Dutch Malabar, Lanta
|Capital||Dutch Quilon (1661-1663)
Fort Cochin (1663-1795)
|-||1663-1665||Ludolph van Coulster|
|-||1669-1676||Hendrik van Rheede|
|-||1793-1795||Jan Lambertus van Spall|
|-||Dutch capture of Portuguese Quilon||December 1661|
|-||British annexation of Malabar||1795|
Dutch Malabar, also known by the name of its main settlement Cochin, was the title of a commandment of the Dutch East India Company on the Malabar Coast between 1661 and 1795, and is part of what is today collectively referred to as Dutch India. Dutch presence in the region started with the capture of Portuguese Quilon, and ended with the occupation of Malabar by the British in 1795. They possessed military outposts at 11 places: Alleppey, Ayacotta, Chendamangalam, Pappinivattom, Ponnani, Pallipuram[disambiguation needed], Cranganore (from 15 January 1662), Chetwai, Cannanore (from 15 February 1663), Cochin (7 January 1663–1795), and Quilon (29 December 1658 – 14 April 1659 and from 24 December 1661).
The Dutch virtually ruled Malabar for over a period of 130 years, and forced the rulers of Malabar to agree to monopolistic contracts with them for pepper and cinnamon. The Kingdom of Cochin was under the complete influence of the Dutch and the king was a mere puppet of the Dutch East India Company. They enlarged the Royal Palace built by the Portuguese at Mattanceri for the King of Cochin that, from that time on, became known as the "Dutch Palace". In Bolghatty Island, in 1744, an impressive building later called Bolgatty Palace, the country house of the Dutch Governors was erected.
The Dutch contributed a monumental work called "Hortus Indicus Malabaricus" on the medicinal properties of Malabar plants. In Cochin, the Dutch established an orphanage for the poor European children and a leper asylum on Vypin.
Although also motivated by the lucrative pepper trade on Malabar, the primary aim for the Dutch in capturing the coast from the Portuguese was to secure Dutch Ceylon from Portuguese invasions. After failed attempts to capture the main Portuguese fort Goa in 1604 and 1639, the Dutch decided to aim for the secondary Portuguese trading posts on the Malabar Coast.
Dutch capture Quilon 
In 1650s the Dutch possessed only the unfortified factories at Kayamkulam and Cannanore. They took Quilon on 29 December 1658, but the Portuguese reconquered it on 14 April 1659. On February 10, 1661 the Dutch commander Van der Meyden came to Malabar with this intentions, and at Ayyacotta he had an interview with the Calicut prince. It was agreed that Calicut, the most powerful ruler on the Malabar and an enemy of the Portuguese, was to conduct the attack on the Portuguese fort at Cranganore by land and the Dutch by the sea. According to the treaty, the Fort Cranganore was to be made over to Calicut after its successful capture. Van der Meyen dispersed a Nair detachment sent to stop his advance on the way and appeared before Fort Palliport (February 16). The Portuguese made no attempt to resist and fled by the backwaters.
On March 21, Ryckloff Van Goens signed a treaty with the local chief of Paliyam on a ship anchored on the coast. The Dutch forces soon put boots on the ground and attacked the palace of the queen at Mattanceri. Subsequently, the queen was taken as a prisoner. Later in December 1661, the Portuguese Quilon was captured by a Dutch expedition under Ryckloff Van Goens. This is often regarded as the beginning of the Dutch presence in Malabar.
On January 3, 1662 Van Goens was joined by the Calicut army, and they besieged the Fort Cranganore in the heat of tropical son. After a fortnight the fort surrendered (15 January), and the Dutch demolished the fort with exception of the bastion, where they stationed a garrison. Now a new treaty was signed between Calicut and Van der Meyden. Calicut agreed to cede Fort Cranganore and Vypin to the Dutch after the capture of the Portuguese fort at Cochin.
