Provisional Inventory of the Archives of the VOC Establishments Malabar, Coromandel, Surat and Bengal and Legal Successors (so - called "Dutch Records") (1647 - ) 1664 - 1825 ( - 1852)

Fonds specifications


Biographical history

The kantoor of Malabar (roughly modern - day Kerala) was managed by a Commandeur (a kind of Governor, but with less territorial power) and Council, seated at Cochin. Pepper was the main trading product of Malabar. The Dutch first appeared in the area in 1603 and small factories were set up in Vengurla and Kayankulam in 1637 and 1647 respectively. The VOC became seriously involved in the area in the 1660's when it expelled the Portuguese and captured Quilon and Cranganur in 1661 and Cochin and Cannanore in 1663. A great number of other posts stretched from Barcelore (Kanara coast) in the north to Tengapattanam in the south. Some of the more important settlements included Purakkad, Chetwai and Azzhikkodu. In 1676 Vengurla also came under the authority of Malabar, after it had been administered directly from Batavia (until 1673) and Surat (1673 - 1676). Until 1669, all Malabar stations were managed from the kantoor of Ceylon. The VOC maintained close relations with many of the rulers in Malabar, the most prominent among them those of Cochin, Travancore, Calicut and Mysore. After the lost war against Travancore in the early 1740s, the Company's power gradually declined. Between 1770 and 1790 the forts at Cannanore and Cranganur were sold to the local rulers. Cochin and Quilon were finally transferred to the British in 1795.