Admiralty Deposition for John Beaumont, 1624

Analysis

This is a sworn deposition provided by John Beaumont, who was convicted in the Amboyna trial but later spared. In his deposition, Beaumont condemns the Dutch as brutal torturers. As the excerpt also makes clear, he suggests that the whole Amboyna trial was a premeditated move by the Dutch designed to expel the English from Amboyna and hence secure access to the lucrative spice trade. In this way, it was not simply that the Dutch made a mistake at Amboyna. Rather, they had planned the whole trial as a way to eject the English from the spice trade. Accusations like this were subsequently picked up in Skinner's pamphlet and transmitted to a wider audience.

To the 11th he saith, that hee beleeveth in his conscience, that the bloody and murderous massacre predeposed, was premeditated by the Dutch, before the poore inocent English ever came to their answeare and examinations because they proceeded soe cruelly against them, not seeinge any ground soe to doe, And otherwise to this article hee cannot depose.

John Beaumont, Admiralty Deposition, 1624, Factory Records: Java G/21/2, India Office Records, British Library.