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Wed Jan 29 2014, 7:00pm–8:30pm

Where: Asian Civilisations Museum, 1 Empress Place, Museum, Singapore

Restrictions: All ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

In 1593, a young Fleming from Bruges named Jacques de Coutre arrived at Melaka. For the next eight years, Melaka would be his home, and from there he travelled extensively throughout the region. In almost three decades in Asia, Jacques made and lost fortunes, and embarked on two overland voyages from Goa to Europe. His autobiography and other writings, now translated into English, offer important insights on Asian societies, customs, trading networks, and objects of trade. They are also the most expansive surviving eyewitness testimony of Singapore before 1800. This lecture will introduce the new translation and edition, and reveal what grand plans Jacques de Coutre had for Singapore around 1625 – about two centuries before Thomas Stamford Raffles.

About the speaker
Peter Borschberg is associate professor in the Department of History at the National University of Singapore. He has published several books and articles on topics relating to early colonial expansion and the origins of international law in Southeast Asia during the 16th and 17th centuries. These include The Singapore and Melaka Straits. Violence, Security and Diplomacy in the 17th Century (2010) and Hugo Grotius, the Portuguese and Free Trade in the East Indies (2011).