Capture of Cochin 
The allies moved towards Cochin and marched upon the palace of the raja on 5 February 1662. In the battle the raja was killed with two of his juniors. The Dutch installed another prince on throne, and proceeded to besiege the Portuguese fort. Cochin and the chief of Paliyam supplied the Dutch in these prolonged siege. It was not easy to starve it into surrender as the Portuguese resisted heroically. Native rulers of Porca and Cembakasseri kept the besieged supplied with provisions. Though disrupted by monsoon rains and deaths of the ruler of Calicut and important Dutch officers, the garrison was finally capitulated on January 8, 1663. The terms of the capitulation were that all the unmarried Portuguese residents were returned to Europe, and all married Portuguese and Mestiços were transferred to Goa. The last governor of Portuguese Cochin was Inácio Sarmento. About four thousand people, so was said, were the banished. Decades of Portuguese supremacy in Malabar came to an end. Fort Cochin now became the primary trading post of the Dutch colony.
Battles for supremacy on Malabar 
The alliance between Calicut and the Dutch had no chance of crystallizing into a long lasting friendship. Calicut had sought the Dutch cooperation that he might once more recover his hold on the Cochin raja (before the Portuguese arrival, Cochin was his vassal state). Hence his stipulation for the cession of Vypin and reduction of the Cochin raja to the position of a Calicut tributary in the treaty of 1662. But, the Dutch had established themselves in Cochin and Calicut asked them to fulfill their treaty obligations.
It was in these circumstances, Calicut welcomed the English and allowed them to establish a factory at Calicut in 1664. The Dutch authorities at Amsterdam were alarmed and wrote to their officers in India to "spare no pains" to secure expulsion of English from Calicut. The Dutch carried off four or five guns from Calicut and attacked Cranganore. The Dutch at once summoned their allies, Cochin, Tekkumkur, Vatakkumkur, Paravur, Cempakasseri and Mangatt. Calicut forces, including Moplahs and supported by a Portuguese named Pacheco, were at first successful. After a year of desultory fighting the Calicut forces withdrew, and the Dutch destroyed the Fort Round and built a bastion near Cranganore.
In 1669, Dutch Malabar became a separate commandment of the Dutch West India Company; before this year it had been governed from Batavia. In 1670, the Calicut ruler was persuaded by his prince to go to Cranganore to encourage the Nairs. But, the Dutch made a surprise attack on the Zamorin's camp. 30 Dutch lost their lives these raid, and in the confusion of the battle the Royal Sword of the Calicut was destroyed. Calicut ruler fell back to Papinivattom, and the prince attacked the bastion and captured it. In 1673 Van Rheede came to Cochin as its Commander. He re-occupied the bastion, and demanded the cession of Chetwai- the route to Cochin from Calicut. He himself came to Port Ponani in 1678, and met with the Calicut ruler. Tired with hostilities from most of the natives, the Dutch opened negotiations with Calicut. The Commissary General of Batavia, the head of the Dutch Government in the East Indies, came to Ponani in 1696 without even touching at Cochin. In the meantime, Calicut formed a large anti-Dutch alliance and signed a new treaty with the English. In following years, they made raids deep into Cochin areas (1701–1710). The Dutch were forced to took part in this battles with Cochin and began to construct a fort for the security of Chetwai. Soon, Calicut sent a force to pull down the fortifications and expulsed the Dutch from Chetwai (1714). The Chief of the English factory had a great hand in promoting this. Calicut resolved to follow up this success by attacking Cranganore and Pappinivattom. But, the Dutch under Councillor William Bucker Jacobs retaliated by defeating the Calicut and the English armies and on April 10, 1719 the Dutch formally took command of Fort William, as the fort at Chetwai now called. This deceive Dutch victory was a heavy blow to the English and Robert Adams.
The Dutch slowly began to feel their forts and garrisons in Malabar as a heavy economical burden. The English East India Company began to dominate trade and commerce in Malabar. On September 10, 1691 the Dutch transferred Chetwai back to Calicut and reduced the size and strength of forces across Malabar. The fear of Dutch forces anchored in the minds of the native rulers began to shade. In 1721, the supreme council in Batavia agreed that they will be no longer supporting their unfortunate native ally Cochin against the Calicut.
