Catalogue of the Archives of the Dutch Central Government of Coastal Ceylon, 1640-1796

Description of the Subordinate Components

   The Governor in Council.

   Internal Affairs.

"Statuten van Batavia" or Batavian Code for the V.O.C. 1642 and 1768.
The charter of the V.O.C. and its instructions of 1617, gave the High Government at Batavia authority to govern the territory which was under its orders.
On the 23rd of April 1641 governor-general Antonie van Diemen ordered the "pensionaris" of the court of justice at Batavia, Mr. Joan Maetsuycker, to draw up a code of all the "plakkaten " and orders which had been issued in Batavia up to that date, including as much of the legislation introduced from Holland as was still in force in the colonies. On the 5th of July 1642 this compilation of Maetsuycker was declared to be the code of the Dutch East India Company; it is known as the "Statuten van Batavia". Three copies of this work, which also applied to this comptoir, have been preserved in the Colombo archives. Within a century an amplification was considered necessary as the statutes had not been kept up-to-date and new orders and instructions had been issued without entering them in the collection.
On the 5th of June, 1761, governor-general Petrus Albertus van der Parra ordered Johannes Jacobus Craen to make an alphabetical collection of all the "plakkaten", orders, etc. which were in use. This "recueil" or digest was ready on the 10th of September 1764, and it is almost everywhere referred to as "de Nieuwe Statuten van Batavia" - the New Statutes of Batavia. Since 1770 it was the code used throughout the territory of the V.O.C. but it was only printed after the discontinuation of the V.O.C [1]. In nos. 2390 and 2391 we have the remains of what was probably the complete set used in Ceylon [2].
Where the "Statuten" failed to give sufficient information, the common law of Holland was applied. These methods for the dispensing of justice were used in Ceylon as much as in any other comptoir. It is quite possible that the volumes were a part of the administration of the court of justice.
2387
Statutes of Batavia of Copy.
1642.
 
Papers missing.
2388
Late copy.
The same as 2387.
 
Papers missing.
2389
Copy of an authentic copy.
The same as 2387.
 
2390
New Statutes of Batavia (volume 17). Copy.
"Memorie wegens het ampt van een officier van justitie", containing the letters A - D. In the list at the beginning it is indicated that volumes 17-19 of the New Statutes of Batavia treated on legal matters, alphabetically arranged from A to Z. Volume no. 18, littera E - N, is missing. The next number contains volume no. 19, littera O - Z.
2391
New Statutes of Batavia (volume 19).Copy.
Contains littera 0 - Z; see preceding number.