Timeline (of Mayhem)
(1701 – 1800)
1701 – Three years of confusion in the VOC ensue over the post of Governor-General. Sultan of Banjar tries to eject the British post by force, but fails.
1702 – Amangkurat II sends a secret representative to the VOC, hoping for help in the face of court intrigues. Antonio Coelho Guerreiro arrives as the first official governor of Portuguese Timor. The Portuguese on Timor were limited to outposts along the northern coast only.
1703 – Amangkurat II dies. Amangkurat III faces opposition from Pangeran Puger.
1704 – Amangkurat III demands that the VOC return Puger to his custody. VOC refuses, but VOC army takes Demak and other coastal areas on behalf of Pangeran Puger.
1705 – VOC sends reinforcements to Semarang. Surapati offers to make a conditional surrender to the VOC, but the VOC rejects his offer. VOC bribes the commander of the troops at Kartasura, allowing them to take Salatiga and other approaches without significant resistance. VOC recognizes Pangeran Puger as Susuhunan Pakubuwono I.
October 5: Pakubuwono I makes a deal with the VOC: Mataram debts to VOC are wiped out; East Madura goes to VOC control; Semarang is officially a VOC city after years of occupation; Cirebon is officially a VOC protectorate; VOC gets extensive trade rights; Javanese sailors must stick to their home waters; Mataram must deliver rice on demand to the VOC at a price set by the VOC. In addition, the two sides agree that no other European nation will be allowed to build factories or fortifications anywhere on Java. October 11: Pakubuwono I signs an agreement to pay the costs of the VOC garrison at Kartasura.
1706 – VOC and Mataram armies take Kediri, and defeat Amangkurat III and Surapati.
1707 – VOC and Pakubuwono I of Mataram battle the forces of Amangkurat III at Madiun, and take Pasuruan.
1708 – VOC forces land at Surabaya to continue fighting against Amangkurat III. July 17 Amangkurat III surrenders himself at Surabaya, after receiving a false VOC promise of lands and freedom in exchange for surrender. August 24 Amangkurat III, his family and attendants are sent by ship from Surabaya to Batavia. At Batavia, he is told that the VOC representative at Surabaya had no authority to offer him terms of surrender. He is taken as a prisoner of war and sent to exile in Ceylon.
1710 – VOC opens tin mines on Bangka. Around this time, many Bugis, who had been wandering as mercenaries or refugees due to the wars involving Makassar and Bone, began to settle on and around the Malay peninsula.
1712 – Pakubuwono I sends repeated requests to the VOC in Batavia for help against continuing unrest in Balambangan and Madura.
1714 – British begin building Fort Marlborough at Bengkulu. Sultan of Tidore cedes claim on Irian Jaya to VOC. After this time (especially after the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, which ended 13 years of war between the European powers and their colonies) the Dutch and the VOC began to lose prominence, and Britain became the dominant colonial and naval power in the world.
1717 – VOC accuses the Adipati of Surabaya of collaborating with the rebels in eastern Java. The son of the Adipati of Surabaya, Jaya Puspita, leads a renewed rebellion against Mataram in the areas around Surabaya, Kediri, Probolinggo, Balambangan, and Madura, with help from Bali. The VOC organizes further reinforcements to counter the threat.
1718 – VOC takes Surabaya and Madiun from the rebels. Some rebellions continue in east Java. Cakraningrat III of Madura is killed by VOC soldiers while travelling to talks; Cakraningrat IV takes power.
1719 – Amangkurat IV takes rule in Mataram. Court rebellion breaks out almost immediately; rebel princes flee eastward. A combined VOC and Mataram force drives the rebels back from Kediri to Malang.
1721 – Rumors of a conspiracy against the VOC spread in Batavia. Peter Erberfelt and several others are tried and executed.
1722 – VOC receives a monopoly on tin from Bangka and Belitung from the Sultan of Palembang.
1723 – Rebel princes and Surapati’s descendants in East Java are subdued by VOC forces. VOC begins compulsory coffee production in Priangan.
1728 – Court intrigues in Kartasura result in Pangeran Mangkunegara being sent into exile by Dutch.
1731 – Gov.-Gen. Durven and several other high officials are ordered to return to the Netherlands by the Heeren XVII for financial misdeeds. Malaria epidemic sweeps Batavia in 1732.
