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THE JOURNEY OF BANTEN AMBASSADORS TO ENGLAND IN 1682

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发表于 2019-3-7 08:30:15 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
By Puji Harsono
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On 11th December 2003, Reuters England,  featured the mysterious coins from Banten,  with the announcement: “A string of coins from Java, Indonesia was found buried in the mud at the side of the River Thames, London”.  All those coins from the 17 th century have a six sided hole at the middle, 90 pieces string together with Malay-Arabic inscription : “Pangeran Ratu ing Banten” (Lord King of Banten). According to the British Museums’ coin experts: “ These are the first Java coins revealed in London”
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Obv : (Legend in Malay-Arabic/Jawi) ”Pangeran Ratu ing Banten”, around six sided central hole.
Rev : Plain.

Thursday morning on 10th November 1681. Slaves were busy mounting goods into “London” ship directed by Captain John Danielszn, to be presented to the King of England : 200 bags of pepper, a set of diamonds and gemstones, golden peacock ornamented with opal stones and many other presents,  amounting to 12.000 Reales
That day, thirty-three Bantenese people under the command of Ngabei Naya Wipraya and Ngabei Jaya Sedana embarked on a journey to England as official representatives of Sultan Abdul Kahar Aboen Nassar known as Sultan Hadji or Sultan Muda (Young Sultan). One of the slaves died during the journey. The ship arrived in England on 29th   April 1682, at the River Thames, near the town Erith.
King Karel II received them twice at Windsor Palace, with all the noble formalities as was usually given to all foreign countries guests. Ngabei Naya Wipraya and Ngabei Jaya Sedana were both given the title “Knight” as Sir Abdul  and Sir Achmet.
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Left:SIR ABDUL(Kiay Nabee Naia Wi-praia) Right:SIR ACHMET(Kiay Abi Jaya Sedana)

They were really honored as special guests during their two and a half months stay in England, sightseeing all around London, visiting England’s Government high officials and The British East Indian Company. Palace high officials gave them generous hospitality, taking them around with palace carriages, enjoying comedian performance “The Tempest of Shakespeare”, Westminster Abbey, King Hendrick VII Chappel,  Monsieur Thouberti famous school and even sailing on the River Thames till Morta Lake. Those Banten coins taken along by one of the Banten’s representative should have fallen during this journey on the River Thames. They were also given the opportunity to visit the Royal Prince of York and his daughter the later Queen Anna to be.

People came flocking wherever they went, never were foreign guests given such majestically receival! Their exotic appearance as the first East Indian ambassadors could be the most appealing factor. One of Banten’s cook died on 15th May 1682 and buried at St. James Park in front of Hyde Park.
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Obv : Bust of Naya Wipaya facing; Legend : KEAY NABEE NAIA - WI - PRAIA 1682.
Rev : Bust of Hamid right; Legend : HAMET BEN HAMET BEN HADDV OTTOR 1682
(Note : Image courtesy of the previous owner).

On 23rd August 1682, Banten’s representatives went home on the ship “Kemphoorn”  passing through the town Duyns, bringing along gifts from King Karel, some letters addressed to the King of Banten and contracts with The British East Indian Company. They arrived at Banten in January 1683, but they saw that Banten was far different with the one they had left behind. In the end of 1681, a big dispute broke between Sultan Hadji and his father Sultan Ageng Tirtayasa or Sultan Tua (Old Sultan). The dispute getting worse and worse and climaxed when Sultan Tua attacked the Surosowan Palace in Banten. The Sultan Muda could not cope with it any longer and asked for VOC’s shelter and help. VOC’s military company under the command of Isaack St. Martin and Francois Tack including mixed native military company attacked and gain victory over Sultan Tua’s force surrounding Surosowan. But the war wasn’t over yet. Sultan Tua went to his home at Tirtayasa as his base camp and continue fighting. This war between son and father continued till the year 1683. On 14th March 1683 Sultan Tua was finally captured through his own son treachery.

Foreign traders took the Sultan Tua’s side at the beginning of the war as Sultan Muda really looked forward to establish good relations with VOC. As soon as he won the reign, on 14th April 1682 the first order came out that all English people and also Danish, French and Portuguese were not allowed to stay in Banten any longer!
When Banten’s representatives were honored and taken round London, at almost the same time English people were thrown out of Banten by Sultan Muda!

Realizing the recent situation in Banten, captain of the ship “Kemhoorn” got really angry towards Banten’s people and put those on his ship ashore at Caringin. Presents boarded were only conveyed through the Dutch government, consisting of nine boxes of guns, mirrors, knives, saddles, seventeen cans of refined water, one box of lanterns and “a very ugly dog” (could be a bulldog race) given by King Karel II.

From an independent kingdom resisting the VOC it now became Batavia’s play  toy as Sultan Hadji had given full monopoly authority over all  the Kingdom’s territories. He did not even dare to move a step without VOC’s advice and consent. That was the tragically beginning of the downfall of Banten as a big independent Sultanate Kingdom!

Bandung, 7 January 2019
Puji Harsono
Indonesian Numismatic.
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