sanen and his "harmful and scandalous" treaty. It contained so many prejudicial conditions that they thought it would be wiser to reject the same completely, under the pretext that Van Sanen's mandate has not been absolute, but only provision and depending on our approval. 59

Thus instructed, the High Government in August 1648 informed the Portuguese ambassador, Francisco Vieira de Figueiredo that Van Sanen had not been empowered to come to terms with the Portuguese viceroy. Moreover, although Batavia admitted that the contract was not free from ambiguity ("caused by ignorance"), the Portuguese ships navigating through the Straits would from now on be expected to pay two bars of gold for the outward and two for the homeward passage, otherwise it would be a ridiculous and disadvantageous contract for the Company. In case the viceroy could not concur with this interpretation, the Portuguese ships would be subjected to the tolls formerly levied by themselves, which would naturally cause many impediments in their voyages. The Company, however, was not above helping the Portuguese. If the viceroy authorized Figueiredo, it would always be prepared to enter into an agreement with the ambassador on his journey home to Macassar! 60

Paradoxically, now that the Dutch had imposed their version of the contract, they found it more and more difficult to enforce it. Not so much because the Portuguese would not, but rather could not live up to it. As Batavia noticed in August 1650, their state in Goa, Cochin and almost everywhere else is very austere. 61 But whereas the ships coming from the Indian subcontinent were still able, be it with difficulty, to fulfil the Malaccan duties, those returning from Macao could definitely not. On January the 15th, 1650, for instance, two small ships en route from Macao to the Indian coast, called at Malacca, carrying all in all a mere sixty piculs or seven thousand five hundred pounds 1bs. of spelter, fifty-six piculs (seven thousand pounds 1bs.) of radix China, some old copperwork and a parcel of gilded inlay, without anything else of importance: This poor cargo being principally the result of the continuation of the war in the Canton region. In Macao, Governor Thijssen was told, where more than four thousand people had died of starvation, not a single piece of silk could be obtained, even if one was prepared to pay for its weight in gold! Things were so bad there, the Malaccan governor commented, and these people looked so miserable, that, on arrival at Malacca, they could not produce more than one bar of gold in fulfillment of the ordinary toll. Thereupon, the remainder [i. e. 400 reals-of-eight] was put in silver money and valued at 235 reals-of-eight, which was paid (under heavy complaints) by some of the inhabitants of Malacca. 62

The condition of Macao (and of Portuguese Asia as a whole) was deteriorating rapidly. On January the 26th, 1651, Captain Francisco Bravo de Araújo, an inhabitant from Cochin, arrived at Malacca with the S. António from Macao, who declared that at the beginning of December 1650, the Manchu army had captured the famous mercantile city of Canton after a siege of nine months, in which most of its inhabitants had been massacred - leaving only the Kwang-si province to be incorporated. As a result, Portuguese business in Macao is very miserable. 63 Bravo's tragic story was confirmed a few weeks later by Captain Diogo do Amaral, with the S. Tomé de S. António on his way from Macao to Cochin and arriving at Malacca on February the 10th. The cargo of both the small vessels together consisted of a little radix China, some boxes of copper caixas or picis, 64 a parcel of gilded inlay and some female slaves, without any gold or the like at all, an insufficiency to pay the Malaccan duties. 65

Thus, with the expiration of the truce approaching and a subsequent renewal of hostilities with the Dutch in prospect, the only alternative for the exhausted Portuguese, besides total destruction, seemed to cast their lot once more with the English. 66

Ⅲ. - RENEWAL OF THE WAR, 1652-1663

The English may not have been the only alternative available for Portuguese refugees, but they were certainly the best: whereas other Europeans lacked the trading potential of the British, their Asian counterparts were either more continental than maritime rulers, or not powerful enough to resist Dutch military might.

For the time being, however, the Portuguese did not realize that they were no longer captains of their trade and that their fate was now inextricably bound up with the English. In fact, they were not even aware that they had run out of time and the truce had expired. They were soon presented with the bill.

On June the 13th, 1652, the S. António under Captain Francisco Bravo de Araújo, on its way from Cochin to Macao, was unsuspectingly sailing the Straits of Malacca, when it was suddenly attacked and captured near Pulo Sambilang67 by an oncoming Dutch yaught. Ten days later, the same happened to Captain Bento Rodrigues and the Spirito Sancto de S. Jacinto, who, en route from Goa destined for Macao, was taken in the waters of Perak. 68

After the two navetas with their cargo, consisting of cloth, pepper, wax, yarn, saltpetre, "poetjoek",69 dates, and catechu (and some of those on board) had been sent to Batavia, the High Government, on August the 21st, declared both vessels rightful prizes and decided that the combined crew, two captains, five priests, twenty-two Portuguese and mestizos plus seventy-two Moorish lascars (apart from the one hundred and five kept by Malacca, including thirty eight mestizos), were to remain at Batavia in order to be employed at the public works. 70

