Dutch Records from Malacca in the India Office Records, (1670) 1685 - 1835 (1841)

Fonds Specifications


Biographical history
The town of Malacca situated on the west coast of Malaya about 100 miles from the southern entrance of the Malacca straits, was captured by the Dutch from the Portuguese in 1641 and owing to its strategic position soon became one of the most important Dutch possessions in the Eastern Archipelago. Administratively Malacca was subject to the Supreme Government (Hoge Regering) in Batavia but it had its own dependencies which included Andragiri in Sumatra and the island of Riau [Bintan] at the tip of the Malay peninsula.
In 1795 when the Batavian Republic was set up in the netherlands under the aegis of France, the autorities in British India decided on the conquest of most of the Dutch possessions in the East. On 26 August 1795 after only a token resistance Malacca was captured by a combined naval and military expedition under the joint command of Captain Henry Newcome and Major Archibald Brown. The English East India Compagny then imposed a military garrison on the town. They appointed the Commandant of the garrison to act 'ex officio' as Resident, but allowed the Dutch civil administration to continue more or less as before. This explains why the records for the first period of British occupation between 1795 ans 1818 continue to be kept in Dutch whereas after the permanent transfer to Great Britain in 1825 they are written in English. Malacca was made subject to the new Eastern Presidency of Penang in 1805. By terms of the London Convention of 1814 provision was made for handing back Malacca to the Netherlands but the actual restoration did not take place until 21 September 1818. The re - imposition of Dutch rule however was destined to be short - lived. A further treaty of 17 March 1824 which effected an exchange of Dutch and British possessions in India and the East Inies, re - assigned Malacca to Great - Britain. The British occupied Malacca at the beginning of April 1825 and the town was then placed under the direct authority of the Bengal Government.