TWO MALAY LETTERS IN THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF DENMARK
RE-EDITED AND TRANSLATED BY
In the 17th century the Danish extended their commercial activities from their settlement in Tranquebar on the Coromandel Coast to various parts of Indonesia. These relations to no small extent came into being through the cooperation and advice of Dutchmen who found the road to Asia barred to their own enterprises because of the Dutch United Company monopoly1. Thus we find in the Danish National Archives some Malay letters to kings of Denmark accompanied by Dutch translations. Two of these letters have been published by Danish historians.
They are re-edited here because original Malay manuscripts dated inthe 17th century are scarce, and because they are good specimens of thestyle of letter writing at Indonesian courts at that time.On January 7th, 16705 both the Sultan and the Shahbandar ofBanten (Western Java) wrote letters to King Frederic III of Denmark.
The Sultanate of Banten AD 1750-1808: A social and cultural history
Thesis of Dinar Boontharm (Hull University)
There are two contrasting scenes in the history of Banten: a history of a prosperous port sultanate in the sixteenth and seventeenth century, and a history of a dark and oppressed nineteenth-century society. The eighteenth century represents a gap between the two scenes. Historians have understood that during this period the Dutch East India Company (VOC) turned Banten a backwater of Java. Only a limited numbers of
historians, however, have paid their attention on the study of Banten history during the second half of the eighteenth century.
It is the aim of this thesis to study Banten society in this period to demonstrate its dynamics in both upper and lower strata. The thesis focuses only on the social and cultural aspects of the late-eighteenth-century Banten society. Indigenous sources, the law-book and the records of the Kadi Court, are mainly examined to draw up the picture of a living Southeast Asian society. The study begins with the examination of the two authorities holding the sovereignty over the sultanate, the Sultan and the VOC.