But the two Portuguese masters did not give up that easily. Six days later, Rodrigues and Bravo each presented an identical petition, requesting the restitution of both ships on the argument that the cease-fire was still enforce - until February the 22nd, 1653, to be precise, i. e. ten years after the ratification of King João IV had been received by the States-General. Their appeal, however, was turned down by Batavia, who placed its own interpretation on the period of validity. According to the High Government, the Luso-Dutch truce had expired ten years after it had become effective in the East, that is June the 12th, 1652 -just enough to make the capture of the S. António on the 13th legitimate! 71

The Portuguese had evidently learned their lesson and drawn their conclusion, for in March 1653 Governor Jan Thijssen sounded the alarm. Fearing the restoration of the status quo ante pax, the Malaccan governor wrote to the governor-general and his council: Gentlemen, it is known to Your Honours how the Portuguese during the previous war have practised, albeit with little success, to relieve Macao with the help of the English. Since the entire assistance sent thither from Goa and Cochin has lately fallen into our hands, it is very likely they will now resort to the same cunning, sending this and that English ship supposedly to Jambi or Bantam, but in reality to Macao. Therefore, and in order to avoid any mistake, we ask Your Honours' advice how to deal with such Englishmen and whether, in case they might refuse, we will be allowed to make them call at Malacca by force of arms. 72

It was at this very moment that the High Government was informed by the Heeren XVII of the outbreak of hostilities with England, the so-called First Anglo-Dutch War (July 1662-April 1654). In May 1653, Batavia subsequently wrote to Governor Thijssen: This open and hot war will do away with all Your Honour's scruples concerning that nation, who will undertake to carry Portuguese goods and provisions to Macao. Although this was considered to be a positive development, its overall judgement on the war was negative: For it is certain, that those two enemies [the English and the Portuguese] will now enter into a strong alliance against us in these provinces and will assist one another as much as possible. 73

Batavia's prophecy proved to be not far from the truth, for in 1652 King João IV had re-established the Anglo-Portuguese entente cordiale and concluded a new agreement with the new government of England under Oliver Cromwell, whereby the English East India Company was accorded free accession to all Portuguese possessions in the East, except Macao. 74

The reasons why Macao had been excluded from the arrangement were twofold. On the one hand, the Englishmen had spoiled the local market by selling their goods on the cheap and buying at any price. On the other hand, the Chinese government was not at all pleased, to say the least, with the admittance of the powerful newcomers in Macao. In reaction to the arrival of the William in June 1644, for instance, it was decided to cut off the city's food supplies. Thereupon, Luis Carvalho de Sousa, captain-general of Macao, told the Portuguese viceroy that henceforth he would not admit any English traders to Macao, while requesting Goa to stop the issue of such permissions. 75

De Sousa and his successors, however, soon realized they were in no position to hold to the clause - especially after the end of Anglo-Dutch hostilities by the Treaty of Westminster, when the Company could once more concentrate itself on the Portuguese "problem".76 In July 1655, for example, António da Costa, captain of a Portuguese naveta from Macao, told the ship's officers of a Dutch fluyt in Tonkin that Macao had not received any support from Goa for six consecutive years. 77 His report was not an isolated instance. One month later, in August 1655, the High Government informed Governor Thijssen of Malacca that it had decided to reduce the size of the Malaccan fleet, since nowadays the Portuguese navigation through the Straits of Malacca does not amount to much. 78

Still, this did not imply that Portuguese shipping was given any respite. On the contrary: having captured Colombo in May 1656, Batavia immediately resolved to re-instate the blockade of Goa. 79 Moreover, on September the 15th, 1656, the High Government made it quite clear that as long as the roadstead would be occupied by a Dutch "Fleet of Defence", the English would, in accordance with the right of war, not be admitted to Goa. 80

Indirectly, however, the reduction of the Malaccan fleet did help the Portuguese. According to article 18 of the Treaty of Westminster, the Dutch were allowed to demand visitation of English ships only if they had the naval power to enforce it. This clearly was no longer the case.

On June the 6th, 1657, two English vessels, the William and the Hopewell dropped anchor some distance from Malacca. On being approached, Commodore Henry Bornfors declared he came straight from Surat and was on his way to the South Sea. Although Governor Thijssen suspected that the Englishmen had touched at some Portuguese settlements on the Indian coast and were destined for Macao, he could not substantiate his suspicions, for Bornfors would not permit a visitation. Lacking the means to enforce the Treaty, Thijssen had no other choice than to let the commodore and his ships take their leave without inspection. Apart from instructions, the frustrated governor subsequently requested the High Government to send naval reinforcements: without two or three considerable war yaughts we cannot maintain the same [visitation]. 81

Four months later, in October 1657, Thijssen received his instructions from Batavia, but not his war yaughts (which, in fact, he needed more of.) He was ordered to make all English ships navigating the Straits call at Malacca, if need be by force of arms, in order to be inspected, but in case, by lack of sufficient might, such investigation could not take place without a certain victory, you will not resort to violence, but merely deliver a complaint and let them go off [unmolested]. 82

At this point, the States-General believed they had a mission and should come to the aid of the Company. While negotiating with the British government on a naval agreement (tractaet de marine), Their High Excellencies, in July 1658, unilaterally resolved that the subjects of both nations would not be allowed to import any contraband goods83 to places with which the other was at war [e. g. Macao]. The import of all other kinds of commodities would be permitted, except for those places which were formally being besieged [e. g. Goa]. Here, a vessel would be merely denied entrance in case it came from a place where notification had not taken place. If, however, the ship came from a place where notification had been made, the contraband itself would be considered a rightful prize, but the ship and the rest of the cargo would be left unharmed. 84

