Catalogue of the Archives of the Dutch Central Government
of Coastal Ceylon,
Description of the Subordinate Components
Special Missions from Patria.
The "Hooge Commissaris".
At the end of the
17th century corruption under the V.O.C. officers
had increased to such an extent that the managing board in Amsterdam thought it
necessary to interfere. Fortunately enough, Hendrik Adriaan, baron van Reede
tot Drakesteyn heer van Mydrecht, former "commandeur" of the Malabar coast,
happened to be in Holland. He was reckoned to be a first-rate man with a
thorough knowledge of the establishments of the V.O.C. It is not surprising
therefore that the Lords and Masters should have chosen him to go in
1684 as their representative as "High Commissioner"
to the Western comptoirs to root out the existing evils
The set of instructions handed over to him outlined his
itinerary. Travelling round the Cape of Good Hope
, he arrived in Ceylon during the period of office of
. Till the year
1691, when he died, before he could start work in
Surat, he had been travelling all over the Western comptoirs dismissing and
re-appointng officers, without however being able to put a stop to the abuses
which had crept into the local administrations.
The collection of documents entered here is of course far from
being his entire official archives. They are loose documents, mostly copies,
which were found scattered all over the archives, and dealt with this subject
. This is the reason why they were placed here.
|Set of instructions by "Heeren XVII" at Amsterdam to
Hendrik Adriaan, baron van Reede tot Drakesteyn, heer van Mydrecht, on
proceeding as High Commissioner to Bengal, Coromandel, Ceylon, etc. Copy.
|Extract of a letter on the state of the fortresses in
Ceylon, from the High Commissioner to "Heeren XVII" at Amsterdam, written from
Pijlswaard outside Galle. Copy.
|Same as no. 4949.|
|Letters from the High Commissioner van Reede to
governor Laurens Pijl. With annexes.
1686 January 31 - 1689 November 25.2 files.
No. 4952 papers missing.
No. 4952 contains annexes only.
|Extracts of letters from governor Pijl to the High
, regarding the relations
with the Kandyan court; and extracts of letters from the High Commissioner to
the Governor from
, on the same subject.
Certified by the Colombo secretary, Swen Anderson.|
The paging 387 - 469 indicates that this is only a part of a
file. Boeund up with a page of a copy of governor van Imhoff's reflections
regarding the island of Ceylon, no. 2784.
|Extracts of letters from the High Commissioner to
|Draft considerations by governor Pijl, regarding the
relations with the Kandyan court, made up at Negapatam and handed over to the
high commissioner van Reede.
|Points regarding the management of the Island in
1687 June 3, sent by governor Pijl to the High
Commissioner and his marginal notes thereon.
|Letters from the high commissioner van Reede to the
chief of Tuticorin, Jacobus Urselingh.
1690 May 30 - September 13.
This file belongs really to the archives at Tuticorin, and not