1733 – Pakubuwono II agrees to heavier debt service payments to VOC. He has his minister Danureja sent into exile in Ceylon.
1734 – Pakubuwono II transfers his claim to Balambangan to VOC.
1735 – Official VOC archives in Batavia are founded.
1738 – VOC tells Pakubuwono II to exile Pangeran Purbaya.
1739 – Arung Singkang attacks Bone and Makassar, but VOC drives him back.
1740 – VOC begins a campaign to have “superfluous Chinese” deported to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) or South Africa.
1741 – Escaping Chinese from Batavia attack Semarang and Rembang; the VOC leaves Demak. Pakubuwono II changes sides, sends a force to attack VOC at Semarang, and destroys the VOC garrison at Kartasura. Cakraningrat IV of Madura declares allegiance with the VOC, and rejects his ties with Mataram and Pakubuwono II.
Forces of Mataram and rebellious Chinese attack many north coast cities of the VOC. Siege of Semarang is unsuccessful. Rival Governor-Generals of the VOC struggle in Batavia: Valckenier arrests Van Imhoff and sends him back to Europe. The Heeren XVII in the Netherlands names Van Imhoff as Governor-General. Valckenier is himself eventually arrested and jailed.
1742 – Negotiations begin between the VOC and Pakubuwono II of Mataram as the VOC and Cakraningrat IV of Madura spread their power. An agreement is reached between the VOC and Pakubuwono II. A popular rebellion under Sunan Kuning, a grandson of Amangkurat III, against the VOC and Mataram takes hold in the countryside. Cakraningrat IV retakes Kartasura from the rebels. The VOC is suspicious, and orders Pakubuwono II to be put back on throne. VOC troops defeat the last of the Chinese forces; a general amnesty is declared.
1743 – November 11 Pakubuwono II gives VOC Surabaya, Rembang, Jepara and claims to easternmost Java and West Madura. VOC receives a say in court appointments. Mixed-Portuguese locals attack VOC post at Kupang on Timor; VOC solidifies control of western part of Timor. VOC takes Bawean island.
1745 – Cakraningrat IV wages war with the VOC, attacks Surabaya, and retakes much of Madura and East Java. He is defeated by VOC forces and escapes to Banjarmasin, but the Sultan of Banjar captures him and sends him to Batavia. The VOC exiles him to South Africa. Gov-Gen Van Imhoff founds Buitenzorg (today’s Bogor). Malaria epidemic in Batavia.
Sentot Alibasyah (Prawiradirja)
1746 – Pangeran Mangkubumi, disgusted with capitulations to the VOC (and being the target of court intrigues to take away his lands), announces full-scale rebellion. He is joined by Pangeran Mas Said. August 26: First VOC Post Office opened in Jakarta. VOC reestablishes presence in Perak. VOC receives Siak (across the straits from Melaka) from the Sultan of Johore. Bank van Leening founded by VOC to support trade.
1747 – VOC decrees that native law (“adat”) will be in force in areas under its control outside of Batavia. VOC establishes a presence at Banjarmasin.
1748 – VOC sends Sultan of Banten into exile, makes his wife Ratu Sarifa regent but take direct control.
1749 – December 11 Pakubuwono II, in very ill health, signs a treaty giving full sovereignty in all Mataram to the VOC. (The treaty is widely ignored.) VOC declares Pakubuwono III as heir to throne of Mataram. Mangkubumi claims the title for himself, and rules from Yogya.
1750 – Rebellion in Banten against Ratu Sarifa and the VOC.
1751 – VOC forces destroy the Banten rebellion; guerilla attacks continue against VOC plantations around Batavia. VOC extends control over Lampung.
1754 – Mangkubumi considers negotiating with VOC, worries about possible disloyalty from Mas Said.
1755 – February 13 Treaty of Gijanti: Sultan Hamengkubuwono gets VOC recognition of title and lands. Treaty requires Sultan Hamengkubuwono to ally himself with the VOC against Mas Said. Mas Said, now without allies, attacks VOC forces.
1756 – VOC signs treaties with chiefs on Savu and Sumba. October: Bugis begin a siege of VOC at Melaka. VOC sends a special ambassador to Banjarmasin. A trade agreement is reached. VOC makes agreements with local chieftains on Timor.