The Honourable Company was anything but convinced of the practicability of the resolution. While informing the Batavia Council of the high-handed directives of Their High Excellencies, the Gentlemen Seventeen in September 1658 condemned them in advance: At this moment, the political constitution is not such that we can maintain them to our wishes... since they are not in accordance with the European reality. 85

Whereas European diplomacy compelled the Dutch to spare the English, after 1660 it urged them to speed up military actions against the Portuguese. For one thing, the Company anxiously followed the course of the peace negotiations between the States-General and King Pedro II of Portugal. 86 In January 1661, for instance, the High Government observed with ill-conceived relief: With relish, we have understood that the negotiations with the Portuguese crown have made little progress and that the work is rather going backwards than forward. We wish that the same could remain in a deadlock for at least two or three years. 87

Also of significance was the proposed Anglo-Portuguese marriage between Charles II and the Infanta Catarina de Bragança. It was rumoured that an English fleet was ready to take over Portuguese possessions in Asia and that all of them (and not merely Bombay) were part of her dowry. A military confrontation with the rising power of the English naturally seemed less attractive than a further undermining of the already weakened Portuguese. 88

So with time once more ticking away, the Company redoubled its efforts against the remaining Portuguese footholds in Asia, such as Malabar, Macassar and Macao. (Jaffna, Tutucorin and Nagapatnam had already been conquered in 1658.)

It was the Malabar campaign (1658-1663), which incited the VOC to detain the Nossa Senhora da Conceição e Domingos de Soriano for several weeks at both Batavia and Malacca. Although the naveta, belonging to Francisco Vieira de Figueiredo and the Society of Jesus, was carrying a Dutch safe-conduct to sail directly from Macassar to Goa, it was arrested near Bima on August the 15th, 1661, and subsequently taken to Batavia where it arrived on September the 12th. The reason was that the High Government was afraid that the Portuguese would inform Goa of the Company's great design against the same [Malabar] coast, 89 and we do not want to wake the sleeping enemy. 90

Two weeks later, on September the 27th, Captain António Soares Barbosa was informed that he was free to leave, but that he would first have to call at Malacca, since your ship is too weak to sail directly to the Indian coast. As an extra safety measure, Batavia even insisted on the Portuguese captain sailing in the escort of a Company yaught! 91 In early November, the Conceição, accompanied by a VOC yaught, dropped anchor at Malacca. Here, Barbosa and his men had to put up with more delay, for in his turn Governor Thijssen resolved to keep them in situ until the arrival of the Company ships returning from Japan and Formosa. 92

At the same time as the Company was involved in the conquest of Malabar, it also started the gradual incorporation of Macassar. As early as January 1654, Batavia had already written on the inevitability of war with the Sultanate, which had developed into an international free port, or as the Dutch saw it, smuggling centre for the trade in fine spices: Macassar is a well-situated place and is being frequented by many countries and nations, which in time of peace we cannot keep out -- not even the Portuguese or other enemies, for they can always claim that their ships and goods belong to either the king or the prince, as has already been the case with Francisco Vieira [de Figueiredo]. 93

The resulting conflict ended with the conquest of Pannakukkang, the southern-most of the three fortresses protecting Macassar, in June 1660. In the subsequent peace treaties of August and December 1660, the sultan promised, amongst other things, to deny Portuguese ships entrance to the port and to banish all the Portuguese residing in Macassar, in exchange for which the Company would clear the fortress. 94

Two years later, in December 1662, the High Government reported that the majority of the Portuguese living in Macassar had indeed left the city, but that it would be difficult to get the few that remained out as well, since the king and the nobles are seeing more and more plainly the deadliness resulting from the expulsion of the said nation from Macassar... However, we de not know whether this is sufficient reason to girding ourselves once more - all the more since these are uncertain times and we do not know what the English will do about next. 95

Whereas the Malabar and Macassar expeditions were the outcome of preconceived planning, the exploit against Macao was merely a matter of chance. After a series of alarming reports from Governor Frederick Coyet of Formosa, the High Government finally resolved, in July 1660, to dispatch a fleet of twelve sails and six hundred soldiers under Commander Joan van der Laen in anticipation of a rumoured attack by Coxinga, who was increasingly cornered by the advancing Manchu troops. 96

Batavia, however, was anything but convinced of the Chinese threat: Where in the world can one find a similar country [like Formosa], where one can live so easy and without danger of being invaded by neighbouring countries? It provided Van der Laen with alternative instructions, in for case Coxinga did not show up, the Dutch commander was to cross the Straits of Formosa to Macao at the end of October in order to take the city and remove that thorn in the Company's foot. According to the High Government it was now or never: the "thorn" was less prickly than ever and in a very poor and weak condition, and this design being postponed any longer, it is likely that the Company will not achieve its desired objective, i. e. the expulsion of the Portuguese from that northern corner, because (in case the peace between the Portuguese crown and our state will not be made) they could seek to place Macao under the protection of the English or some other nation. 97

