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Gustaaf Willem van Imhoff
|Governor of Dutch Ceylon|
23 July 1736 –12 March 1740
|Preceded by||Jan Maccare (acting)|
|Succeeded by||Willem Maurits Bruyninck|
| Governor-General |
of the Dutch East Indies
28 May 1743 –1 November 1750
|Preceded by||Johannes Thedens|
|Succeeded by||Jacob Mossel|
|Born||8 August 1705|
Leer, East Frisia
|Died||1 November 1750 45) (aged|
Batavia, Dutch East Indies (present-day Indonesia)
Gustaaf Willem, Baron van Imhoff (8 August 1705 – 1 November 1750) was a Dutch colonial administrator for the Dutch East India Company (VOC). He served as Governor of Ceylon from 1736 to 1740 and as Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 1743 until his death in 1750 at Istana Cipanas.
Van Imhoff was born into an East Frisian aristocratic family. His father, Wilhelm Heinrich Freiherr von Imhoff, came from the town of Leer in northwestern Germany, a few kilometers from the Dutch border.
In 1725 Van Imhoff entered into the service of the Dutch East India Company in Batavia (modern-day Jakarta), then colonial capital of the Dutch East Indies. Van Imhoff was promoted several times within the company before being appointed colonial governor in Ceylon (Modern-day Sri Lanka) on 23 July 1736.
Van Imhoff's tenure as governor of Ceylon put an end to the chaos that had pervaded the previous administration. He established constructive relations with Vira Narendra Sinha, King of Kandy.
King Narendra was married to a Tamil princess of Madurai (Tamil Nadu, India), and their child, Sri Vijaya Rajasinha who succeeded him after Narendra's death on 24 May 1739, was seen to be more of a Tamil than Sinhalese (the majority ethnic group in Ceylon). Van Imhoff was concerned about this royal succession as closer contacts between the Tamils of Ceylon (under King Sri Vijaya Rajasinha) and the Tamils of south India was seen as a threat to the Dutch East India Company's commercial monopoly.[ citation needed ]
In his letters, Van Imhoff expressed his surprise that the Sinhalese people had accepted such a king, considering their haughty attitude towards the Tamils of India. However, Van Imhoff saw an interesting opportunity in this turn of events and proposed to the Lords Seventeen ( Heeren XVII , the directors of the VOC) that the Kingdom of Ceylon be divided in two. They rejected the proposition as war was deemed as too costly.[ citation needed ]
Despite the profitable production of spices, the colony was always in a state of deficit because its profits were allotted to the VOC in general, not to the colony itself. This practice prevented the Governors from becoming too extravagant in their habits, as was the case in other colonies.
In January 1739, Imhoff travelled to the port of Cochin on the south west coast of India with a view to authoring a report on the state of Dutch Malabar for the VOC's governors in Batavia. He found that the expansionist aims of Maharajah Marthanda Varma of Travancore threatened the VOC's power in the region and decided to use force to ensure that the local Malabar rulers fulfilled their trade contracts with the VOC. Imhoff demanded that Marthanda Varma restore the annexed kingdom of Kayamkulam to its former ruling princess, threatening to invade Travancore should the Maharajah refuse. Marthanda Varma countered that he would overcome any Dutch forces that were sent to his kingdom, going on to say that he was considering an invasion of Europe.
The situation on the Malabar Coast triggered the Travancore–Dutch War, a conflict unauthorised by the Dutch government in Batavia.At the subsequent 1741 Battle of Colachel, the Dutch were routed, triggering a series of events that eventually led to the Treaty of Mavelikkara in 1753, under which both parties agreed to live in peace.
On 12 March 1740, Willem Maurits Bruyninck replaced Van Imhoff as governor of Ceylon and Imhoff returned to Batavia, which he found in a precarious situation. Former Governor-General Adriaan Valckenier believed that the Chinese population in the area around Batavia had grown too large. His plan to relocate the unemployed population to Ceylon and the Cape Colony in South Africa failed when a rumour alleging that the Dutch were planning to throw Chinese people overboard on the high seas led to an insurrection against the VOC in which 50 Dutch soldiers were killed. Valckenier had then responded with a counter-attack on 9 October 1740 that was meant to put insurgents under control. This quickly got out of hand, and – despite an amnesty proclaimed on 11 October – led to the 1740 Batavia massacre which went on for several days and which killed anywhere between 5,000 and 10,000 mostly Chinese inhabitants.
