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Scots And The East Indies: A Background To The Voyage Of John Anderson

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Chapter Summary

The unsuspecting reader might be drawn to the conclusion that he represents something of an anomaly-an isolated Scot in the East Indies during the early seventeenth century. However, on closer reading of contemporary sources we find that such a conclusion would be misguided and indeed the world in which Anderson travelled was one that was familiar to a small, but not insignificant, cohort of Scots in the seventeenth century. A contemporary of Cunningham and Spalding in VOC service was George Forbes of Aberdeen, a steward at the Dutch castle in Ambon. Among the other Scots heading east in the seventeenth century were soldiers. Couper and Douglas were not the only Scots of significant status resident in the East Indies, and certainly not the only ones to flaunt, intentionally or otherwise, the rules of the VOC.

Keywords: Ambon; Couper; Cunningham; East Indies; John Anderson; Scots; VOC



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