Cornelis Matelief(f) (de Jonge) (c. 1569, Rotterdam - October 17 1632, Rotterdam), was a Dutch admiral who was active in establishing Dutch power in Southeast Asia during the beginning of the 17th century (1606). His fleet was officially on a trading mission, but its true intent was to try to destroy Portuguese power in the area. The ships had 1400 men on board, including 600 soldiers. Matelieff did not succeed and the Dutch would ultimately gain control of Malacca more than thirty years later, again joining forces with the Sultanate of Johor, and a new ally Aceh, in 1641.
Matelief was put in command of a fleet of eleven ships of the Dutch East India Company with the destination of Malacca, an inconvenient stronghold for non-Portuguese ships heading for the Indonesian Archipelago, China or Japan. The fleet set sail from Holland on May 12, 1605. It was the third (?) such fleet from the Dutch East Indies Company to visit Malacca. Matelieff met with Steven van der Hagen on the island Mauritius for a breeving in January. As one of the first Matelieff described the Black Rat, the Dodo and the Macaque monkey. Also his description of the vegetation of the island are most important.
He reached Malacca in April 1606 and in May Matelief de Jonge formed a formal pact with the ruler of Johor, Sultan Alauddin Riayat Shah III, to expel the Portuguese. In exchange, the Dutch would get Malacca for themselves and would be able to conduct trade with Johor. The Dutch and the Malay also agreed to tolerate each other's religion.
Matelief laid siege to the Portuguese-held Malacca for several months , but was repulsed on land by Portuguese troops under André Furtado de Mendoça and their allies, a contingent of Japanese samurai from Red seal ships. A very large Portuguese fleet under Don Martin d'Alphonso de Castro, the Viceroy of Goa, arrived on the scene with almost twenty Portuguese ships on August 14, 1606.
The two fleets fought from August 17th. Nassau was boarded by Santa Cruz and the Nossa Senhora Conceição. Matelief, onboard Orange, went to the rescue but collided with another Dutch ship, Middelburg. These two ships were then attacked by the Sao Salvador and Don Duarte de Guerra's galleon. Orange broke free, but the two Portuguese ships and the Middelburg all caught fire and sank in the action. The Santa Cruz and Conceição eventually managed to set the Nassau on fire, leading to an explosion that sank her.
Matelief decided to leave the action, with 150 dead on the Dutch side, and around 500 on the Portuguese side. On August 19, 1606, he obtained permission from the Johor Sultan to anchor his fleet for repairs in the Johor River.
Matelieff sailed in one ship from Ternate to Canton, and on June 4th 1607 he captured a Chinese junk, loaded with spices from Banda. When six Portuguese ships under Andre Pessoa showed up in front of the Chinese coast, he went back, without an agreement with China or reaching Japan. Matelieff arrived unsuccesfully on Bantam on November 24, 1607, and sent Willem Jansz with secret instructions to Banda to forestall the English ships. He left Bantam on January 28, 1608
Matelieff returned to Europe in 1608 with Cornelius Specx, a Dutchman who had established a factory in Ayutthaya in 1604,, and with an embassy of 16 from the Kingdom of Siam sent by the Siamese ruler Ekathotsarot. The embassy was brought to Holland by Matelief onboard Orange and arrived in The Hague on September 10, 1608. The embassy met with Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange.. Following the embassy, a treaty was concluded between the Dutch Republic and Siam in 1617.