Although Coxinga's attack did not materialize for the moment, Governor Coyet and his council decided on October the 20th, 1660, to defy Van der Laen's instructions and to keep the fleet at least until the end of February or beginning of March of the following year in Formosan waters. Thereupon, the "costly" fleet returned to Batavia, having nothing to show for its pains, of which his Honour [Coyet] has to render another account for his actions that he has given us so far, or, failing to do so, will be liable to be censured. 98

The Company had certainly missed the chance of a lifetime, for the next year, in June 1661, Coxinga did attack and conquer Formosa. Moreover, on August the 6th, 1661, the States-General and Portugal finally made peace at The Hague. In accordance with article six, the Luso-Dutch hostilities were ended after the publication at Batavia on October the 2nd, 1663. 99 However, the peace came too late to be of use for the Portuguese. By then, they had already lost most of their possessions to the Dutch and had ceded Bombay (and Tangiers) to the English as a dowry for Catarina de Bragança's marriage to Charles II.

In retrospect, one cannot get away from the impression that from the beginning the Anglo-Portuguese entente cordiale was an unequal alliance, the inequality only growing in the course of time. All in all, it was a bad bargain for the Portuguese: although the English did ease the worst effects of Dutch naval impediments by providing some cover for Lusitanian shipping, they could not protect the Portuguese points d'appui themselves against Dutch aggression.

It is also ironic to note, that whereas the Dutch went at great pains and were burdened with the problems of Portuguese Asia in the form of loss-making forts (which moreover had to be manned by costly garrisons), the English were presented with its advantages in the form of Portuguese refugees and their lucrative trading network. 100

In October 1662, for instance, the English agent of Madras, Edward Winter, informed the Dutch Commissioner Ryckloff van Goens at Pulicat, that he had received instructions from his directors in London to administer an oath of allegiance to the English government from all the Portuguese, who were inclined to reside in English places. As a result, they would become English subjects and subsequently provided with safe-conducts in order to trade as English free-merchants. 101 As true heirs to the Portuguese inheritance, the English were ready to challenge and eventually overcome their Dutch rivals.

Amacao, 1607

Engraving by Theodore de Bry (256 x 332mm)

This is one of the earliest European town plans of Macau showing the city from a bird's eye view. The plan is turned ninety degrees to the west showing the border with China on the left hand edge rather than in the north where it actually lies. This descriptive engraving reflects details of everyday life in the city in the manner of a Bruegel painting depicting a series of typical figures such as nobles on horseback, servants carrying sedan chairs and parasols, ladies using the saraça (a shawl worn over the head and shoulders), and agricultural labourers in the region of Patane. Along the coastline, there are local fishing boats and larger European vessels anchored in the harbour. The architecture is presented from a predominantly Northern European perspective. The preponderance of bell-towers indicates the parish churches while the series of one-storey houses reflect a simple architectural style common to overseas Portuguese settlements of the period. There is a single Chinese-style structure in the background perhaps intended to introduce an exotic touch to the scene as a whole. The map was produced for Theodore de Bry's (c. 1527-1598) work entitled Petits Voyages, and this copy of the engraving is taken from the Latin edition of part eight of the Petits Voyages, published after de Bry's death by his family at Frankfurt-am-Main.


1. Unfamiliar with the recent transition of rule, Bartolomeu de Geair, captain of the S. Lourenço, on his way back from Nagapatnam to Bengal, believed Malacca to be a safe haven against a Dutch yaught coming from Coromandel. On March 1, 1641, he dropped anchor at Malacca, but soon found himself undeceived. De Geair and his crew (five Portuguese, twenty-two lascars with two of their wives, and twelve boys) were imprisoned, and the cargo consisting of rice, wheat, sugar, nets and yarn, valued at fl. 3808 -, confiscated. See: Journal or daily account of the most important events in Malacca dated 1.3.1641, V. O. C. 1136, fl. 286v; M. XVII. 17.11.1641, V. O. C. 1136, f. 227r-227v; N. MacLeod, De Oost-Indische Compagnie als Zeemogendheid in Azië (Rijswijk 1927) II: 218.

2. Not all Portuguese forsook Malacca. On April the 9th, 1641, for instance, five large and small vessels from Raccan, carrying fifteen white and one hundred black crew, commanded by Jacinto de Azevedo, Juan Mesquita, Lourenço Rodrigo Sarmento, Luis Galvados and Francisco Dias, returned to Malacca with a cargo of rice, tin, wax and pepper.

3. H. Furber, Rival Empires of Trade in the Orient, 1600-1800 (Minneapolis 1976): 53.

4. Generale Missiven van Gouverneurs-Generaal en Raden aan Heeren XVII der Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie (GM). Deei I: 1610-1638, W. Ph. Coolhaas ed., Rijks Geschiedkundige Publicatiën Grote Serie, nr. 104 (The Hague 1960); 669, 22.12.1638; GM II: 12-13, 52, and 62-63, 18.12.1639; 104, 9.9.1640; 111, 30.11.1640.

