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Cornelis Speelman


Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies since 1681 replacing Rijklofvan Goens. He is better known as the leader of the military expedition launched for the expansion of VOC in the Archipelago. His name cannot be separated from his cruelty to conquest the Sultanate of Gowa and Makassar, as well as the expedition to Ambon, Banda and Ternate.

Cornelis Speelman was born in Rotterdam on 3 March 1628, his father was a merchant. He started to serve in the VOC as an assistant and arrived in Batavia in 1645. Speelman pursued a career in the service of VOC and in 1652 he obtained the status as merchant. He also served as president of Collegie van Schepenen in 1659, two years later he was appointed as Governor in Srilangka. He returned to Batavia and was assigned to handle the Makassar issues that he resolved through the Bongaya Agreement (18 November 1667). Cornelis Speelman was appointed two times as member of the Council of the Indies, in 1667 and 1671.

Late in 1676, he was sent to East Java to handle the unrest caused by the conspiracy of Trunajaya and Prince Puger of Mataram. However, one year later, Speelman was withdrawn to Batavia, while the resistance of Trunajaya continued. On 18 January 1678, Speelman was again appointed as member of the Council of the Indies for the position of Director-General. At the same time, Speelman was named President of Collegie van Schepenen. On 25 November 1681 Cornelis Speelman was appointed as Governor-General. During his rule, the condition was safe, perhaps because the Trunajaya resistance was broken down. Speelman passed away on 11 January 1684 at Kasteel Batavia. His funeral costs amounted to 131,400 rijksdaalders. This turned out to mark the beginning of the administration and governance irregularities of VOC in Batavia. 

Cornelis Speelman
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