Sunday, October 23, 2016

Battle of Malacca in 1641

The Dutch had started their seafaring activities in the east at the close of the 16th century. At that time the Dutch came to the Johore Empire.

Unlike the Portuguese who came before them, the Dutch were there to become allies with empire and in turn make a fortune by taking control of the bustling spice trade.

With the support of the Johore, the Dutch planned to take control of Malacca in 1641. Determined to secure Portuguese Malacca Dutch Admiral Willmsoon Cartekoe and ships from Johore besieged the powerful fortress, commanded by Governor Manuel de Sousa Coutinho.

With no hope of aid from Goa, the city surrendered six months later after a bloody assault, effectively ceding control of the spice trade (June 1640-14 January 1641). Some of the defeated Portuguese fled to Makassar, to live and trade under the Sultan of Gowa.

To thank the Johore Empire, the Dutch lifted all taxes and trade restrictions that they had forced on the other states.

Under Dutch occupation after 1641 Malacca’s importance as an entrepot declined as Johore and Patani became more independent and prominent in regional trade and war. By the end of the 17th century Johore was one of the strongest Asian powers in the region.
Battle of Malacca in 1641

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