Van Imhoff voiced opposition to this brutal policy, which led to his arrest and deportation back to the Dutch Republic. However, upon his arrival, the Lords Seventeen decided to name him Governor-general of the Dutch East Indies and sent him back to Batavia.[ citation needed ]
En route to Batavia, Van Imhoff visited the Dutch colony in Cape Town, in the Cape Colony, where he discovered that Dutch settlers were penetrating increasingly further into the interior, and were losing contact with the VOC. Van Imhoff proposed improving education efforts and the work of the Protestant Church in the colony.[ citation needed ]
In May 1743, Van Imhoff began his tenure in Batavia, which was in the midst of a war. The Javanese princes took advantage of the chaotic situation following Valckenier's actions to begin a war against the VOC. Van Imhoff succeeded in reestablishing peace and began several reforms. He founded a Latin school, opened the first post offices in the Dutch East Indies, built a hospital and launched a newspaper. He also founded the city of Buitenzorg and suppressed opium trade. In 1746, Imhoff embarked on a tour of Java to inspect the company's holdings and decided on several institutional reforms.[ citation needed ]
Van Imhoff's tenure was also marked by catastrophe. A ship, the Hofwegen , was struck by lightning and exploded in the port of Batavia along with six tons of silver, totalling around 600,000 Dutch florins. Ultimately, Van Imhoff's progressive policies made him many enemies. Van Imhoff's want of diplomacy and his lack of respect for local customs caused the colony to become embroiled in the third war of Javanese succession.
Put in an untenable position by his enemies, Van Imhoff wanted to resign from his post, but the VOC would not allow it. Van Imhoff was forced to remain in office until his death in 1750, having come to believe that most of his work had been done in vain. During his stay in Batavia, Van Imhoff stayed in a historic governor's residence. The original 18th century building is restored as Toko Merah.
The Kingdom of Travancore (Thiruvithamkoor) was an Indian kingdom from c.870 CE until 1949 CE. It was ruled by the Travancore Royal Family from Padmanabhapuram, and later Thiruvananthapuram. At its zenith, the kingdom covered most of modern-day central and southern Kerala with the Thachudaya Kaimal's enclave of Irinjalakuda Koodalmanikkam temple in the neighbouring Kingdom of Cochin, as well as the district of Kanyakumari, now in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The official flag of the state was red with a dextrally-coiled silver conch shell at its center. In the early 19th century, the kingdom became a princely state of the British Empire. The Travancore Government took many progressive steps on the socio-economic front and during the reign of Maharajah Sri Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma, Travancore became the second most prosperous princely state in British India, with reputed achievements in education, political administration, public work and social reforms. In 1903-1904 the total revenue of the state was Rs.1,02,01,900.
Marthanda Varma, known as the Maker of Modern Travancore, was ruler of the Indian kingdom of Travancore (Venadu) from 1729 until his death in 1758. He was succeeded by Rama Varma (1758–98).
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Dharma RajaKarthika Thirunal Rama Varma was the Maharajah of Travancore from 1758 until his death in 1798. He succeeded his uncle Marthanda Varma, who is credited with the title of "maker of modern Travancore". During his reign Dharma Raja not only retained all the territories his predecessor had gained but administered the kingdom with success. He was addressed as Dharma Raja on account of his strict adherence to Dharma Sastra, the principles of justice by providing asylum to thousands of Hindus and Christians fleeing Malabar during the religious and military onslaught of Tipu Sultan.
The Travancore–Dutch War was a war between the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and the Indian kingdom of Travancore, culminating in the Battle of Colachel in 1741.
Philips Baelde or Father Philippus Baldaeus, was a Dutch minister. He went to Jaffna during the Dutch period in Ceylon with an invading Dutch force. As the second European after Abraham Rogerius he documented the life, language and culture of Tamil people, living in the north of the island. It is a great historical record, and it was immediately published in Dutch and German. English translation was published by Ceylon Government Railway (1960).
Eustache Benoît de Lannoy was a French-born naval commander of the Dutch East India Company, who was sent by the company to help establish a trading post at Colachel, Southern India, but was defeated at the Battle of Colachel by the Travancore army under Maharaja Marthanda Varma in 1741, and subsequently became a valiant and successful commander of the same foreign army that had defeated him. His role as military commander of the Travancore army was instrumental in the later military successes and exploits of Travancore under Marthanda Varma.
Ramayyan was the Dewan of Travancore state, India, during 1737 and 1756 and was responsible for the consolidation and expansion of that kingdom after the defeat of the Dutch at the 1741 Battle of Colachel during the reign of Maharajah Marthanda Varma, the creator of modern Travancore.
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Johannes Thedens was Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 6 November 1741 until 28 May 1743.
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Hendrick or Henricus Zwaardecroon was Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies from 1718 until 1725.
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