Defeat against Travancore and Kew Letters 
The Dutch never succeeded in establishing a pepper trade monopoly in Malabar, and were all the more frustrated in their attempts when the young ruler of Travancore started to expand his kingdom. The Travancore–Dutch War that followed culminated into the Battle of Colachel, which was disastrous for the Dutch. Eustachius de Lannoy, a naval commander in the Dutch army, was taken as POW and subsequently became a commander in Travancore army. De Lennoy later helped Travancore to establish an organized army, introduce better firearms and artillery and to build forts in European model in his state.
As a result of the Kew Letters, the Dutch settlements on the Malabar Coast were surrendered to the British in 1795, in order to prevent being overrun by the French. Dutch Malabar remained British after the conclusion of the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814, which traded the colony with Bangka Island.
Forts and trading posts 
|Fort Cochin||Fort and factory||1663||1795||Established by the Portuguese as their first settlement in India. Captured by the Dutch in 1663, who made it the capital of Dutch Malabar (the residence of the Commander). During the Dutch occupation of Cochin they made several changes in the city. The Dutch reduced the area of the old Portuguese town, reduced the fort and destroyed most of the public buildings built by the Portuguese. They developed the harbour, the piers, many merchants’ houses and warehouses in Cochin.|
|Fort Cranganore||Fort||1662||1770||Cranganore was a little city with a small fort, but the place was of major strategic importance; it was "the key" to Cochin. Fell under the command of Fort Cochin and meant to protect the latter. In 1662, the formerly Portuguese fort was first given back to the Zamorin of Calicut as a reward for his alliance with the Dutch, but in 1666 the Dutch started to renovate the dilapidated fort for their own purposes.|
|Fort Pallipuram||Fort||1661||1789||Fell under the command of Fort Cochin and meant to protect the latter. Sold to the Kingdom of Travancore in 1789.|
|Purakkad Factory||Factory||1662||?||Fell under the command of Fort Cochin.|
|Fort Quilon||Fort and factory||1661||1795||Quilon was a fortified city. The first Portuguese fort to be captured by the Dutch in December 1661. Capital of Dutch Malabar until the capture of Cochin in 1663.|
|Kayamkulam Factory||Factory||1661||?||Fell under the command of Fort Quilon.|
|Fort Cannanore||Fort and factory||1663||1790||Cannanore was a city with a good harbour and a strong stone fort. Captured on 15 February 1663 from the Portuguese.|
|Vengurla Factory||Factory||1637||1693||Established before the establishment of the Malabar commandment to spy on the nearby Portuguese settlement of Goa. Fell directly under the command of Batavia until 1673, and then under command of Suratte. From 1676 onwards, the command was with Dutch Malabar.|
|Barselor Factory||Factory||1667||1682||Established by treaty with the local ruler. The unreinforced factory traded in rice and pepper, and was closed in 1682 after problems with local merchants.|
Religious policy 
Unlike the Portuguese, the Dutch did not try to convert indigenous Hindu peoples to Christianity; they practiced the Protestant Dutch Reformed Doctrine. However, they helped the St. Thomas Christians of Malabar, who were Orthodox, against the pressure of the Roman Catholic Church. They also tolerated the Malabari Jews, and had provided asylum to Sephardic Jews who immigrated to the Netherlands after expulsion from Iberia. A few families of Sephardic Jews also came to Cochin and settled there during Dutch rule.
See also 
- De VOC site - Malabar
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Dutch rule in India|
- Iyer, K. V. Krishna "Zamorins of Calicut: From the earliest times to A D 1806". Kozhikode: Norman Printing Bureau, 1938
- Baldaeus, Philip "A Description of East India Coasts of Malabar and Coromandel and also of the Isle of Ceylon" 360 pp. maps, Reprint of the 1703 edition, Asian Educational Services, 1996, New Delhi-Madras, India. Translated from High Dutch in 1672.
- Koshy, M.O. "The Dutch power in Kerala 1729-1758" 334 pp. 2 maps Mittal Publ. 1989, New Delhi, India.
- Meyer, Raphael "The Jews of Cochin" Internet article American Asian Kashrus Services, 1995
- Poonen, T.I. "Dutch hegemony in Malabar and its collapse 1663–1795" 238 pp. Department of Publications, University of Kerala, 1978, Trivandrum, India.
- Ramachandran, Vaidyanadhan "Communication History of the Dutch in India" 46 pp. Artline Printers, 1997, Madras, India.