5. B. M. 30.8.1644, V. O. C. 868, f. 564.

6. Ten Years' Truce between the Republic and Portugal 12.6.1641, ARA, Archive of the States-General, 1.01.08, inv. nr. 12590-1a; XVII. B. 11.4.1642, V. O. C. 316, f. 367r.

7. Corpus Diplomaticum Neerlando-Indicum I: 1596-1650, J. E. Heeres ed. (The Hague 1907); 363-364, 13.4.1642; Dagh-register gehouden int Casteel Batavia vant passerende daer ter plaetse als over geheel Nederlandts-India, 1643-1644 (The Hague 1888): 252; GM II: 190,13.1.1643. As a consequence, in July 1644 the little yaught of Thomas Paulo, citizen of Nagapatnam, going to Bantam, was confiscated at Batavia's roadstead. It was resolved that the yaught and its crew would be released and compensated with 1687 reals-of-eight; for the remainder, being 5500 reals-of-eight, a bill of exchange was issued on Nagapatnam, which was deducted from the unsettled account of 40.000 reals-of-eight.

8. Resolution adopted by the Batavia Council 30.6.1643, V. O. C. 666; B. M. 2.7.1643, V. O. C. 867, f. 493. The Portuguese from Coromandel and Macao had to be informed of the course of events and told that the next time they would appear they would be considered enemies and liable to be attacked.

9. Cabo Rachado or Ganjong Tuan: cape on the west coast of the Malaysian Peninsula at circa 102 degrees E. long.

10. From the VOC's point of view, the levy of customs dues was one of the rights it had acquired with the conquest of Malacca. Reacting on the capture of the Malacca point d'appui in January 1641, the Gentlemen Seventeen wrote to Batavia: Since the city of Malacca has been conquered from the Portuguese by right of war, it follows that the Company with the said conquest, also has inherited the old pre-eminences and privileges observed therebefore. Therefore, we also understand that the Company is allowed to bear the same title as the Portuguese. XVII. B. 9.9.1645, V. O. C. 317, f. 29r.

11. Asahan: river on the eastcoast of Sumatra, at circa 2 1/3 degrees N. lat. and 99 2/3 degrees E. long.

12. Getah rasamala: odoriferous balm of the liquidambar orientalis.

13. M. B. 7.7.1643, V. O. C. 1511, ff. 489r-492v; Journal of Commissioner Pieter Soury kept on his embassy to Jambi and Achin 14.7.1643, V. O. C. 1144, f. 661r. M. B. 4.10.1643, V. O. C. 1157, ff. 648r-650v.

14. Instruction of Governor Van Vliet of Malacca to Captain Jacob Jansen 3.7.1643, V. O. C. 1142, f. 367v; M. B. 7.7.1643, V. O. C. 1151, ff. 492v-495r; Journal of Commissioner Soury 14.7.1643, V. O. C. 1144, f. 661r; Resolution adopted by the Batavia Council 29.8.1643, V. O. C. 666; B. M. 29.8.1643 V. O. C. 867, ff. 630-631; M. B. 4.10.1643, V. O. C. 1157, ff. 647r-648v.

15. GM II: 213, 12.12.1643. As we have seen, this shipment had been intercepted by the Company.

16. Radix China: dried root of the smilex family, used as a cure for skin diseases.

17. Resolution adopted by the Batavia Council 28.1.1644, V. O. C. 667.

18. As the High Government reported in December 1643 to the Gentlemen Seventeen: In Macao, things are pretty bad, the one not trusting the other because of the many Castilians and their creatures, ..., [the Portuguese] detaining several of them. GM II: 213, 22.12.1643.

19. Dagh-register 1643-1644: 12-14.

20. Resolutions adopted by the Batavian Council 12./16./28./1/3.2./19.4.1644, V. O. C. 667; Passport for the Portuguese Cristóvão Soares Coelho and António Varella 25.4.1644, V. O. C. 868, f. 157; B. M. 2.5.1644, V. O. C. 868, f. 165.

21. Resolution adopted by the Batavian Council 25.1/19.4.1644, V. O. C. 667; Passport for the Portuguese Manuel Jorge 27.6.1644, V. O. C. 868, ff. 329-330; Dagh-register 1643-1644: 18. Jorge was back at Malacca on December the 2nd, 1644, en route to Cochin, where he decided to wait for the arrival of the Company ships from Japan and Formosa for protection against the Malabar pirates. He reappeared at Malacca on June the 2nd, 1645.

22. When, for instance, Methwold returned to Europe in January 1639 on board the Mary, he called at Goa, where, after taking his leave of the Portuguese viceroy, Pero da Silva, he picked up several Portuguese passengers and a large sum in diamonds, the Portuguese, not daring to hazard their riches in the [Portuguese] carrack Oliveiros, but instead waited for a better occasion, i. e. English ships. GM II 16, 18.12.1639.

23. B. XVII, 6.2.1645, V. O. C. 1152, f. 10r-v. An undertaking given by President Francis Breton of Surat in May 1644 to Batavia.

24. Also called the New or Indirect Company as opposed to the Old or Direct Company. It was one of the English interloping companies, established after the Anglo-Portuguese Non-Aggression Pact of January 1635, and was operative from 1635 till 1650.

