Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Portugese; Melaka Invasion and Johor

Just now I received an email from a fellow researcher, who is mainly working on building conservation saying that she is interested to go to Johor Lama and Kota Batu, near there and the Kota was destroyed by the Portugese in the 16th Century, 1587, something that I have not heard of, but possible. I am sure we have a lot of stories and history regarding Portugese in Malacca in 1511 and so on. But strangely we have not discover about them, unlike the English, which we learned in school. In fact we also know so little about the Dutch other than their administration in Indonesia and how they traded Melaka and Singapore and Bengkulu to English. I myself have not even been to the Portugese settlement in Malacca. We probably know a little bit about their culture, like Jingling Nona and Joget and Keroncong are actually two performances that have strong Portugese influences. Faizal Tehrani in his novel 1515 touched a bit on Portugese, but it was a recreated history for his creative writing. So perhaps it is time for me to find out more about the Portugese colonialism or perhaps travel to Postugal, Lisbon.

While surfing on the net I stumbled into few interesting things in Portugal and Lisbon during June from www.portugal.com:

June 12 - 30, Lisboa– Festas da Cidade (Lisbon Festivities)

Being the birthplace of St. Anthony, Lisbon celebrates the saint’s birth during this period of time. In the historical centre, one can watch street entertainment ranging from theatre to popular music, classical and ethnic music, jazz, circus arts, mime, brass bands and traditional games. On the night of the 12th to the 13th, clubs and associations from the city’s different neighborhoods march down Avenida da Liberdade competing with one another in flashy, quick-stepping parades that include elaborate costumes, illuminated banners, and music. In the old districts of Lisbon, the streets become especially alive with lanterns, music, and crowds. In these parties – Arraiais – the people of Lisbon go to dance and eat sardines.

June 15 – July 31, Espinho, Festival de Música (Music Festival).

Many traditional Portuguese events and customs still regularly take place in the city of Lisbon, such as the Changing of the Republican Guard on the third Sunday of every month, which takes place outside of the Presidential Palace, in nearby Belém. Festival lovers will be pleased to find many seasonal festivals and similar events in Lisbon, which are at their biggest and most popular during the summer months.

Look out for the surfing at the European Wave Freestyle Funboard Championship, the Cascais International Sailing Week, and the Festival Super Rock (Superbock), which takes place at the Alvalade Stadium (Estádio José Alvalade), a giant stadium with a capacity of more than 50,000 people. Other prominent venues in Lisbon include the Coliseu dos Recreios on the Rua das Portas de Santo Antao, the Estadio da Luz (Football Stadium) on the Avenida Norton de Matos, and the modern the Estádio José Alvalade, which is located on the Rua Professor Fernando da Fonseca and opened relatively recently in 2003, being able to accommodate some 52,000 spectators.

But perhaps we should also get to know a little bit about Portugal and her history. In www.en.wikipedia.org.wiki.portugal found some history that could be related to what we are looking for or related history:

The land within the borders of today's Portuguese Republic has been continuously settled sinceprehistoric times. Some of the earliest civilizations include Lusitanians and Celtic societies. Incorporation into the Roman Republic dominions took place in the 2nd century BC. The region was ruled and colonized by Germanic peoples, such as the Suebi and the Visigoths, from the5th to the 8th century. From this era, some vestiges of the Alans were also found. The MuslimMoors arrived in the early 8th century and conquered the Christian Germanic kingdoms, eventually occupying most of the Iberian Peninsula. In the early 1100s, during the ChristianReconquista, Portugal appeared as a kingdom independent of its neighbour, the Kingdom of León and Galicia. In a little over a century, in 1249, Portugal would establish almost its entire modern-day borders by conquering territory from the Moors.

During the 15th and 16th centuries, with a global empire that included possessions in Africa,Asia, and South America, Portugal was one of the world's major economic, political, and cultural powers. In the 17th century, the Portuguese Restoration War between Portugal and Spain ended the sixty year period of the Iberian Union (1580–1640). The 1755 Lisbon earthquake and, in the19th century, armed conflicts with French and Spanish invading forces and the loss of its largest territorial possession abroadBrazil, disrupted political stability and potential economic growth. After the Portuguese Colonial War and the Carnation Revolution coup d'état in 1974, the ruling regime was deposed in Lisbon and the country handed over its last overseas provinces in Africa. Portugal's last overseas territory, Macau, was handed over to China in 1999.

