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.

Efforts at codification in Ceylon.
Alterations and amplifications to the law, introduced from Batavia [1] were made in various ways, first of all by the introduction of the law of the country. The need for knowledge of the old laws and customs of the country was, apparently, greatly felt, especially in cases regarding land matters. It was presumably for this practical reason that governor Mr. Cornelis Johan Simons ordered the dessave of Jaffna, Claes Isaacqz, to collect the customs and laws of the peninsula in 1706, the famous Thesawalamai [2]. This system of collecting the laws of the country has, alas, not been carried out in respect of the other parts of the Island, although it would appear from one of governor Falck's reports to Batavia that much more was actually done than is indicated in the records of the existing documents in the government archives.
Previously governor Simons had collected two volumes of "plakkaten" [3] for the Island and constructed a comprehensive digest of the rules and orders for the Jaffna peninsula [4]; by doing this he did for Jaffna what Antonie van Diemen did for the Dutch East Indies in general.
"Thesawalamai" or the description of the old institutions and uses at Jaffna, collected by order of governor Cornelis Joan Simons by Claes Isaacqz. Copy.
Printed: Bijdragen voor de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde van Nederlandsch-Indië, deel 75 (1919), by Ph.S. van Ronkel. The letters belonging to this volume, however, have not been entered.
"Compendium" of the plakkaten and orders for Jaffna, collected and re-arranged by governor Simons. Copy of an authentic copy dated 1706 March 15 .
1704 April 25.
Bound up with an English translation and an index. On the title-page there is a note by Mr. R.G. Anthonisz to the effect that the volume has been purchased from Dr. P.E. Pieris for Rs. 75.- . C.S.O. file no. 5765/21 M.D. Sale of Sir Alexander Johnston Mss .
J. van Kan, Uit de rechts-geschiedenis der Compagnie II, pp. 32 - 41.