25. An island in the Straits of Malacca on the west coast of the Malaysian Peninsula at approximately 1 1/2 degrees N. lat, and 103 1/4 degrees E. long.

26. The Bona Esperança had left Goa on May the 9th, 1643, so it was informed of the breaking of the truce.

27. M. B.20.8.1643, V. O. C. 1142, f. 344r.

28. B. M. 27.4.1645, V. O. C. 869, f. 163.

29. Documents concerning the ships Bona Esperança and Henrique Bona Aventura 1662, ARA, Archive of the States-General, 1.01.08, inv. nr. 12576-78.

30. The William under Captain Jeremia Blackman on account of the New, the Seahorse and Hind under Commodore William Thiertson on account of the Old Company.

31. Dagh-register 1643-1644: 127-128.

32. B. M. 27.7.1659, V. O. C. 883, f. 515.

33. G. D. Winius, The Fatal History of Portuguese Ceylon: Transition to Dutch Rule (Cambridge, Massachusetts 1971): 81.

34. Corpus I: 429-437, 10.11.1644.

35. As mentioned before, article 2 of the Ten Years' Truce prescribed that the cease-fire would come into effect ultimately one year after the States-General had received the ratification from King João IV, which happened on February the 22nd, 1642.

36. The truce was subsequently published at Batavia on April the 18th, 1645.

37. C. R. Boxer, "Portuguese and Dutch Colonial Rivalry, 1641-1661" in: Studia 2 (July 1958): 18.

38. As the French jewel trader Jean-Baptiste Tavernier reported: Before the Dutch had beaten down the power of the Portuguese in Asia, one saw at Goa nothing but magnificence and wealth, but since these latecomers have deprived them of their prosperity in all directions, they have lost the sources of their gold and silver and are altogether come down from their former splendour. On my first journey [1640], I saw people who had prosperity yielding up to 2,000 écus of income, who on my second journey [1648] came secretly in the evening to ask alms of me. Jean Baptiste Tavernier, Travels in India, V. Bail transl. (London 1889) I: 187.

39. Winius, Fatal History, Ch. VI: "Goa/The Vicious Circle, about 1610-1650": 87-104.

40. As the High Government informed the Gentlemen Seventeen in December 1642: In China there are great disturbances, whole provinces are fighting against one another and the roads round the North (the chief staple of silk piece goods and porcelain) are infested with rabble and highwaymen to such an extent, that these cannot be used without strong convoys, which falls hard on the merchant, GM II: 163, 12.13.1642.

41. Idem: 214, 22.12.1643.

42. In June 1645, the Portuguese moradores or inhabitants of Brazil rose up in arms against the Dutch West India Company (WIC), which in previous years had occupied large parts of the coastal districts. In January 1654, by the Capitulation of Taborda, the WIC surrendered and abandoned Brazil. See: C. R. Boxer, The Dutch in Brazil 1624-1654 (Oxford 1957).

43. Winius, Fatal History: 110. On October the 18th, 1746, the Armada Real under António Telles de Meneses, the newly -appointed Conde de Villa-Pouca and governor-general of Brazil, sailed from the Tagus destined for Bahía, consisting of eight galleons, two frigates, three armed merchantmen and two caravels, altogether fifteen vessels, carrying four hundred and sixty-two "gentlemen-volunteers", two thousand three hundred and fifty soldiers and 1000 sailors.

44. In January 1650, the Portuguese lost Muscat, the successor of Ormuz, to the Omani Arabs under Sultan Bin Saif, whereas in August 1652, Sinapa Naik, an old enemy in Malabar, laid siege to the Kanara fortresses. Despite the dismantling of Barcelor, Cambolim and Mangalor had to capitulate, leaving only Onor under Portuguese control.

45. There seems to have been a lively trade to this region from the Portuguese mercantile communities in the Bay of Bengal, especially from Nagapatnam, by people like António do Amaral, capitão-môr of N., Luis Gonçalo de Fonseca and António Rodrigues da Guerra. See: M. B. 1.7.1746, V. O. C. 1163, ff. 205r-206v; M. B. 6.11.1647, V. O. C. 1163, f. 237r; Resolution adopted by the Batavia Council 10.8.1648, V. O. C. 671.

46. In a reaction to the arrival of the galleon S. André under António Fialho Ferreira and the cho (large Cantonese junk) of António Varella at Batavia in November and December 1644, the High Government in July 1645 wrote to the Gentlemen Seventeen: Because we believe that the commerce of that nation from Macao to this place is very harmful to the Company, both with regards to our trade at Formosa and the danger that our friends [the Portuguese] will re-establish their tumbledown state, we have agreed to refuse those of Macao from now on the navigation to this place under article 7 of the treaty. GM II: 271, 9.7.1645.

47. Larantuka; place at the eastern end of Flores, where the Portuguese had managed to maintain themselves after the loss of Fort Henrique at Solor, at 8 1/3 degrees S. lat. 122 1/4 degrees E. long.

