Torture of English at Amboina

The Dutch turned on English traders in the Spice Islands at Amboina in 1623. The Dutch Governor Herman van Speult tortured and executed The English East India Representative of Amboina, nine other Company men and nine Japanese samurai mercenaries who were employed by the English. He had accused them of plotting to overthrow the Dutch fort there. Whether they were guilty or innocent, their treatment and penalty was enough to cause outrage back in Europe and soured Anglo-Dutch relations for generations. It also saw the English have to retreat from the Spice Islands and cede control over the all important spices to the Dutch. The woodcut shows the extent of the torture including primitive waterboarding.

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by Stephen Luscombe