Fort Cochin in Kerala, 1750-1830

The Social Condition of a Dutch Community in an Indian Milieu


Author: Anjana Singh
This study of the early modern fortress town of Cochin in India, based on the rarely used VOC archival deposits in the Tamilnadu State Archives in Chennai (Madras), provides an intimate portrait of a Dutch urban community of East India Company servants and their dependents living within the larger social environment of the Malabar coast. It shows how between 1750 and 1830 the population of this Dutch settlement had adapted itself to the fundamental political and economic changes that occurred as a result of local state formation processes, the demise of the Dutch East India Company, and the change of regime that occurred when English administration was imposed on Fort Cochin in 1795.

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Anjana Singh (1976) obtained her MA (1999) and M. Phil (2001) in history from the University of Mumbai. She obtained a doctorate in History from the University of Leiden in 2007. Her main interests are the social and economic history of early modern port cities and the history of Asian – European cultural interaction. Using English and Dutch sources she researches early-modern South Asia.
'Anjana Singh's study changes our perception of the Dutch presence in India...'
Zoltán Biedermann, Birkbeck College, London, Indian Economic Social History Review 2012 49: 273
All those interested in early modern India, the social history of the Dutch in India, Indian Ocean port cities, the urban history of Cochin and the history of the Dutch East India Company (VOC).