48. Resolution adopted by the Batavia Council 12.5.1645, V. O. C. 668.

49. Resolution adopted by the Batavia Council 29.5.1645, V. O. C. 668. The main task of Veloso's mission was to demand the restitution of Negombo, which had been re-captured by the Dutch in January 1644. On this point, the Company naturally did not give way.

50. Report of Malacca and the tin quarters 25.11.1644/28. 11.1645, V. O. C. 1158, f. 148r-v; B. M. 2.9.1645, f. 476; B. XVII 31.12.1645, V. O. C. 1154, f. 73r; Dagh-register 1644-1645: 87-88.

51. Report on Malacca's constitution by Governor Van Vliet 28.11.1645, V. O. C. 1158, fl. 642r.

52. The Madre de Deos also carried the Portuguese Captain Pero Fernandes and thirty-four other inhabitants of Malacca, whose frigate, en route from Malacca to Tranquebar, had been shipwrecked near the Nicobares. See: Dagh-register 1644-1645: 94.

53. The Company servants at Malacca were not at all impressed by the size of the Portuguese armada. In February 1646, President Arnold de Vlamingh van Oudshoorn of Malacca reported coldly to Batavia on the unexpected strong passage of the Portuguese, which, beyond all doubt, will be only once-in-a-lifetime. See: M. B. 22.2.1646, V. O. C. 1159, ff. 405r-v and 418r; MacLeod I: 357-358.

54. Contract concerning the Malaccan duty made at Goa 18:4.1646, V. O. C. 1159, ff. 507-r-508v.

55. "Memorie van overgave" (a sort of political testimony) Prest. V. Oudshoorn to Govr. Jan Thijssen 18.12.1646, V. O. C. 1159, ff. 450-451r.

56. GM II : 304, 15.1.1647, in the course of the same year, Coutinho, a former governor of Malacca (1636-1640), was murdered by the population of Macao.

57. Instruction of the Batavia Council to Governor Thijssen of Malacca 2.11.1646, V. O. C. 870, ff. 452-454.

58. M. B. 1.7.1647, V. O. C. 1163, ff. 214v-215r. The N. S. de Rosário stayed at Malacca from March the 30th till April the 10th, the N. S. de Nazáre from May the 29th till June the 3rd, the Santíssimo Sacramento from May the 30th till June the 3rd, the S. Tomé de S. António from June the 23rd till June the 29th, and the Coromandel junk of Gomes from June the 28th till June the 29th.

59. XVII. B. 4.10.1647, V. O. C. 317, f. 82r-v.

60. Resolution adopted by the Batavia Council 10.8.1648, V. O. C. 671. For a survey of Figueiredo's activities, see: C. R. Boxer, Francisco Vieira de Figueiredo. A Portuguese Merchant-Adventurer in South East Asia, 1624-1667 (The Hague 1967).

61. B. M. 19.8.1650, V. O. C. 874, f. 311.

62. M. B. 30.1.1650, V. O. C. 1177, ff. 101r-102r; XVII. B. 20.1.1651, ff. 35v-36r; GM II: 391, 31.12.1649.

63. GM II: 519, 19.12.1651. Although the Manchus had established the Ch'ing dynasty as early as 1644 (after the conquest of Peking), it was only the conquest of Formosa in 1683 by Admiral Shih Lang which marked the end of the protracted civil struggle in China. See: L. Blussé, Strange Company, Chinese Settlers, Mestizo Women and the Dutch in VOC Batavia (Dordrecht 1986): 119-121.

64. Caixas or picis: Chinese coin of small value, fabricated from an alloy of lead and copper.

65. M. B. 26.1.1651, V. O. C. 1187, ff. 794r-795r; M. B. 16.2.1651, V. O. C. 1187, ff. 784r and 791r; B. XVII, 19.12.1651, V. O. C. 1188, f. 89r-v; GM II: 519, 19.12.1651.

66. The last Portuguese ships profiting from the cease-fire were the Nossa Senhora do Rosário under Captain António da Câmara Noronha, and the S. Tomé de S. António under Captain Marcos Pinto de Fonseca. Both navetas, from Goa and Cochin respectively, called at Malacca on June the 15th, 1651, and returned from Macao in January/February 1652. See: M. B. 20.6.1651, V. O. C. 1187, f. 778r; b. XVII. 19.12.1651, ff. 89v-90r; M. B. 3.2.1652, V. O. C. 1194, f. 275v; GM II: 519, 19.12.1651.

67. Pulo Sambilang: island near the west coast of the Malaysian Peninsula, at approximately 4 degrees N. lat. and 100 1/2 degrees E. long.

68. B. M. 6.7.1652, V. O. C. 1194, ff. 329v-330v.

69. "Poetjoek": costus Indicus, root from Voor-Indië and component of the Chinese sacrificial sticks.

70. M. B. 15.8.1652, V. O. C. 1194, f. 344v; Resolution adopted by the Batavia Council 21.8.1652, V. O. C. 675.

71. Resolution adopted by the Batavia Council 27.8.1652, V. O. C. 675.

72. M. B. 31.3.1653, V. O. C. 1200, f. 156v.

73. B. M. 28.5.1653, V. O. C. 877, f. 134; Daghregister 1653: 48.

74. The friendly relations had been temporarily upset during the greater part of 1650 because of King João IV's protection of royalist Princes Rupert and Maurice, who had fled to Portugal after the defeat and subsequent execution of Charles I in 1649. See: E. Prestage, Diplomatic Relations of Portugal with France, England and Holland from 1640 to 1688 (Watford 1925): 111-127.

