[Lecture] Portuguese and Dutch Records for Singapore before 1819

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Readers in Singapore may be interested in this talk tomorrow at ISEAS.

Portuguese and Dutch Records for Singapore before 1819
Date : Tuesday, 9 October 2018
Time : 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Venue : ISEAS Seminar Room 2
About The Lecture
In the mid-1950s, a young lecturer in the history department at the University of Singapore named Ian MacGregor embarked on an ambitious project to research the history of pre-1800 Singapore and Malaya by using Portuguese documents. His findings were published in three articles in the Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society between 1955 and 1957. The untimely death of this researcher ended abruptly what appeared to be a promising trajectory in writing the history of Singapore and the region. For the past two decades, research on the Portuguese and other early European sources touching on the region in the 16th and 17th centuries has intensified and, thanks to modern IT facilities that provide easier access to archival materials worldwide, the question has resurfaced as to what the value of the Portuguese sources might be for identifying important events in Singapore’s pre-modern history. This has become especially important against the backdrop of the ongoing preparations for the Singapore Bicentennial in 2019. This seminar should be seen as a contribution to the historiography of pre-1800 Singapore insofar as it critically engages with the different types of materials at hand, compares them with other period European sources, and reviews some of the different materials that have been published in recent years.

[Lecture] The Protuket: the Thai-Portuguese Catholic Community, From Ayutthaya to Bangkok

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Readers in Bangkok may be interested in this talk at the Siam Society on 30 August at 7.30 pm

The Protuket: the Thai-Portuguese Catholic Community, From Ayutthaya to Bangkok. A Talk by Miguel Castelo-Branco

The Portuguese are acknowledged as pioneers of Western relations with the Kingdom of Siam, dating back to the early years of the 16th century. The diplomatic alliance began in 1511, when Portugal sent a delegation to Siam during the reign of Rama Thibodi II, who ruled as King of Ayutthaya from 1491 to 1529. The Treaty of Friendship and Commerce, signed in 1518, is taken as the auspicious beginning for this alliance, which this year has been marked by numerous celebrations in both countries, attesting to 500 years of enduring friendship.

After the 1767 sacking of Ayutthaya, King Rama II (of the Rattanakosin period), facilitated the setting up of the first Portuguese consulate by granting land on the side of the Chao Phraya River. Over the centuries, relations between the two countries have grown in strength, particularly after King Chulalongkorn’s first visit to Portugal as part of his 1897 European tour.

Crucially, as well as allowing Portugal to set up a trading post in Ayutthaya, the 1518 Treaty also guaranteed religious freedom for the sizeable Portuguese community. Numerous Catholic churches in Bangkok attest to the legacy of Portuguese-Siamese relations and to the well-integrated nature of Portuguese descendants into Thai society.

Tonight’s lecture aims to offer a general understanding of what was, for over 300 years, a strategically fundamental group in balancing between Ayutthaya, Bangkok and the Western World.

More information here.

Coffin protest by Melaka Portuguese community was a desperate survival call

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via The Star, 18 July 2018: The Portuguese community is one of the oldest communities living in the Melaka World Heritage Site.

MELAKA: Coffins placed by the Portuguese community during the protest at the Melaka Gateway site office on Tuesday (July 17) are considered “sui (bad luck)” for locals, but this indicates a desperate call for survival, says state exco member Norhizam Hassan Baktee.

Source: Coffin protest by Melaka Portuguese community was a desperate survival call

Shipwreck reported in the Java Sea

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The wreck of Flor de la Mar, a Portuguese ship thought to contain gold from the sack of Malacca in the 16th century, has reportedly been found off the coast of Semarang in Indonesia. Malaysia has already put a tentative claim on the proceeds from the wreck.

Sunken Portuguese galleon sighted in Java Sea
The Star, 07 April 2014
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Portuguese-era artefacts looted from Malacca river

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500-year-old Portuguese-era artefacts have been illegally recovered from the Malacca River in Malaysia and sold, reportedly to antique dealers in Singapore.

Coins recovered from the Malacca River, The Star 20110921

Ancient treasure found – and sold
The Star, 21 September 2011

Malacca to act on theft of ancient treasure
The Star, 22 September 2011
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Conservationists complain about lack of protection for 17th-century Malaccan church

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Heritage conservationists are protesting over the parking of heavy machinery in the compound of a 17th-century chapel along the Malacca river. I’m not sure if the machinery are damaging the site in any way, but it seems like the cconservationists are arguing that the use of the chapel grounds as parking space for their piling machines show disrespect to the monument.

Stitched_002
photo credit: Biyu

Official: Protect Malacca ruins
The Star, 07 April 2009
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