Kandyan Treaty of 1638

The King of Kandy , who had arrived at Batticaloa with his army on the 14th May, had in the mean- time several interviews with Westerwold, and after the fort was taken, they entered into a treaty by which the King and the Dutch entered into a firm alliance against their common enemy, the Portuguese. This Treaty, which was made the basis of all the future relations between the two parties, was signed at Batticaloa on the 23rd May, 1638 by His Majesty Raja Sinha on the one part and Adam Westerwold, Commander of the Dutch Naval Forces and William Jacobsz Coster, Vice-Commander, on behalf of the Dutch East India Company, on the other part. It consisted in substance of the following Articles :
1. The King of Kandy and his subjects acknowledged and accepted the Dutch as their friends and allies, and the protectors of their country against the Portuguese. The Dutch were to help the King in defending his lands which were usurped by their common enemy.
2 That when any forts and strongholds, such as Batticaloa or any other place, was taken by the Dutch with the help of the King, either by treaty or by force, all the booty and goods found therein were to be equally divided between the two parties.
3. That in the event of any forts or strong- holds being taken and occupied by the Dutch and the King in manner aforesaid, these forts should be garrisoned with officers and soldiers and supplied with ordnance and ammunition of war; and if the Dutch considered the defences insufficient, His Majesty was to strengthen and fortify the same to their satisfaction.
4. The King was also bound, when any forts or fortresses were garrisoned by the Dutch officers and soldiers, to pay them their monthly wages.
5. The King was also bound to allow the Dutch suitable places for storing their goods and merchandise, and, as soon as possible, to cause to be built storehouses, approved by the Dutch, which would ensure the safety of the goods against fire and other accidents and disasters ; and like- wise to build a gunpowder magazine for the preservation of the gunpowder, munitions of war, and other appliances.
6. The King, when desirous of attacking the Portuguese, or undertaking anything against them, was previously to consult with some of the principal Dutch military officers, and to aid them both by counsel and by deed.
7. The King was to have some frigates with oars built in his country, as speedily as possible, manned by rowers of his own people, to be provided with soldiers and ammunition by the Dutch, for the protection of His Majesty's river outlets and harbours.
8. The King was also, in terms of the promise and undertaking made by him to the Governor- General and Council of India, to pay the yearly expenses, as well as to bear the cost of the present equipment of the ships, yachts, and smaller vessels, and of the crews, officers, soldiers, ammunition, and all requirements which the Dutch Company sent in his service, to be recouped in cinnamon, pepper, cardamom, indigo, wax, rice, and other valuable products of his country, except wild cinnamon.
9. The King, in return for the friendship and alliance of the Dutch, was to allow them full permission to carry on trade and commerce throughout his dominions with his subjects, including inhabitants of all towns, villages, and hamlets ; to allow them to go to and fro with their ships and other vessels by all streams, rivers, and harbours without hindrance ; to traffic with His Majesty's subjects free from tolls, taxes, or other duties of any kind whatever; and His Majesty was to forbid any of his subjects of what- ever state or quality to sell to anyone cinnamon, pepper, wax, and elephant tusks. The elephant being his sole property he was to deliver to the Dutch 4 or 10 or 20 of the animals when he sold a like number to anyone else.
10. The King and his subjects were to resist to the utmost any attempt on the part of any other European nation, such as the English, French, or German, or any Oriental nation, to trade in the country, and to prevent any of their ships or yachts entering the harbours of Ceylon. The produce of the country was to be delivered exclusively to the Dutch East India Company ; provided only that the people of the neighbouring country, Travancore, were to be permitted to come and go unmolested in their vessels with provisions and paltry commodities.
11. The King was to send to Batavia yearly at least one or two shiploads of cinnamon, pepper, cardamom, indigo, wax, and other valuable mer- chandise, in payment of the expenses incurred in the equipment and upkeep of the vessels sent here in his service, the Company undertaking to reimburse His Majesty in merchandise, articles or cash, according to his pleasure, any excess in value of the yearly expenditure which the shiploads amounted to.
12. The King was to permit any factors or merchants of the Dutch to travel freely over his country for the purpose of trade and commerce with the inhabitants, and to remove any mer- chandise purchased by them without molestation; and the inhabitants were to be bound to provide on payment of expenses, beasts of burden for the transport of such goods and merchandise, and to convey the same to the Dutch Headquar- ters or on board ship.
13. No person trading with the Dutch was to be at liberty to deliver any articles reserved for them by the Treaty to anyone else, on penalty of being arrested and imprisoned. Any person indebted to the Dutch for a large amount was to be dealt with in the same way ; and if such person was a subject of the King, notice thereof was to be given to His Majesty.
14. No one, of whatever class or condition, was to be permitted to coin, make, or circulate money, unless he were appointed thereto by the King and by the Dutch, on pain of corporal punishment and forfeiture of property.
15. All fugitives from justice from the Dutch seeking refuge in the King's territory were to be delivered up by His Majesty and his subjects, and any like refugees from the King's dominions were to delivered up to His Majesty.
16. Neither the King nor any of his subjects, in terms of this contract, was to carry on a corres- pondence openly or secretly with the Portuguese, or enter into any contract with them, or have any dealings with them whatever, commercial or otherwise. And any subject of the King selling to the Portuguese any merchandise or other article was to receive corporal punishment.
17. The King was not to tolerate any Roman Catholic priests, monks, or other ecclesiastics, but was to do his best to exterminate them, they being the cause of all commotion, dissensions and disturbances, wherever they were, who also set up the inhabitants of a country against the King.
18. Any prizes made by the Dutch ships in the service of the King on their homeward or hitherward voyage was to be the exclusive booty of the Dutch; in like manner all losses in these expeditions were to be borne by the Dutch.
19. Any ordnance frotn the Dutch ships placed in the forts or fortresses for the service of the King were to be at the disposal of the Dutch, to be removed by them on board their vessels whenever considered desirable by them.
20. All vessels departing hence with pass- ports from the King were to receive the aid and assistance of the Dutch.
The Treaty having been signed, Westerwold left Batticaloa on the 4th June.


Dutch in Ceylon
Dutch Ceylon

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