1757 – February: Reinforcements from Batavia force Bugis to end siege of Melaka. Mas Said agrees to negotiations with the VOC.
1758 – January 1: VOC signs treaty with the Bugis. Hostilities between the VOC, Yogya, Surakarta and Pangeran Mas Said end; Mas Said becomes Pangeran Mangkunegara I with his court also at Surakarta. VOC has control of all the north coast provinces.
1759 – VOC abandons fort at Linggi, near Melaka.
1765 – VOC abandons fort at Siak.
1768 – VOC expedition to Malang against descendants of Surapati captures Pangeran Singasari, who dies in custody.
1769 – French expedition steals clove and nutmeg plants from Ambon, breaking the VOC monopoly. Portuguese build post at Dili, East Timor.
1770 – English Captain James Cook visits Batavia.
1771 – Last of Surapati’s line is captured by VOC forces in Malang. Malang now falls under VOC control. VOC forces work to push Balinese out of Balambangan. Syarif Abdurrahman from Arabia founds Pontianak, becomes its first Sultan.
1778 – Sultan of Pontianak accepts VOC protectorate in exchange for recognition by the VOC as a Sultan. The Bataviaasch Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen is founded. (Its collections would later form the basis of the National Museum and National Library.)
1780 – War breaks out between the Netherlands and Britain. Extra troops are sent to Java. Plague in Batavia. Smallpox epidemic on Sumatra. Islamic reform movement grows in Minangkabau.
1781 – British take the Dutch outpost at Perak.
1783 – The VOC, short of cash, asks the Netherlands States-General for financial assistance.
1784 – VOC attacks Riau to prevent the British from taking over. October 29: VOC defeats Bugis forces in Riau. Sultan of Riau dies without a successor; VOC takes complete control of Johore and Riau by treaty. VOC builds fort on Bintan. Treaty of Paris ends the war with Britain, and opens the VOC controlled Indies to free trade.
1786 – British found Penang in Malaya. Sultan of Banjar cedes sovereignty to VOC.
1790 – Rumours spread that Pakubuwono IV is planning a massacre of Dutch in Java, and takeovers of the Yogya and Mangkunegara courts. Forces from Yogya and VOC surround Surakarta. Pakubuwono IV orders his advisors to leave court; VOC sends them into exile. Gold rush begins in West Kalimantan.
1791 – VOC withdraws from Pontianak.
1792 – VOC declares that Mangkunegara title and possessions are hereditary.
1795 – January Dutch revolutionaries and French troops declare the Batavian Republic in the Netherlands. The Stadhouder of the Netherlands flees to London. The new Republic finds itself in a state of war with Britain. February 7: The Prince of Orange, stadhouder-in-exile of the Netherlands, issues a letter to all colonial governors telling them to surrender to the British. (The VOC in Batavia do not comply.) August: VOC surrenders Melaka to the British East India Company.
1796 – March 1 Heeren XVII transfer administration of the VOC to a government Committee for East Indian Affairs. Mangkunegara II inherits court, but much of the treasury is stolen by the VOC resident at Surakarta. British occupy Padang. British occupy Ambon. Riots break out in Maluku between villages. VOC fortress at Ternate refuses to surrender.
1797 – Nederlands Zendelinggenootschap or Dutch Missionary Society is founded. This was the beginning of heavy activity by Dutch Protestant missionaries in Indonesia, not only to Java and Sumatra but also to very remote areas, eventually even to Irian Jaya.
1798 – Napoleonic Dutch government revokes charter of VOC, assumes its debts and assets.
1799 – April 27 Committee for East Indian Affairs sends a letter of instructions to Batavia, stating that the revolutionary ideas of the Republic (liberty and equality) could not be applied to the Indies. Dutch officers under siege at Ternate mutiny and surrender to the British.
1800 – VOC formally dissolved on January 1; properties revert to Dutch government. Sultan of the Kraton Kanoman in Cirebon is banished to Ambon by the Dutch. A low-level rebellion breaks out under Bagus Rangen.
The VOC was losing money to corruption and political intrigues. By the end of the 1700s, it was fully bankrupt. On January 1st, 1800, it ceased to exist. The British had taken all the former VOC possessions and protectorates in the area, except for Java, Banjarmasin, Palembang, western Timor and Makassar. Most of these were returned to the Dutch in 1802, only to be reconquered by the British a few years later.
And the Struggle continued…