The Memoirs and Memorials of Jacques de Coutre: Security, Trade and Society in 17th-Century Southeast Asia

Paperback / softback
A native of Bruges (now part of Belgium), Jacques de Coutre was a gem trader who spent nearly a decade in Southeast Asia in the early 17th century. In addition to a substantial autobiography written in Spanish and preserved in the National Library of Spain in Madrid, he wrote a series of memorials to the united crown of Spain and Portugal that contain recommendations designed to remedy the decline in the fortunes of the Iberian powers in Southeast Asia, particularly against the backdrop of early Dutch political and commercial penetration into the region. Translated into English for the first time, these materials provide a valuable first-hand account of the issues confronting the early colonial powers in Southeast Asia, and deep insights into the societies de Coutre encountered in the territory that today makes up Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines.