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Plan of Portuguese fortress of Malacca During Mughal Emperor Akbar 1556–1605

Mirza Firuz Shah
Akbar 1556–1605
Stacked Wooden Logs


The story of the last stages of Master Fitch's wanderings presents two notable features, namely, the ease of the traveller's movements in ~emote and turbulent regions, secondly, his immunity from the caprices of the native tyrant, or the jealousy and rapacity of the official or filibustering Portuguese. He travelled as a trader and paid his dues as a matter of course at the various ports he visited ; indeed he had no other means of support, for there is not the slightest suggestion that he took either part or interest in any of the plundering expeditions he must have seen going on around him.

Malacca, just before the first Englishman saw it, had undergone a terrible experience. Linschoten states that early in I 587 news reached Goa that the emporium was in great danger, the kings of Achem (Acheen) and Jor (Johore) having closed the Straits, thus blocking the spice trade and preventing traffic to China and Japan. The new caused a great sensation, a_nd in September Dom Paulo de Lima Pereira was dispatched thither with a strong force. Dom Paulo carried out the expedition with distinguished success, crushing all opposition, and, after relieving the city, which was on the verge of starvation, returned to Goa in April, 1588. The Dutch narrator, in his usual entertaining fashion, tells us that the Dom captured in the straits a ship belonging to the King of Achem, who was the principal cause of the disturbance, in which was his daughter on her way to be married to the King of Jor, who carried with her a large piece of ordnance as a wedding present. The Portuguese landed and, after a desperate resistance, plundered and burnt the capital of ]or, afterwards proceeding to Malacca, which they entered in triumph, the King of Achem being glad to come to terms for his daughter's sake, The great gun was sent as a trophy to the King of Portugal, but sunk in the wreck of the vessel off Tercera in the Azores ; it was afterwards raised and placed on the fortifications of that island. Apparently the ship in question was that which Linschoten met at St. Helena on his own return home (1589).1 On board of her he tells us was a factor "Gerrit van Afhuysen borne in Antwarpe, and dwelling in Lisbone," who had sailed in the vessel from Lisbon two years before. Fitch, who reached the city immediately after its relief by Dom Paulo, was there at the same time as the Dutchman, but the presence of the Englishman was evidently unnoticed, otherwise Afhuysen would have mentioned the circumstance to Linschoten, who with equal certainty would have left us the gossip in full detail.

After being captured by the Dutch in 1641, and by the British in 1795, the city was again held by the former from 1818 to 1825, when it finally became a British possession. Owing to the shallowness of the harbour, among other causes, the port has long been outrivalled by both Singapore and Penang. A recent traveller thus tersely describes its present condition : " Malacca is reposing after its varied history and its former prosperity as the outlet of the products of the Peninsula, in a condition of peaceful stagnation. Its colourless condition is well typified by its sole product-tapioca, produced in large quantities by Chinese labour and capital." He recalls that Camoens was wrecked off this coast on his voyage home and swam ashore with the manuscript of the Lusiad, losing everything else. The poet wrote of its prosperous days:-

" Malacca's market grand and opulent, Whither each Province of the long seaboard Shall send of merchantry rich varied hoard."

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Ismail Mazari

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Very good information.

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Shah Sharaf Barlas

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If possible anyone have shijra family tree of Mughal Barlas traib of Attock Pakistan please share with me.


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