Throughout the 15th centuryPortuguese explorers sailed the coast of Africa, establishing trading posts for several common types of tradable commodities at the time, ranging from gold to slaves, as they looked for a route to India and its spices, which were coveted in Europe. In 1498,Vasco da Gama finally reached India and brought economic prosperity to Portugal and its then population of one million residents.

In 1500, Pedro Álvares Cabral, en route to India, discovered Brazil and claimed it for Portugal.[8] Ten years later, Afonso de Albuquerque conquered Goa, in IndiaOrmuz in the Persian Strait, and Malacca, now a statein Malaysia. Thus, the Portuguese empire held dominion over commerce in the Indian Ocean and South Atlantic. The Portuguese sailors set out to reach Eastern Asia by sailing eastward from Europe landing in such places like TaiwanJapan, the island of Timor, and it may also have been Portuguese sailors that were the first Europeans to discover Australia and even New Zealand.[9]

Portugal's independence was interrupted between 1580 and 1640. Because the heirless King Sebastian died in battle in Morocco, Philip II of Spain claimed his throne and so became Philip I of Portugal. Although Portugal did not lose its formal independence, it was governed by the same monarch who governed Spain, briefly forming a union of kingdoms, as a personal union; in 1640, John IV spearheaded an uprising backed by disgruntled nobles and was proclaimed king. The Portuguese Restoration War between Portugal and Spain on the aftermath of the 1640 revolt, ended the sixty-year period of the Iberian Union under the House of Habsburg. This was the beginning of the House of Braganza, which was to reign in Portugal until 1910. On 1 November 1755, Lisbon, the largest city and capital of the Portuguese Empire, was strongly shaken by an earthquake which killed thousands and destroyed a large portion of the city.

An anachronistic map of the Portuguese Empire(1415–1999). Red - actual possessions; Olive - explorations; Orange - areas of influence and trade; Pink - claims of sovereignty; Green - trading posts; Blue - main sea explorations, routes and areas of inluence.

In the autumn of 1807 Napoleon moved French troops through its allied Spain to invade Portugal. From 1807 to 1811, British-Portuguese forces would successfully fight against theFrench invasion of Portugal.

Portugal began a slow but inexorable decline until the 20th century. This decline was hastened by the independence in 1822 of the country's largest colonial possession, Brazil. At the height of European colonialism in the 19th century, Portugal had a already lost its territory in South America and all but a few bases in Asia. During this phase, Portuguese colonialism focused on expanding its outposts in Africa into nation-sized territories to compete with other European powers there. Portuguese territories eventually included the modern nations of Cape VerdeSão Tomé and PríncipeGuinea-BissauAngola, and Mozambique.

We should also look at Melaka(Malacca) history so that we could link them together.

In April 1511, Afonso de Albuquerque set sail from Goa to Malacca with a force of some 1200 men and seventeen or eighteen ships.[2] They conquered the city on August 241511. It became a strategic base forPortuguese expansion in the East IndiesSultan Mahmud Shah, the last Sultan of Malacca took refuge in the hinterland, and made intermittent raids both by land and sea, causing considerable hardship for the Portuguese. In the meantime the Portuguese built the fort named A Famosa to defend Malacca (its gate is all that remains of the ruins at present). "In order to appease the King of Ayudhya" (Siam, whom had always intended in invading Malacca if not due to the latter's good relationship with the Ming Emperor, China) "the Portuguese sent up an ambassador, Duarte Fernandes, who was well received by Ramathibodi." in 1511.Finally in 1526, a large force of Portuguese ships, under the command of Pedro Mascarenhas, was sent to destroy Bintan, where Sultan Mahmud was based. Sultan Mahmud fled with his family across the Straits to Kampar in Sumatra, where he died two years later.

Maritime Museum, Malacca

It soon became clear that Portuguese control of Malacca did not mean they now controlled Asian trade that centred around it. Their Malaccan rule was severely hampered by administrative and economic difficulties.[3]Rather than achieving their ambition of dominating Asian trade, the Portuguese had fundamentally disrupted the organisation of the network. The centralised port of exchange of Asian wealth exchange had now gone, as was a Malay state to police the Straits of Malacca that made it safe for commercial traffic. Trade was now scattered over a number of ports amongst bitter warfare in the Straits.[3]

Ruins of Fort A Famosaattracted millions of tourists to Malacca every year

The Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier spent several months in Malacca in 1545, 1546 and 1549. In 1641 the Dutch defeated the Portuguese to capture Malacca with the help of the Sultan of Johore. The Dutch ruled Malacca from 1641 to 1795 but they were not interested in developing it as a trading centre, placing greater importance to Batavia (Jakarta) in Indonesia as their administrative centre. However they still built their landmark better known as the Stadthuys or Red Building.


