Willemine Fruin-Mees.

A mission of two ambassadors from Bantam to London, 1682 online

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Provided by the Library of Congress
Public Law 480 Program



TWO A M 3 A S S' A D R S P' R M B A H T A M
TO LONDON 1 6 8 2o

Jajasan Purbakala
ArchaeolOi^ical Foundation




Historical liackground

Banten, a Moslem state since the l6th century^ cane into early
contacts vrith European traders starting v^itli the visit of the Por-
tuguese in I^AG and De Houtnan in 1596»

In 1619 it lost its harbour Jayakarta to the Dutch who renaiied
it Datavia. Banten's aultans xfho were interested in politics as well
as in trade were for decades the most serious rivals of the Dutch.
Sultan As:ong (I6I6 - I683) a genius in the field of trade caused
many losses to the Dutch Bast India Company not only here hut also

The English in Santen succeeded in convincing the Sultan that coo-
peration with the English East India Company was the on^-y T-/ay to
liquidate Dutch competition. Sultan A^eng had appointed his son,
Sultan Hadji as his fellow-ruler. The letter who at fir3t followed
his father's views later on turned himself against hira taking the
side of the Dutch. It grew into a clash betv^een father and son which
resulted in the victory of Sultan Hadji and the imprisonment of
Sultan Ageng in the Castle of Batavia, in 1683. The English were ex-
pelled from Banten April 12, 1682,

In l68lj Sultan Kadjij still on good terms with h-j.s father
sent a diplomatic mission to London to King Charles the II; they
went by English ship "London" which was load.ed with pepper, sandnl-
>rood, ginger, Cloves and private goods x^orth 6 a 7OOO reals. The
presents from the Sultan to the King of England ■''.le re 5 200 bars of
pepper several diamonds, a golden peacock set with precious stones-
together (according to rumours"^ 12000 reals.



This mission roturned to Bronton a i/qc.t and a half later v7hen
political conditions had entirely changed. Immediately upon the
arrival of this mission they were hurriedly sent by the Sultan to
Batavia to report to the Gcvernnr General. The Bn,'^lish ship Kemp-
hoorn which had not been allowed to anchor in Ba.nten harbour ca-
ne also to Batavia. The A.Tibacsadors tried to release the presents
for the Sultan and their own ^oodso It mis hard to obtain them as
the Enf^lish captain did not ^thinlv it necessary to hard over the -
King's presents now that condities had chanfred so much. Only with
the help of the Batavia Government x^ere the goods released. The -
captain v/ished to give to the Company "the terribly ugly dogs" a
present from King Charles II to the Sultan, but Kyayi Aria Wijaya
took them horjo to Bant en in his ship.

Besides these animals were unloaded : Crates xfith guns, mir-
rors, knives J saddles etc. 40 crates with hardlantenrs, mirrors
locks etc. J 77 small vats"distilled waters" and 1 vat with hand-
latenrs further a fewpots, pans and bedding of the Ambassadors.
The jOG vats gunpowder from the King for the 'Sultan were handed
over to the Company. The diary in London was comfiscated.

The diary in English, obviously written by one of the inter-
preters in London was taken to the Castle of Batavia and transla-
ted into 17th Century IX^tch. ?.Irs Fruin Mees, a Dutch historian -
found it among the Da gh registers of 1683 in the State Archive» She
published it under the title "Een Bantamsch Gezantschap naar Enge-
land" in 1682 ( Tijdschrift Bataviaasch Genootschap I924) .

We have mg,de an attempt to translate it again into present
day English. As Mrs Mees remarked : "the uninterested clerk
of the Castle omü.itted many thinks as for example the plays they
watched at the Duke's Theater". In spite of this, the diary makes
still interesting reading- We will notice that the voyage lasted
about 5 months and that they lost only one slave (vxhich was an -


achioVGnient r.t the tiaie, considorinrT the losses suffered by n\c,ny
crev70 on account of diseases and scorbut) . Wo vrill f llov; their
stay in London a.nd see hov^ they were entertained. Their own cooks
prepared their neals even v/hen they wore invited, like at Windsor
Castlo, One cook died after too much drinkinf^ of spirits. The trips
they made to the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, to the House
of Lords and the House of Commons are still made by foreic'ri st-ite -
guests of today»


Krs. S. Sulcinan»


JANUARY 22. A little late in the afternoon arrives i "by Royal
ship from Santas Aria Singawicljaya, now renamed Radin Dje?ya
Wierata, acconpaiiied hy the Anibassadors of His Highness, Anga-
"bey ^laya Wipraja and Angabey Jaya Sedana with their suite con-
sisting of 33 men who by his Hi{;hn6ss,. mentioned above have -
been sent here on purpose to report to their Honours about the
ir accomplished mission to England, who by the here residing
Bantam Ambassador, Pangeran Aria Diepa Nierat, have been taken
inside for an audience with His Honour.

To a'hoveraentioned Honourabl© have been handed t three pi-
eces of English letters, the first by the King of Great Brita-
in to the young King «f Bantam, Sultan Abun Nasep Abdul Cahaar
written on ordinarjr paper dated July 4? 1682 and signed by him
self J the second by the Honourable E^st Indis Company on stam-
ped paper to above mentioned King of Bantam dated June 7? l682,
St Vitusday together with an account in English on how the sa-
me ainbassadors were met at their arrival in London,, and how
they were entertained during their stay.

