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The Company Men And Settlement In Siam

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the life of the Dutch East India Company men at their lodge, especially in treading the path of legal questions concerning the status of the VOC employees and the Company settlement in Siamese law and social organization. Throughout their presence in Siam, the Dutch witnessed and documented the cruel treatments of those men, women, and children who had fallen victim to Ayutthaya political intrigues. While the Dutch were aware that Siam had well-established laws and a judicial system, the arbitrary dispensation of justice by one person, namely the King, was evidently incompatible with the ideas of the citizens of the Dutch Republic in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries where jurisdiction was based on a written legal corpus. As time passed, jurisdiction over the mestizo children became a regular source of conflict between the VOC and the Siamese court.

Keywords: Ayutthaya; Dutch East India Company; Dutch jurisdiction; legal corpus; mestizo children; Siamese king; VOC settlement



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