Journal, Memorials and Letters of Cornelis Matelieff de Jonge: Security, Diplomacy and Commerce in 17th-century Southeast Asia

$64.00 SGD

Edited by Peter Borschberg

Admiral Cornelis Matelieff de Jonge, a Director in the Rotterdam chamber of the Dutch East Indies Company (VOC) for three decades during the early 17th century, set sail from the Dutch Republic for Asia in 1605. He launched an attack on Portuguese Melaka in 1606 and subsequently signed landmark treaties with the rulers of Johor (1606) and Ternate (1607). After returning to the Netherlands in the autumn of 1608, he wrote a series of epistolary reports and memoranda that were carefully studied by leading policy makers in the Republic, among them the renowned jurist Hugo Grotius, and the statesman Johan van Oldenbarnevelt.  

These materials yield candid insights into key issues of trade, security, the diplomacy of regional polities and relations with Spain and Portugal, and they contributed substantially to the formulation of early VOC policy for the Southeast Asian region in the period 1605-20. Translated into English for the first time, and illustrated with 70 drawings and maps from the period, this collection of treaties, reports and excerpts from Matelieff’s travelogue make a substantial contribution to Southeast Asian and early colonial history, international relations and international law. 

“All in all, this is an exciting new set of translations, which will provide a valuable reference for historians of both Southeast Asian and world history for years to come.”
Robert K. Batchelor,
author of London: the Selden Map and the Making of a Global City, 1549-1689
"The English translation of the letters and texts brings this valuable body of sources to a wider non-Dutch-speaking audience, which would otherwise remain oblivious to their relevancy. But the book breaks the linguistic and historiographic barriers even further, by using Portuguese materials and secondary literature to clarify and offer a contradictory to Matelieff’s writings."
Edgar Pereira, Leiden University

"By bringing these documents together and providing a translation into modern English, Borschberg certainly has done a service to scholars interested in the early years of the VOC, the history of European expansion in Asia, and the relations between European companies and Asian rulers.”

Pepijn Brandon, University of Pittsburgh

Borschberg’s book is a substantially built account of an important phase in the history of the Dutch East India Company. Even for a Dutchman who can read the original source material and is familiar with the story and the period, the book offers a number of interesting vistas."
Leo M. Akveld, Rotterdam

"Beyond revealing Dutch military and commercial tactics, a valuable focus of this book is Matelieff ’s attempt at creating relationships with leaders across Southeast Asia through treaties signed with the rulers of Johor, Aceh, and Ternate." 
Kris Alexanderson, University of the Pacific

"One of the most significant contributions of Borschberg’s analysis is the focus on previously overlooked information about how the Dutch encountered and navigated the agency of Malay political actors who were articulating local expectations and values."
Ali Humayun Akhtar, Bates College, University of Wisconsin

"The readership of this book will include experts in the field, who will be filled with admiration for Borschberg's research, analysis, his mastery of language, his knowledge and careful description of the sources."
Nicholas Tarling, New Zealand Asia Institute, The University of Auckland

"This book speaks to a new phase in historical studies of Asia: the critical re-examination of the source materials on which all historical interpretation has to be based."
Anthony Milner, Australian National University

"In making Matelieff's work available for the first time in English, Borschberg has rendered a tremendous service to the field."
Adam Clulow, Monash University

"The book makes a major contribution toward understanding the generally neglected history of the Portuguese in Southeast Asia and the South China Sea region during the 17th century, and Borschberg demonstrates a remarkable grasp of Portuguese-language sources - a rare achievement for an English-speaking historian."
Manuel Lobato, Portuguese Institute of Tropical Research (IICT), Lisbon

Peter Borschberg
is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and teaches history at the National University of Singapore. He is a also a Visiting Professor at the Asia-Europe Institute at the University of Malaya as well as a Guest Professor in Modern History at the University of Greifswald. He
has authored 
The Singapore and Melaka Straits: Violence, Security and Diplomacy in the 17th CenturyThe Memoirs and Memorials of Jacques de Coutre: Security, Trade and Society in 16th- and 17th-century Southeast Asia, Jacques de Coutre's Singapore and Johor 1594-c. 1625 and Hugo Grotius, the Portuguese, and Free Trade in the East Indies.

Publication Year: 2015
704 pages, 257mm x 178mm
ISBN: 978-9971-69-798-3 
ISBN: 978-9971-69-527-9

NUS Press