Malacca was ceded to the British in the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 in exchange for Bencoolen on Sumatra. From 1826 to 1946 Malacca was governed, first by the British East India Company and then as a Crown Colony. It formed part of the Straits Settlements, together withSingapore and Penang. After the dissolution of this crown colony, Malacca and Penang became part of theMalayan Union, which later became Malaysia. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php


Often also we heard of Alfonso:

Dom Afonso de Albuquerque1453Alhandra - GoaDecember 161515) was a Portuguese fidalgo, or nobleman, a naval general officer whose military and administrative activities conquered and established the Portuguese colonial empire in the Indian ocean. Generally considered as a world conquest military genius by means of his successful strategy, he was created first Duke of Goa by king Manuel I of Portugal shortly before his death, being the first Portuguese duke not of the royal family, and the first Portuguese title landed overseas. He attempted to close all the Indian ocean naval passages to the AtlanticRed SeaPersian Gulf, and to the Pacific, transforming it into a Portuguese Mare Nostrum established over the Turkish power and their Muslim and Hindu allies. [1]


Born in Alhandra in the year of 1453,[2] near LisbonPortugal, he was for some time known as The GreatThe Caesar of the EastLion of the Seas and as The Portuguese Mars. Through his father, Gonçalo de Albuquerque, Lord of Vila Verde dos Francos (married to Dona Leonor de Menezes), who held an important position at court, he was connected by remote illegitimate descent with the royal family of Portugal. He was educated in mathematics and classical Latin at the court of Afonso V of Portugal, and served ten years in North Africa, where he acquired military experience. He was present at Afonso V's conquest of Arzila and Tangier in Morocco in 1471.[3] On his return he was appointedestribeiro-mor (chief equerry) to John II. He took part in the expedition against the Turkish invasion of Italy that culminated in a Christian victory in 1481.[4] In 1489 he again served in North Africa.


Expeditions to the East

First Expedition, 1503-1504

In 1503 he set out on his first expedition to the East, which was to be the scene of his future triumphs. In company with his kinsman Francisco he sailed round the Cape of Good Hope to India, and succeeded in establishing the king of Cochin securely on his throne, obtaining in return for this service permission to build a Portuguese fort at Cochin, and thus laying the foundation of his country's empire in the East.


Operations in the Persian Gulf and Malabar, 1504-1508

Albuquerque returned home in July 1504, and was well received by King Manuel I of Portugal, who entrusted him with the command of a squadron of five vessels in the fleet of sixteen which sailed for India in 1506 under Tristão da Cunha. After a series of successful attacks on the Arab cities on the east coast of Africa, Albuquerque separated from Tristão, and sailed with his squadron against the island of Hormuz, in the Persian Gulf, which was then one of the chief centers of commerce in the East. He arrived on September 25, 1507, and soon obtained possession of the island, though he was unable to maintain his position for long. He was responsible for building the Fort of Our Lady of the Conception on Hormoz Island.[5]

With his squadron increased by three vessels, he reached the Malabar coast at the end of 1508, and immediately made known the commission he had received from the king empowering him to supersede the governor Dom Francisco de Almeida. The latter, however, refused to recognize Albuquerque's credentials and cast him into prison, from which he was only released, after three months' confinement, on the arrival of the grand-marshal of Portugal with a large fleet, in November 1509.[6] Almeida having returned home, Albuquerque speedily showed the energy and determination of his character. On this date he became the second viceroy of the State of India, a position he would hold until his death.[7]

[edit]Operations in Goa and Malacca, 1510-1511

Afonso de Albuquerque

Albuquerque intended to dominate the Muslim world and control the spices' trading network.[7] An unsuccessful attack upon Calicut (modern Kozhikode) in January 1510, in which the commander-in-chief received a severe wound, was immediately followed by the investment and capture of Goa. Albuquerque, finding himself unable to hold the town on his first occupation, abandoned it in August, to return with the reinforcements in November, when he obtained undisputed possession. In April 1511, he set sail from Goa to Malacca with a force of some 1200 men and seventeen or eighteen ships.[8] He conquered Malacca by August 24, 1511 after a severe struggle throughout July. Albuquerque remained in Malacca until November 1511 preparing its defences against any Malay counterattack.[8] He ordered the slaughter of all the Muslim population in an effort to reduce religious divergence hoping that it would force Hindus and Muslims to convert to Christianity.[9] He also ordered the first Portuguese ships to sail east in search of the 'Spice Islands' of Maluku.[8]


