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.

The basis of the Ceylon Dutch administration is prescribed by governor Rijckloff van Goens [1].Together with the series of "plakkaten", the instructions contain the direct orders issued by the Central Government over the territory under its command. In the middle of the 18th century governor Stein van Gollenesse tried to establish administrative order everywhere and issued a greater number of instructions than any other governor.
The distinction made by the Dutch between the words "instructie" and "memorie" is not always clear. There however can be little doubt whether there is a difference between the memoirs left by the high officials for their successors and a memoir left to the Council by a Governor who went on circuit. The former will be found along with general observations about the country, the latter has been entered with the series instructions, from which it does not differ substantially.
As there is no strict limitation between orders and instructions, a miscellaneous section is the result of this lack of differentiation.