'The Factory of the English East India Company at Bantam, 1602-1682': a thesis presented for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy by David Kenneth Bassett, BA, (Wales), April 1955

Scope and Content

Presented in the University of London, at the School of Oriental and African Studies. Typescript, A4, pp. iv, 458.


Between the Amboina massacre in 1623 and the foundation of Penang in 1786, the history of English activity in the East Indies is known only in the barest outline. This void has engendered and encouraged the belief that between those years the English East India Company felt very little interest in trade in South-East Asia and that Great Britain was finally roused from this indifference by the loss of the first colonial empire in America and the challenge to build a new one in the East. Thus the inability of the English Company to oust the Dutch Company from the gains it had made has been taken as a sign of lack of interest. This thesis seeks to correct this impression so far as the Seventeenth Century is concerned: it is a study of the English settlement at Bantam in Java, successively as Presidency and Agency, the seat of English government in the East Indies until 1682. An attempt is made to describe the efforts of the English Company to continue its trade in the South Seas after the Spice Islands had been lost, and to re-assess the significance of the earlier period of Anglo-Dutch conflict (1600-1623) in the light of subsequent events. The decisive role of the Bantam Agency in forming and implementing policy in the Far East has necessitated the inclusion of a chapter on that topic and much of the information it contains is either completely new or contradicts existing accounts.

Access Information

Access will be granted to any accredited reader