Browse Primary Sources
Criminal Ordinance of 1570

Criminal Ordinance of 1570 - Article 42

This is the relevant clause taken from the Criminal Ordinance of 1570. It clearly lays out a set of safeguards around the use of torture. In particular, it states that torture, should not be used without the presence of significant circumstantial evidence.

... Read More »
Description of a Nutmeg Tree

Linschoten's Description of a Nutmeg Tree

Three spices, nutmeg, mace and clove, dominated the European imagination and drove a sustained pursuit that saw European ships traverse thousands of miles. Here we have a description of the wondrous properties of nutmeg, which could cure all manner of diseases and ailments.

... Read More »
Dutch treaty signed with the leaders of the Banda islands

Treaty between the Company and the Bandanese

The Dutch East India Company used treaties such as this one, which was signed with the leaders of the Banda islands, to secure control over precious spices. When they arrived in Asia, VOC captains and ambassadors carefully and deliberately positioned themselves as the protectors of vulnerable local rulers against the aggressive incursions of Portugal and Spain.

... Read More »
A True Relation of the Unjust Proceedings Against the English Excerpt

A True Relation of the Unjust Proceedings Against the English Excerpt 5

This is an excerpt from a pamphlet produced on the English side in 1624. The purpose of this pamphlet was to damn the Dutch as brutal murders who had deliberately fabricated a conspiracy as a pretext to eject the English from the spice islands. Its author, John Skinner, collected the most explosive testimony presented by the Amboyna survivors and then proceeded to exaggerate it for effect.

... Read More »
Hendrik Brouwer to Pieter Both, 29 January 1613 letter

Letter from Hendrik Brouwer to Pieter Both, 1613

This is the first clear mention of Japanese mercenaries in Dutch East India Company sources. It shows first that the instructions to recruit these troops came from the top, from the Governor-General, the senior VOC official based in Asia. Second, we can see that the the scale of the instruction was extremely ambitious.

... Read More »
The works of Sir William Temple excerpt

Works of Sir William Temple

One of the most revealing assessments of the Dutch template came from the pen of the great seventeenth-century observer of the United Provinces, William Temple. For Temple, there was no question that the Dutch East India Company operated and was managed like a “State in the Indies.” He draws attention to the formidable military resources that could be mustered by the Dutch in Asia.

... Read More »
English pamphlet

A True Relation of the Unjust Proceedings Against the English Excerpt 4

This is an excerpt from a pamphlet produced on the English side in 1624. The purpose of this pamphlet was to damn the Dutch as brutal murders who had deliberately fabricated a conspiracy as a pretext to eject the English from the spice islands. Its author, John Skinner, collected the most explosive testimony presented by the Amboyna survivors and then proceeded to exaggerate it for effect.

... Read More »
English pamphlet

A True Relation of the Unjust Proceedings Against the English Excerpt 3

This is an excerpt from a pamphlet produced on the English side in 1624. The purpose of this pamphlet was to damn the Dutch as brutal murders who had deliberately fabricated a conspiracy as a pretext to eject the English from the spice islands. Its author, John Skinner, collected the most explosive testimony presented by the Amboyna survivors and then proceeded to exaggerate it for effect.

... Read More »
English pamphlet

A True Relation of the Unjust Proceedings Against the English Excerpt 2

This is an excerpt from a pamphlet produced on the English side in 1624. The purpose of this pamphlet was to damn the Dutch as brutal murders who had deliberately fabricated a conspiracy as a pretext to eject the English from the spice islands. Its author, John Skinner, collected the most explosive testimony presented by the Amboyna survivors and then proceeded to exaggerate it for effect.

... Read More »
A True Relation of the Unjust Proceedings Against the English Excerpt

A True Relation of the Unjust Proceedings Against the English Excerpt 1

This is an excerpt from a pamphlet produced on the English side in 1624. The purpose of this pamphlet was to damn the Dutch as brutal murders who had deliberately fabricated a conspiracy as a pretext to eject the English from the spice islands. Its author, John Skinner, collected the most explosive testimony presented by the Amboyna survivors and then proceeded to exaggerate it for effect.

... Read More »

Pages