Various operations, 1512-1515

In 1512 he sailed for the coast of Malabar. On the voyage a violent storm arose, Albuquerque's vessel, theFlor De La Mar, which carried the treasure he had amassed in his conquests, was wrecked, and he himself barely escaped with his life.[8] In September of the same year he arrived at Goa, where he quickly suppressed a serious revolt headed byIdalcan, and took such measures for the security and peace of the town that it became the most flourishing of the Portuguese settlements in India. Albuquerque had been for some time under orders from the home government to undertake an expedition to the Red Sea, in order to secure that channel of communication exclusively to Portugal. He accordingly laid siege to Aden in 1513, but was repulsed; and a voyage into the Red Sea, the first ever made by a European fleet, led to no substantial results. In order to destroy the power of Egypt, he is said to have entertained the idea of diverting the course of the Nile River and so rendering the whole country barren. His last warlike undertaking was a second attack upon Ormuz in 1515. The island yielded to him without resistance, and it remained in the possession of the Portuguese until 1622. Perhaps most tellingly, he intended to steal the body of the Prophet Muhammad, and hold it for ransom until all Muslims had left the Holy Land.


China expeditions, 1513

In early 1513, Jorge Álvares—sailing in a mission under Albuquerque—was allowed to land at Lintin Island in the Pearl River Delta of southernChina, and soon after Albuquerque sent Rafael Perestrello to southern China to seek out trade relations with the Ming Dynasty of China. In ships from Portuguese Malacca, Rafael sailed to Canton (Guangzhou) in 1513 and again from 1515–1516 to trade with Chinese merchants there. These ventures, along with those of Tomé Pires and Fernão Pires de Andrade, were the first direct European diplomatic and commercial ties to China. However, after the death of the Chinese Zhengde Emperor on April 19, 1521, conservative factions at court seeking to limit eunuch influence rejected the new Portuguese embassy, fought sea battles with the Portuguese around Tuen Mun, and Tomé was forced to write letters to Malacca stating that he and other ambassadors would not be released from prison in China until the Portuguese relinquished their control of Malacca and returned it to the deposed Sultan of Malacca (who was previously a Ming tributary vassal).[10] Nonetheless, Portuguese relations with China became normalized again by the 1540s and in 1557 a permanent Portuguese base at Macau in southern China was established with consent from the Ming court.

Political downfall and last years

Albuquerque Monument on Afonso de Albuquerque Square in Lisbon (1902).

Albuquerque's career had a painful and ignominious close. He had several enemies at the Portuguese court who lost no opportunity of stirring up the jealousy of King Manuel against him, and his own injudicious and arbitrary conduct on several occasions served their end only too well. On his return from Ormuz, at the entrance of the harbour of Goa, he met a vessel from Europe bearing dispatches announcing that he was superseded by his personal enemy Lopo Soares de Albergaria. The blow was too much for him and he died at sea on December 16, 1515.[11]

Before his death he wrote a letter to the king in dignified and affecting terms, vindicating his conduct and claiming for his son the honours and rewards that were justly due to himself. His body was buried at Goa in the Church of our Lady. The king of Portugal was convinced too late of his fidelity, and endeavoured to atone for the ingratitude with which he had treated him by heaping honours upon his natural son Brás de Albuquerque (1500—1580).[12] In 1576, the latter published a selection from his father's papers under the title Commentarios do Grande Affonso d'Alboquerquewhich had been gathered in 1557.[13]

An exquisite and expensive variety of mango, that he used to bring on his journeys to India, has been named in his honour, and is today sold throughout the world as Alphonso mangoes.[14]

Interestingly, there is a writing on Portugese in Malacca by Abdul Aziz Zakaria from 1963. I wonder if this book is still available, time to check DBP library if not Arkib Negara.


4 comments:

william said...

Does any one have information about a certain diary written in the early 1500's by a portuguese explorer who was shipwrecked off the coast of China? I found his book which was translated into English years ago at a library in Nevada but now I forget the name of the book or authors name. This is important to me.

Anonymous said...

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