Murder and Mayhem in Seventeenth Century Cambodia

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Kung-fu Hillbilly
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Murder and Mayhem in Seventeenth Century Cambodia

Post by Kung-fu Hillbilly » Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:33 pm

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Book Reviewer Professor David Chandler
Monash University
February 2010


The so-called middle period of Cambodian history, stretching from the abandonment of the imperial urban complex we know as Angkor in the 1430s until the imposition of the French protectorate in 1863, has recently begun to attract renewed scholarly attention.

The Dutch East India Company's commercial efforts in Cambodia, which were considerable in the 1630s and early 1640s, started well and ended in disaster. The turbulent closing years of the relationship are the subject of Alfons van der Kraan's lively, insightful monograph, elegantly produced by Silkworm Books. Van der Kraan has made good use of Dutch archival sources and has mastered most of the secondary literature about the period.

Until 1642, Dutch-Cambodian relations prospered and a profitable, Dutch-sponsored trade developed between Cambodia and Japan. Relations deteriorated swiftly, however, when a 22-year old usurper, crowned as King Ramathipothei (r. 1642–58), came to power. To reach the throne, the new king presided over the massacre of his predecessor, his predecessor's father, several other members of the royal family and hundreds of their supporters.

In late 1642, a Dutch ship had captured two of these junks at the mouth of the Mekong and had taken all their cargo. On behalf of the Portuguese, the king had demanded recompense from the Dutch, but Van Regemortes secretly bribed him to accept the loss of the junks as a fait accompli. Nonetheless, the Dutch position had become uncertain.

The embassy headed included three warships and over a hundred soldiers and seamen. It sailed from Batavia in September 1643 and arrived at the Dutch trading post six weeks later. It carried a letter from van Diemen to the king asking him to pay back the secret bribe he had received and also to locate and punish the murderers of two Dutch traders killed in a brawl in 1641.

On that day, when van Regemortes and his embassy reached the Udong market on their way to the palace they were set upon by several hundred of the king's troops and killed. Later in the day, another contingent of troops attacked the Dutch factory, killed everyone in it and looted its contents, while boarding parties captured the two Dutch ships that were lying at anchor nearby, and imprisoned their crews.

At the end of the day some 50 Dutch civilians and soldiers lay dead and 60 sailors had been taken prisoner. The factory and the ships had lost their cargo and supplies. Soon afterwards, the king left Udong on an elephant hunt that kept him away from the capital for the next three months.

full https://reviews.history.ac.uk/review/870
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Nicolas
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Re: Murder and Mayhem in Seventeenth Century Cambodia

Post by Nicolas » Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:46 pm

Great read! Thanks!


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Re: Murder and Mayhem in Seventeenth Century Cambodia

Post by icetiger81 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:06 pm

Nice! thanks for posting
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Re: Murder and Mayhem in Seventeenth Century Cambodia

Post by John Bingham » Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:06 pm

I've got that book, it's a fascinating story and has some nice pull out map/ illustrations.
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Re: Murder and Mayhem in Seventeenth Century Cambodia

Post by epidemiks » Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:13 pm

Been trying to find a copy. Is it available here?
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Re: Murder and Mayhem in Seventeenth Century Cambodia

Post by Duncan » Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:22 pm

epidemiks wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:13 pm
Been trying to find a copy. Is it available here?
Why buy one when JB might be willing to pimp his out for $1 per day.
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Like the spoilt child she is, she will not be happy till she destroys herself from within and breaks your heart.
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Re: Murder and Mayhem in Seventeenth Century Cambodia

Post by Mishmash » Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:33 pm

Duncan wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:22 pm
epidemiks wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:13 pm
Been trying to find a copy. Is it available here?
Why buy one when JB might be willing to pimp his out for $1 per day.
Yeah the least he could do is upload it on Google Drive for a buck for the link
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Re: Murder and Mayhem in Seventeenth Century Cambodia

Post by John Bingham » Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:47 pm

You can get it in Monument Books, it's about $16 which is a bit expensive as it's small and only has about 75 pages.
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Re: Murder and Mayhem in Seventeenth Century Cambodia

Post by Mishmash » Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:00 pm

John Bingham wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:47 pm
You can get it in Monument Books, it's about $16 which is a bit expensive as it's small and only has about 75 pages.
I'm happy your posts JB - they really are incisive and straight to the point.

My old professor who taught in Asia 30 years says reading is the main Khmer drawback - but I guess soundbites and FB are the new equivalent

Someone stole my Teah Banh autobiography (AiA in TOF) so I can't swap you :beer3:
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