75. GM II: 256, 20.1.1645.

76 The treaty was subsequently published in Batavia and Malacca on October the 14th, and November the 11th, 1654, respectively.

77. GM III: 69, 1.2.1656.

78. B. M. 31.8.1655, V. O. C. 879, f. 603.

79. At almost the same time, the VOC also decided to send patrolling vessels to the Coromandel coast near Nagapatnam. See: GM III: 29.12.1655; Idem: 164, 17.12.1657.

80. Resolution adopted by the Batavia Council 15.9.1656, V. O. C. 677.

81. M. B. 15.6.1657, V. O. C. 1221, ff. 385r-386v. The Hopewell under Captain Samuel Lever returned from Macao on December the 20th, 1657, the William Shipwrecked north of the Philippines.

82. B. M. 25.10.1657, V. O. C. 881, ff. 525-526.

83. Such as artillery, gun-powder, lead, iron, sulphur, and fuses, See: Nederlandsch-Indisch Plakkaatboek (Batavia/The Hague 1885) I: 39-40, 22.2./3.11.1617; Ibem: 214, 16./17.2.1627.

84. Index on the ordinary resolutions of the States-General 23.7.1658, ARA, Archive of the States-General, 1.01.03, inv, nr. 3220. An actual tractaet de marine was concluded only ten years later, on February the 17th, 1668, at The Hague.

85. XVII. B. 8.9.1658, V. O. C. 318, ff. 116-117.

86. After the death of King João IV in November 1656, his widow, Luísa de Gusmão, acted until 1663 as queen regent on behalf of Pedro, who was still under-age.

87. GM III: 369, 26.1.1661.

88. H. K.'s Jacob, De Nederlanders in Kerala, 1663-1701. De Memories en Instructies betreffende het Commandement Malabar van de Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie, RGP, Kleine serie nr. 43 (The Hague 1976): XL-XL VI. It also brought indigenous rulers such as Abdullah Qutb Shah of Golconda to fall on San Thomé. Fearing that the English or Dutch would take over, the ruler of Golconda captured the city in May 1662. H. D. Love, Vestiges of Old Madras, 1640-1800 (London-New York 1913) I: 197.

89. The fourth expedition of 1661-1662 against Quilon, Cranganor and Cochin.

90. Resolution adopted by the Batavia Council 13.9.1661, V. O. C. 678; B. M. 1.10.1661, V. O. C. 865, f. 563.

91. Resolution adopted by the Batavia Council 27.9.1661, V. O. C. 678; Dagh-register 1661: 288 and 295.

92. M. B. 11.11.1661, V. O. C. 1236, f. 710.

93. In July 1652, one of Vieira's yaughts, the S. João Baptista, had been seized near Japara, but as the lion's share of the cargo was said to belong to the Sultan of Macassar, the Company was compelled to cash the Portuguese claim for compensation.

94. Corpus II: 168-177, 19.8.1660; Idem: 177-179, 2.12.1660.

95. GM III: 414, 26.12.1662. The Company had to fight yet another war (1665-1667) before it had finally settled the dispute to its advantage.

96. Suffering a defeat in the Nanking region, Coxinga was forced to vacate Amoy and retreat to Quemoy, an island in the Bay of Amoy at 24 1/2 degrees N. lat, and 118 1/3 degrees E. long.

97. GM III: 359, 26.1.1661.

98. GM III: 361, 26.1.1661; W. Campbell, Formosa under the Dutch (London 1903): 470-474. After the loss of Formosa in February 1662, Coyet was sued before the Council of Justice at Batavia. In 1666, he was deported to Paulo Ai, one of the Banda islands. At the intercession of Stadtholder William II, Coyet was eventually pardoned in 1673, after which he was repatriated.

99. Act of treaty between the States-General and Portugal, made at The Hague 6.8.1661, ARA, Archive of the States-General, 1.01.08, inv. nr. 12577-33; NIP II: 366, 2.10.1663. The peace was ratified by both King Pedro VI and Queen Regent Luísa on May the 24th, 1662.

100. Madras, for example, became the refuge centre for rich Portuguese merchants from the Coromandel coast, such as João Pereira de Faria, Cosmo Lourenço de Madeira (Madeiros) and Lucas Luís de Oliveira. See: N. Manucci, Storia do Mogor or Mogul India, 1653-1708, W. Irvine transl. (London 1907) III: 206; Love I: 154, 156 and 196; Idem II, 91.

101 GM III: 429, 26.12.1662.

* Mark Vink was educated at Leiden University where he gained his doctorandus degree in 1988. He is currently engaged at the University of Minnesota, USA where he specializes in early modern Europe and, particularly, in Dutch overseas expansion. He has published various articles and will shortly publish The Merchant-Warrior Pacified. Jan Compagnie and Its Changing Political Economy in India, ca. 1600-1800.

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