Khouw Yauw Kie

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Kapitein Khouw Yauw Kie
COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Een chinese woning in Batavia Java. TMnr 60009130.jpg
Kapitein Khouw Yauw Kie and his younger cousin, the future Majoor Khouw Kim An at Candra Naya
OccupationKapitein der Chinezen, bureaucrat, landlord
Years activeLate nineteenth century
Spouse(s)Tan Him Nio[1]
ChildrenKhouw Tjoei Nio[1]
RelativesTan Liok Tiauw Sia (brother-in-law)
Khouw Tjeng Tjoan, Luitenant der Chinezen (uncle)
Khouw Tjeng Kee, Luitenant der Chinezen (uncle)
Khouw Kim An, 5th Majoor der Chinezen (cousin)
O. G. Khouw (cousin)
Khouw Oen Hoei, Kapitein der Chinezen(cousin)

Khouw Yauw Kie, Kapitein der Chinezen (died 1908), also spelled Khouw Jaouw Kie, Yaouw Kee, was a high-ranking Chinese-Indonesian bureaucrat.[2][3] He was the first scion of the influential Khouw family of Tamboen to serve on the Chinese Council of Batavia.[4]


Born in Batavia, capital of the Dutch East Indies, Khouw was the second son of Khouw Tjeng Po, Luitenant-titulair der Chinezen (died 1883), and the grandson of the tycoon Khouw Tian Sek, Luitenant-titulair der Chinezen (died 1843).[5][6] He was also a nephew of the landlords Luitenant Khouw Tjeng Tjoan and Luitenant Khouw Tjeng Kee.[6] His father, uncles and grandfather held the honorary rank of Luitenant-titulair der Chinezen, proper to Chinese officials in the civil bureaucracy of colonial Indonesia, but without any of the substantive responsibilities.[7] Khouw held the colonial hereditary title of Sia.[8]

Khouw's family was one of the wealthiest dynasties of the Cabang Atas, or the Chinese gentry (baba bangsawan), of colonial Indonesia.[2][6]

In 1883, Khouw was appointed by the colonial government as a substantive Luitenant der Chinezen with a seat on the Chinese Council of Batavia.[4] He, thus, became the first member of his family to serve as a substantive Chinese officer and to sit on the Chinese Council. In 1887, he also became the first in his family to be further elevated to the higher rank of Kapitein der Chinezen.[9][10] Khouw served in office during the tenure of Majoor Lie Tjoe Hong, the third mayoral head of the Chinese community of Batavia.[7][10]

Khouw was married to Tan Him Nio, daughter of Tan Tiang Po, Luitenant der Chinezen and sister of the landlord and plantation owner, Tan Liok Tiauw.[11]

Foreign encounters[edit]

As one of the most significant figures of late nineteenth-century Batavia, Khouw was noted by a number of foreign visitors to the East Indies.[who?] The English aviation pioneer, Baden Fletcher Smyth Baden-Powell, brother of Lord Baden-Powell, was a guest at the Kapitein's residence while on a visit to Java in the late 1880s.[12]

Baden-Powell wrote: "[T]he Captain of the Chinese is a great man. He has a large abode with a big courtyard in front, like a Chinese edition of Devonshire House."[12] The aviation pioneer further commented on the Kapitein's private dinner party: 'We went expecting to dine off bird's-nest soup, roast dog, and such-like heavenly delicacies, but were, in a way, really disappointed to find that our kind host had hired in for the occasion the best French cook to be found in Batavia, and he gave us an excellent little dinner. The other guests, to the number of about a dozen, were mostly Dutch officials.'[12] Baden-Powell also had the opportunity to meet the Kapitein's wife, 'looking very glum, in a dress rather suggestive of nocturnal attire, but resplendent with diamonds...’[12]

Another English writer, Arnold Wright, refers in his Twentieth Century Impressions of Netherlands India to Khouw's Chinese Captaincy and membership in the Chinese Council, and to his family's influence in Batavia.[2]

Death and legacy[edit]

The Kapitein died in 1908.[13][14] Today, Kapitein Khouw Yauw Kie is best remembered as one of the former owners of Candra Naya, a historic landmark in the Old Town of Jakarta.[3][15] He was eventually succeeded on the Chinese Council in 1905 by his first cousin, Khouw Kim An, who went on to serve from 1910 until his death in 1945, as the last Majoor der Chinezen and ex officio Chair of the Chinese Council of Batavia.[7][6]


  1. ^ a b Kan, S.Y. "Tjoei Nio Khouw (± 1896-?) » Stamboom Kan, Han en Tan » Genealogie Online". Genealogie Online (in Dutch). Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Wright, Arnold (1909). Twentieth century impressions of Netherlands India: Its history, people, commerce, industries and resources. London: Lloyd's Greater Britain Pub. Co. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  3. ^ a b Merrillees, Scott (2000). Batavia in Nineteenth Century Photographs. New York: Archipelago Press. ISBN 9789813018778. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Civiel Department (in Dutch)". De Locomotief (199). De Groot, Kolff & Co. 24 August 1883. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  5. ^ "Plaatselijk Nieuws". Bataviaasch Handelsblad (43). W. Bruining. 21 February 1893. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d Erkelens, Monique (2013). The decline of the Chinese Council of Batavia: the loss of prestige and authority of the traditional elite amongst the Chinese community from the end of the nineteenth century until 1942. Leiden: Leiden University. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  7. ^ a b c Lohanda, Mona (1996). The Kapitan Cina of Batavia, 1837-1942: A History of Chinese Establishment in Colonial Society. Jakarta: Djambatan. ISBN 9789794282571. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  8. ^ Blussâe, Lâeonard; Chen, Menghong (2003). The Archives of the Kong Koan of Batavia. Amsterdam: BRILL. ISBN 9004131574. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  9. ^ "BENOEMINGEN, ENZ. CIVIEL DEPARTEMENT". Bataviaasch Nieuwsblad. Kolff & Co. 24 October 1887. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  10. ^ a b Regeerings-almanak voor Nederlandsch-Indie (in Dutch). Batavia. 1888. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  11. ^ Kan, S.Y. "Stamboom Kan, Han en Tan (in Dutch)". Genealogie Online (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  12. ^ a b c d Baden-Powell, Baden Fletcher Smyth (1892). In Savage Isles and Settled Lands: Malaysia, Australasia and Polynesia, 1888-1891. London: R. Bentley and son. pp. 213–216.
  13. ^ "Tweede Blad. Necrologie 1908. Nederland". Het nieuws van den dag voor Nederlandsch-Indië (305). NV Mij tot Expl. van Dagbladen. 31 December 1908. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  14. ^ "Amersfoortsch Dagblad.15 Februari 1908". Historische kranten - Archief Eemland (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  15. ^ "Woning, vermoedelijk van de majoor-Chinees, Khouw Yaouw Kee, aan de Molenvliet te Batavia". Media KILTV. Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde. Retrieved 25 July 2017.