Introduction

The Amboyna conspiracy trial was one of the most famous legal cases of the early modern period. It resulted in the execution of 20 individuals in a public square and it poisoned relations between two emerging European superpowers, the Dutch Republic and England. Remarkably for a case with such significant repercussions for European politics, it did not take place in Europe. It happened on a remote island in Southeast Asia where Dutch authorities accused a group of English merchants and Japanese mercenaries of plotting to seize control of a Dutch East India Company fort. The site explores the events on Amboyna, the politics of torture and waterboarding, and the race for spices.

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