The same ambassadors further narrated orally how- they on
ïlovemberj lö, l68l had been sent to England from Bantam by the
young King by English ship "Londïi", a^^i'iving on the 29th of A-
pril near Erith on tha river Theems and how they on the follow
iüg ^iay ^th were stately received in London, and how they x^^re
three times received in to the presence of His Royal Majesty
of England who has knighted the two abovementioned persons ...
ITgabehi Kaya Wipraja with the honourable title of Sir Abdul -
and the other, who can speak his English passably well with
the title of Sir Achmet 3ach having been presented with a -
sword, having received no othor presents from His Majesty.

Thc2y left agiiin -.if tor r, 34 months ' stay in London by TCng-
lish 'Jomp-ny ship tha- "cCe.'nphoorn" sailin;; hither on August 23,
l6c:3 from Duynsj thej - arrived and ro turned s.afol^r at T3antam on
tho 20th of this monthjvrith t-'oir suit) except 2 nen who died.

Iler' follows tho tr3,nsl3.ted diary :

The Kyayi :^Igabohi Ray.^i Wipraja and Kyayi Ngabahi Jaya Sei-
dana Ajib:-.,ss->dors of the gre-tt mighty Prince Sultan Abdul el Ca-
har Abun .'■Tasa?, King of Sourousouhan previously named Bantam
after journ-^y of 6 iaonths ( during wich they lost only one s].a-
ve ) arrived by ship " London '' under com.nand of the Captain
John Danielson on Saturday April 29 ( old style ) on the river
Theems, throving anchor near Srith.

l - i":.,I. i' ^'^' order of the Honourable En,.,lish East India

Conpany Sir Jeremy Sar.broock and •ir Vfilliaiii Segewick ( two re-
presentatives of abovementioned Company ) as well as Mr Robert
Marshall and j':r Tho'aas I/Cwis co'ie on board to wolcorne them and
to provide them with all requisites. ■ .

^_A^Y^ 2» Abovementioned ambassadors disembarked at B-
rith and wer.3 entertained at the residence of a certain Mr Van
Nacka •

-~.^-.L.™„l^^'i • Their friendly receptions and .nanifold visits
by Persons of respect ib.lity and quality lasted until Saturday
when abovementioned Sir Jeremy Sambroock besides Sir Charles
Coterill ( faster of Cej< nonies ), Sir Ilanry Dacros and above
mentioned Mr Marshall came on board by order of abovenientioned
Company ;ind accomppjij ed thsm by Royal "f.arge to 'Ireenwhich inhe-
re they were entertained till the 9th when abovementioned Sir
Jeremy Sambroock, Sir fJCharles Coterill, Sir Henry Dacres and
^^r Marshall, arrived irw Royal Barge with a large suite at - •

Greenvioh from where they accorapanied a"bove:nentioned ambassa-
dors to the riverbank, ^hero His Majesty's carriages v;ere wait-
ing with about 6C other carria^jes with 6 horses j besides a tro-
up of mounted nobles who attoided the ceremony in honour of a-
bovementioned ilast I^idia Company under command of Sir John Wet-
wang, xTiarching ahead 5 followed by a carriage with some of the
suite of the Ambassadors ( Amongst them two longhaired men na-
med KyayiSiwarca and Kyayi Lannany, with tha folded white urabre
lias of the Sultan, behind than followed the Royal coach in which
the Sultan's letter besides the most prominent Arabassr^dor Kyayi
Ngabehi Naya Wipraja, Mr Mordent by order of His Majesty ) Sir
Charles Cotterel, and" Sir Henry Dae res. In the ntxt carriage -
was the other Ambassador Kyayi Kgabehi Jack Sedana? Master Dar-
cey, Sir Jereiny S.imbroock and Mr Marshall and in the other ca-
rriages abovementioned Ambassadors' further suite : Kyayi Agous
Simala, Saraya Waseeta, Kin tul, Sejaya and several ofithe^r slrr-.
ves with the Ambassadors umbrellas and peaks besides plenty of
other people who followed the train out of curiosity. Thus from
Towerhill to Aldgate and Leadenhallstreet they proceeded in go-
od order under jostling and [email protected]@rs of a large cto\^ until they
arrived in front of East India Houss, where the Honourable Go-
vernor the Earl of Berkeley and the rest of the Committee ( be-
sides several young ladies and persons of state and quality we-
re awaiting this solemn entry whom abovementioned ambassadors
courteously greeted, while the city musif^ was playing.

Thus they passed the Royal Mint, Cheaps ide, Paul's Churb^
yard, Ludgate, Pleetstreet, Temple Barr and Strand arriving at
their Guesthouse at Charing Cross ( where previously the Russi-
an Ambassador had stared ) . There x^as such a crowd of people -
and such a pomp as had but rarely been extended to cfew Amba-

ssadoisof :.iriy foroign ruldP. This was done in honour of the Sul-
tan and not only becouse of their lon.3: journey but also bec^xuse
they were the first a-'nbassadors who had ever arrived in England
from these parts.

To honour the Sultan and his anib§,ssadors even niore, there
was in the Presence Kail of their guesthouse a ctately chair -
with a canopy, 'So sooner had they arrived at their lodgings than
Humphrey Edyin and William Mainstone, oqiiiros came to attend -
them with the compli;nents of the Governor^ while the music of
the city was playing they i


Online LibraryWillemine Fruin-MeesA mission of two ambassadors from Bantam to London, 1682 → online text (page 1 of 2)