Lee Kong Chian Research Fellowship Series: Creating the City in Colonial Malacca

Creating the City in Colonnial Malacca

by Dr Katrina Gulliver

Malacca was occupied by the Portugese in 1511, then by the Dutch in 1641, and thereafter by the British in 1795 for a temporary period and then in 1824 ceded by the Dutch to the British as part of the Anglo-Dutch Treaty. Malacca was exchanged for Bengkulu. Malacca held an important role in the European expansionist imagination with a view that "Whoever is the lord of Malacca has his hand on the throat of Venice" (Tome Pires). English texts from the 16th Century onwards demonstrate a desire to capture the port and its cultural status as exotic and wealthy. The city retained its dynamism even after the European economies shifted away from the spice trade. British parliamentary records from the 18th and early 19th Century reveal disputes over whether Malacca was worth retaining as its maintenance cost outweighed revenues. The city represented a unique combination of a defence post, a trading hub and a metropolis.

Join Dr Katrina Gulliver, a Lee Kong Chian Research Fellow and a PhD in history from Cambridge University. She has been conducting extensive research on modern history of Malacca with a focus on historical geography, architecture and economic history. She will share interesting insights into the creation of Colonnial Malacca from her research at LKC Reference Library.

For more information, contact Ms Kim Huay Ng at 63337981 or email at Kim_Huay_Pat_NG@nlb.gov.sg


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